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Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is NOT a disorder of undisciplined overactive boys. It is a real, complex, multifaceted, often life- long neurobiological disorder that affects people of both genders and all ages.

ADHD presents in both genders and although generally associated with children, it is prevalent in adults as well.

ADHD is NOT an insignificant disorder. In fact, it is one of the most common neurological disorders in Canada and is estimated to affect over one million Canadians. Yet it continues to be under-diagnosed and under-treated.

Research indicates that ADHD conservatively affects 5% of school childreni meaning on average, there are one or two children with ADHD in every 20-student classroom.

ADHD doesn’t “go away.” Left untreated, the majority of sufferers will carry symptoms – a short attention span, restlessness or constant fidgeting, and being easily distracted – through to adulthood. The result is significant impairment in their ability to study, work and manage their lives.

80% of children affected with ADHD symptoms can carry the condition into adolescence and in over 60% of adults, the core symptoms will continue to cause impairment.ii

A new Canadian paper demonstrates just how far reaching the impact of ADHD can be. This paper highlights research showing the impact on the attainment of human and social capital, resulting in increased socioeconomic costs for Canada as well as increased costs to healthcare, education, labour, social services, and increased costs to the justice system.

Canada loses an estimated $6 billion to $11 billion annually through loss of workplace productivity.iii

The Canadian cost of illness extrapolated at over $7 billion, exceeds the cost of major depressive disorders.iv

Individuals with ADHD are more likely to enter the workforce as unskilled or semi-skilled workers; have greater periods of unemployment; change jobs more frequently; and earn considerably less money over their lifetime.

There is a direct correlation in terms of increasing healthcare costs.

The cost to educate students with ADHD is high, yet academic outcomes are still in question.

The impact of ADHD on Canadian social services continues to escalate.

Myths and misinformation have been prominent in the media and in the community at large for too many years. This year, CADDAC is calling for Canadians and their governments to GET REAL ABOUT ADHD during ADHD Awareness Week from October 14th to 21st, 2013.

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