Summer Araujo and Joyce Gad – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – October is national Attention-deficit Disorder (ADHD) Awareness Month.

ADHD Awareness Month is sponsored by the Attention Deficit Disorder Association.

Many American young people have experienced or watched peers face this mental disorder and ADHD is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood.

It can usually be diagnosed at a young age and often lasts into adulthood. 

Those with ADHD usually face attention difficulty, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness. They often feel low self-esteem, troubled relationships, and difficulty at school or work.  

Around 2.4 million students aged 6 to 11 years are diagnosed with ADHD. Many schools have begun to offer ADHD treatments as well as behavioral classroom management training for teachers.

Mustangs can reach out to staff nurses or guidance counselors, who are experienced with ADHD and know how to help it. 

LRHS counselor Monica Shackelford said, “The more organized one is, and the more structure they have, lessens the impact of their ADHD.

“Along with being able to self-help, the school provides a wide range of accommodations,” she continued.

One of these accommodations is a 504-plan based off a specific student’s needs. The plan covers ADHD students who don’t qualify for special-ed services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), but who need extra help in the classroom.

LRHS registered nurse Christine Koch said communication is key to treating ADHD.

“If you are struggling, please let someone know,” she said. “Treatment is effective but being aware you have ADHD is the best thing you can do.”

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Whether it is a parent, teacher or counselor, students with ADHD are encouraged to reach out for help.

While many are fortunate to be able to recognize ADHD at a young age, about 75% of adults who have ADHD do not know so.

Adults with ADHD struggle with missing deadlines, meetings, and social plans as well as severe impulsiveness. Treatment includes medication, education, skills training, and psychological counseling.