(Health) PHL marks National ADHD Awareness Week

October 19, 2015 9:22 am 

By Leilani S. Junio

MANILA, Oct. 18 (PNA) — The National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) and the Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Society of the Philippines will formally open the National ADHD Awareness Week celebration at the Atrium Center of SM City-Fairview in Novaliches, Quezon City on Monday (Oct. 19).

The observance is in line with Presidential Proclamation No. 472 declaring the third week of October of every year as National ADHD Awareness Week.

Prior to the opening activity, an ecumenical mass will be held in the morning.

Invited speakers will talk about the situation of ADHD in the country.

The theme of the celebration is "ADHD: A Hidden Disability — Alamin, Unawain, Tanggapin at Mahalin."

Health experts say ADHD is a common but serious behavioral condition. It is believed to be affecting six million Filipinos.

Around the world, it affects about 10 percent of school-age children who manifest the condition through inattentiveness, hyperactivity or both.

Since the children tend to be inattentive, they are being misunderstood.

Presentation of citations and recognitions to notable achievers with ADHD will be one of the highlights of the opening program.

Also as part of the week-long celebration, there will be a two-day Scientific Congress from Oct. 20 to 21, which will be led by city health officers, social workers, teachers, parents, counselors and caregivers so that the public may develop full understanding of ADHD condition.

The venue for the Oct. 20 (first part of the Scientific Congress) will be the Philippine Mental Health Association (PMHA) Conference Room on East Avenue, Quezon City.

The second part of the congress will be held at the inner lobby of Quezon City Hall on Oct. 21.

On Oct. 22, there will also be drug-abuse prevention seminar so that the parents of children with ADHD will be aware about the medical effects of the drugs for the treatment and rehabilitation and how can they prevent the child/adult to resort to drug abuse.

The event will be capped by a program with mini-concert and fashion show in Mandaluyong City.

According to Dr. Cornelio G. Banaag Jr., a child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist, it is important that parents and other people close to children with ADHD will understand the situation and provide the early positive intervention so that the full potentials of such children during adulthood can be fully developed instead of letting them suffer social stigma.

Dr. Banaag said that if a child will not be treated properly, it can result to more complex complications, including depression and suicide, as a wrong approach and treatment can lead to feeling of “low self-esteem” on the part of a person with ADHD.

“Proper management and support can lead them to productive lives and contribute their skills and talents to the Philippine society,” said Banaag.

NCDA Executive Director Carmen R. Zubiaga said most people with ADHD are successful in the field of entertainment industry, research and in various areas where their full potentials can best be harnessed.

“They possess above-average intelligence and are capable of excelling in their own field of interests,” said Zubiaga.

A regional conference will likewise be held at the Binan Elementary School in Binan City, Laguna on Oct. 23 to allow teachers, parents and guidance counselors to reach out and teach children with ADHD.

Those interested to attend may contact Josephine Esteban at 09053906451 and Snooky Abaya at 09178890279. (PNA)

SCS/LSJ/SSC

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