October ADHD Awareness Month.

ADHD awareness month, benefits of an environment like camp, local resources

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that can affect people across all ages in life, this is why ADHD Awareness is so important.  While the disorder is typically diagnosed in childhood, adolescents and adults can also struggle with symptoms for years before seeking professional attention.  Although no one is sure what exactly causes ADHD, researchers at both the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have found indications that the disorder is due to both environmental and genetic causes.  Factors believed to be of influence include one’s genetic history; maternal cigarette, alcohol and/or drug use; brain trauma; low birth weight; and early exposure to toxins such as lead.

How may kids have ADHD?

According to a 2016 survey, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found 6.1 million youth age 2-17 living in the United States had been diagnosed with ADHD.  This national prevalence is similar to previous studies in its overall estimate, but additionally found more children living in rural areas receiving the diagnosis. Those in rural areas were however less likely than youth in urban or suburban areas to receive behavioral health services.  

Those impacted by ADHD may find themselves in one of two categories: those who experience six or more symptoms of inattention or those who find themselves on the hyperactive/impulsive side of the spectrum.  This means that someone who has ADHD may have hyperactivity as part of the disorder or their symptoms could be grouped together as inattentive. As noted, both types require the presence of six or more symptoms, across multiple life environments (such as school, home, and/or work) rather than in just one domain.  This means that if your child expresses hyperactive symptoms at school but not at home or at his or her community group, then ADHD may not be an appropriate diagnosis. For those with predominantly inattentive type, symptoms may include an inability to follow direction, becomes easily distracted, difficulty holding attention, does not seem to hear directions from others, is challenged holding attention for tasks that require longer durations or multiple steps, and may be considered forgetful in daily activities, among others.  Children who are categorized as hyperactive/impulsive may exhibit difficulty remaining seated, running about at inappropriate times or despite direction, fidgeting, unable to wait his or her turn, often find themselves interrupting others, inability to play quietly, and talks excessively. Youth may also present with a combined type, presenting both symptoms of hyperactivity/impulsivity and inattention.  And of course, as one ages his or her symptoms may change, therefore resulting in a changing predominant type.  

Why does ADHD Awareness Matter?

Parents who suspect that their children may have an ADHD diagnosis should talk with either a child psychologist or their child’s pediatrician.  In order to properly assess a child, the professional will need to obtain information from multiple life domains, such as school, home and other settings (work, sports, community involvement and/or religious groups).  ADHD impacts individuals across various socio-economic and cultural settings, from all races, ages, and religious backgrounds alike. ADHD Awareness helps people to understand how common ADHD can be. While boys are more likely to be diagnosed than girls, at a frequency of at least 4:1, there is increasing research being done to further understand ADHD and the unique presentation in women and girls.  Symptoms may manifest differently in boys than girls, given cultural expectations regarding gender roles and appropriate play, but are equally impactful across genders.  

Treatment of ADHD can include behavioral modifications, cognitive therapies, role-playing, medication management, and behavioral coaching.  There is no “cure” for ADHD but tailored approaches can be highly successful in minimizing negative symptoms and reducing impairment in daily life.  For those of school-age, treatment may include specialized educational plans to address specific goals in the classroom, in order to ensure learning does not fall behind.  Parents, counselors, and other school personnel should work together to design wrap-around services and a team approach. With appropriate treatment, children with ADHD can successfully engage in schoolwork and thrive in a classroom environment.

Testimonials from Parents – What Parents Have to Say about our Camp

We are grateful for your hard work and patience with my child. We can notice so many amazing changes in his behavior and the way he deals with everyday situations. He is his brothers are getting along better than ever before! We definitely will visit you next year! – Talisman Parent

It is so nice to know that there is a place where my child can feel comfortable. I only regret that I didn’t find your camp sooner!  -Talisman Parent

See why we are the Aspergers camp Florida Families love, Read more Testimonials here>>

We encourage you to contact us at Talisman Camps today to discuss our unique and exciting summer programs for girls and boys diagnosed with ADHD.  We can help your child grow in confidence and self-esteem through challenging wilderness activities, engaging peer interactions, and basic life skills such as cabin responsibility and personal hygiene.  Our beautiful campus provides an exceptional backdrop for your son or daughter to meet others with similar challenges, be accepted in a larger group, and form lifelong friendships. 

Does your child have ADHD, autism or Asperger’s syndrome? Are you looking for something fun for them to do over the summer holidays, making connections with like-minded people in a nurturing, loving environment? Here at Talisman, we believe that every child deserves the opportunity to embark on summer adventures, worry-free. We’re home to only the most passionate, dedicated directors who develop deep-seated bonds with your children, keeping parents in-the-loop every step of the way. Whether your child is 8 or 17, it’s our job to show them just how fun and inspiring summer can be, with delicious food, enthralling activities…and beyond! Give us a call today at 1-828-697-6313 to unlock your child’s full potential!

You may also find the following local resources helpful in further investigating treatment options or finding community groups for growth and support:

Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) https://chadd.org/ 

Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s ADHD Website: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/index.html 

Talisman Camps ADHD Summer Camp Directory: https://talismancamps.com/adhd-camps-directory/

North Carolina ADHD support groups: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/groups/adhd/north-carolina