Transcript: Helping Students with ADHD | May 10, 2018

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and striped blue tie.

A caption on screen reads "Helping students with ADHD. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says ADHD - ATTENTION
DEFICIT/HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER -
IS AMONG THE MOST COMMON MENTAL
HEALTH CONDITIONS AFFECTING
CHILDREN IN CANADA.
SO FAR, HOWEVER, IT'S NOT A
DIAGNOSIS THAT AUTOMATICALLY
TRIGGERS ADDITIONAL SUPPORTS IN
ONTARIO CLASSROOM.
SOME PARENTS AND ADVOCATES ARE
HOPING TO CHANGE THAT, STARTING
THIS ELECTION CYCLE.
JOINING US NOW FOR MORE:
IN CALGARY, ALBERTA:
DR. AINSLIE GRAY, MEDICAL
DIRECTOR OF THE TORONTO-BASED
SPRINGBOARD CLINIC.

Ainslie is in her sixties, with chin-length wavy blond hair. She's wearing a purple blouse and a silver pendant necklace.

Steve continues AND HERE IN OUR STUDIO:
HEIDI BERNHARDT, THE PRESIDENT
AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF CADDAC.
THAT IS THE CENTRE FOR ADHD
AWARENESS CANADA.

Heidi is in her forties, with chin-length wavy blond hair. She's wearing a blue blazer over a matching sweater, and a silver pendant necklace.

Steve continues AND NATALIE WADDELL, A WATERLOO
REGION DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD TRUSTEE.

Natalie is in her early forties, with shoulder-length straight brown hair and bangs. She's wearing a black jacket over a pink shirt, and a silver pendant necklace.

Steve continues WE ARE DELIGHTED TO WELCOME YOU
TWO HERE IN OUR STUDIO.
DR. GRAY, NICE TO HAVE YOU ON
THE LINE FROM CALGARY, ALBERTA.
I'LL START OUT WEST WITH YOU
WITH A DEFINITION OF ADHD.
IF A CHILD HAS IT, HOW DOES THAT
MANIFEST ITSELF?

The caption changes to "Ainslie Gray. Springboard Clinic."
Then, it changes again to "Recognizing the affliction."

Ainslie says THANK YOU
FOR GIVING ME THIS OPPORTUNITY.
ADHD IS INITIALS FOR ATTENTION
DEFICIT/HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER.
BUT REALLY IT'S NOT ALWAYS
ACCOMPANIED BY HYPERACTIVITY.
IT MAY BE IMPULSIVITY AND
INATTENTION WITHOUT A LOT OF
PHYSICAL RESTLESSNESS.
SO IT WILL PRESENT ITSELF IN
EITHER OF THOSE TWO DIAGNOSES,
BUT THE COMMON AGE TO PICK UP AN
ADHD CHILD IS BETWEEN THE AGES
OF 5 AND 8, DEPENDING ON THEIR
PRESENTING SYMPTOMS.

Steve says AND DO WE KNOW WHAT
CAUSES IT?

Ainslie says WE KNOW IT HAS A VERY STRONG
GENETIC TENDENCY, BUT THERE ARE
ALSO EPIGENIC OR ENVIRONMENTAL
FACTORS THAT WILL MAKE CLUSTERS
OF FAMILIES, AS WELL AS
INDIVIDUALS, MORE SUSCEPTIBLE TO
BEING DIAGNOSED.

Steve says GIVE ME AN EXAMPLE
OF THAT.
WHAT'S SOMETHING IN THE
ENVIRONMENT THAT COULD CAUSE
SOMEONE TO CONTRACT ADHD?

Ainslie says WELL, SOMETIMES PREMATURITY.
SOMETIMES PRENATAL EXPOSURE TO
ALCOHOL CAN INFLUENCE AN
INDIVIDUAL'S ABILITY TO FOCUS
AND STAY ENGAGED.

Steve says AND HOW COMMON WOULD
A MISDIAGNOSIS OF ADHD BE?

Ainslie says OH, THAT... IT CAN BE VERY
COMMONLY MISDIAGNOSED BECAUSE
IT'S SO OFTEN COMORBID WITH
OTHER INDICATIONS LIKE ANXIETY,
SCHOOL DIFFICULTIES, SADNESS OR
MOOD DISORDERS.

Steve says LET'S DO ONE MORE
BEFORE I GET THE OTHER TWO IN
HERE, AND THAT IS, JUST SO I'M
CLEAR, YOU SAID IT'S GENETIC, SO
IF A PARENT'S GOT IT, CHANCES
ARE THE KID WILL GET IT TOO?
IS THAT THE IDEA?

Ainslie says THE CHANCES ARE VERY MUCH SO,
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, SCREENING
IN BOTH DIRECTIONS.
IF A CHILD IS DIAGNOSED, WHAT'S
GOING ON WITH MOM AND DAD OR
OTHER SIBLINGS?
OR IF PARENTS HAVE IT, THEY NEED
TO BE ON ALERT FOR THEIR
OFFSPRING.

Steve says OKAY.
HEIDI BERNHARDT, THIS IS NOT AN
ACADEMIC DISCUSSION FOR YOU.
HAVE I GOT THIS RIGHT?
YOUR HUSBAND HAS ADHD?
THREE OF YOUR SONS HAVE ADHD?

Heidi says ALL THREE OF MY SONS.

Steve says ALL THREE OF YOUR
SONS HAVE ADHD.
WHAT IS YOUR LIFE LIKE?

The caption changes to "Heidi Bernhardt. Centre for ADHD Awareness Canada."

Heidi says THEY'RE ALL GROWN.
THEY'RE ALL OUT OF THE HOUSE.
WE'VE BEEN THERE DONE THAT.
I ALSO HAVE A BACKGROUND IN
PSYCHIATRIC NURSING.
SO IT OBVIOUSLY LED ME INTO MY
PASSION OF WHAT I DO AND CADDAC,
I FOUNDED CADDAC.
SO MY LIFE RIGHT NOW IS HECTIC
WITH WORK AND HECTIC, ACTUALLY,
WITH LOOKING AFTER SENIOR
CITIZENS, BUT THE BOYS ARE ALL
OUT OF THE HOUSE.

Steve says WHEN YOU WERE A
YOUNG MOTHER TRYING TO RAISE
THREE ADHD CHILDREN?

Heidi says THE BIGGEST DIFFICULTY IS
WE'RE TALKING 25 YEARS AGO SO WE
DID NOT KNOW THEN WHAT WE KNOW
ABOUT ADHD NOW.
HENCE THERE WERE NO RESOURCES,
NO SUPPORT FOR FAMILIES, NO
EDUCATION FOR CARE-GIVERS, AND
WHY I FOUNDED CADDAC.

Steve says DID THEY EVEN KNOW
THAT THAT'S WHAT IT WAS WHEN IT
HAPPENED 25 YEARS AGO?

Heidi says IT TOOK TO THE AGE OF 14 TO
DIAGNOSE MY OLDEST CHILD BECAUSE
ALL THREE OF MY BOYS ARE GIFTED
AS WELL, RIGHT?
SO THEY WEREN'T FAILING SCHOOL.
AND THEY WEREN'T EXTREMELY
HYPERACTIVE.
SO ALL THOSE RED FLAGS DIDN'T GO
UP.
SO IT TOOK QUITE A WHILE TO
FIGURE OUT WHAT WAS GOING ON.
BUT WHEN WE DID, THEN WE COULD
MOVE TOWARDS PROPER TREATMENT,
PUTTING IN PLANS, PARENTING
PLANS OR PLANS IN THE HOUSEHOLD
AND THINGS GOT MUCH BETTER.

Steve says IF THEY WEREN'T
MANIFESTING SIGNIFICANT
HYPERACTIVITY ALL THE TIME, HOW
DO YOU KNOW THAT'S WHAT THEY HAD?

Heidi says WELL, THE ATTENTION, THE
EMOTIONAL REGULATION, WHICH IS
ANOTHER CORE PART OF ADHD THAT
NOT MANY PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT,
RIGHT?
SO THERE'S AN AWFUL LOT OF
SYMPTOMS BESIDES ATTENTION
DISREGULATION, HYPERACTIVITY AND
IMPULSIVITY.
IT'S A VERY COMPLEX DISORDER AND
MOST PEOPLE DON'T KNOW THAT.

Steve says LET'S GET TO NATALIE'S
EXAMPLE THEN.
YOUR EXPERIENCE STARTS WITH YOUR
SON, I GUESS, WHO IS IN GRADE 6
NOW?

Natalie says YES, HE'S IN GRADE 6.

Steve says DIAGNOSED WITH ADHD WHEN?

Natalie says WHEN HE WAS 9.

Steve says SO A COUPLE YEARS AGO?

Natalie says YES, JUST... YEAH.

Steve says WALK US THROUGH THE
PROCESS OF TRYING TO, I GUESS,
UNDERSTAND THE SYMPTOMS HE WAS
PRESENTING AND THEN GET A
DIAGNOSIS FOR WHAT EVERYBODY
THOUGHT IT MIGHT BE.

The caption changes to "Natalie Waddell. Waterloo Region District School Board Trustee."

Natalie says IT WAS A JOURNEY WE STARTED
PROBABLY BACK IN GRADE 3 BECAUSE
WE REALLY RECOGNIZED AT THAT
POINT THE DIFFERENCES KIND OF
SHOOK OUT, THAT OTHER KIDS WERE
GETTING FARTHER AHEAD IN, YOU
KNOW, SELF-REGULATION,
ORGANIZATION, ALL THOSE SORTS OF
THINGS THAT KIDS OFTEN STRUGGLE
WITH.
SO IN GRADE 3 WE STARTED LOOKING
AT, YOU KNOW, THERE MAY BE
SOMETHING A LITTLE MORE THAN
JUST THE BEHAVIOUR ISSUE THAT HE
WAS DEMONSTRATING AT SCHOOL.

Steve says AND THE BEHAVIOUR
ISSUE MEANT WHAT?

Natalie says SPEAKING OUT.

Steve says ACTING UP IN CLASS?

Natalie says ACTING UP IN CLASS, NOT
SITTING IN HIS SEAT, BEING VERY
LOUD.
IT COULD BE PUSHING KIDS ON THE
PLAYGROUND BECAUSE HE'S
FRUSTRATED AND AT THAT POINT HE
DIDN'T KNOW HOW TO REGULATE
HIMSELF, AND WE DIDN'T KNOW THAT
THAT'S WHAT WAS GOING ON.

Steve says DON'T TAKE THIS THE
WRONG WAY, BUT BACK IN THE DAY,
ALL THAT STUFF HAPPENED WHEN I
WENT TO SCHOOL TOO, BUT NOBODY
HAD A NAME FOR IT.
WE JUST SORT OF THOUGHT IT WAS
BAD BEHAVIOUR.
HOW DO WE KNOW THIS IS ACTUALLY
ADHD?

Natalie says SO MY SON... WE ENDED UP
GETTING MY SON TESTED THROUGH A
PSYCHOLOGIST, A
PSYCHO-EDUCATIONAL ASSESSMENT
AND HE ALSO WAS TESTED THROUGH A
PEDIATRICIAN AND ALL SIGNS CAME
BACK THAT HE DID HAVE ADHD
BECAUSE OF ALL THE MARKERS THERE
WERE FLAGGED.

Steve says CHECKED A LOT OF BOXES.

Natalie says CHECKED A LOT OF BOXES.

Steve says SO YOU HAVE THE
DIAGNOSIS.
THEN WHAT DO YOU DO?

Natalie says SO THEN WE PRESENTED TO THE
SCHOOL AND THIS WAS JUST PRIOR
TO GRADE 4.

Steve says THAT'S IN WATERLOO?

Natalie says I AM IN WATERLOO REGION, YES.
SO WE PRESENTED TO THE SCHOOL.
WE GET THINGS INTO PLACE.
HE ALSO HAS A LEARNING
DISABILITY, SO THAT
AUTOMATICALLY QUALIFIED HIM FOR
SPECIAL EDUCATION, LIKE SPECIAL
EDUCATION EQUIPMENT.
SO HE HAS A LAPTOP WITH
ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY ON THE LAPTOP.

Steve says BUT JUST TO BE
CLEAR, THE ADDITIONAL SUPPORTS
THAT YOU WOULD NEED AS AN ADHD
STUDENT, HE DID OR DIDN'T GET?

Natalie says HE DID GET THEM INDIRECTLY.
SO JUST BECAUSE HE HAD ADHD DOES
NOT MEAN THAT THAT STUDENT WILL
AUTOMATICALLY GET THE SUPPORTS.
IT'S REALLY ON A CASE-BY-CASE
BASIS.
IS THE CHILD IMPAIRED AND ARE
THEY IMPAIRED ENOUGH?

Steve says I GUESS THAT'S THE
POINT, RIGHT?
ONCE THE DIAGNOSIS OF ADHD KICKS
IN, THERE ISN'T AUTOMATICALLY
ADDITIONAL SUPPORTS THAT
HAPPENS.

Natalie says RIGHT.

Steve says AND THAT'S WHAT YOU
WANT TO CHANGE.

Heidi says IT'S THE
LEARNING DISABILITY THAT
TRIGGERS THE SUPPORT BECAUSE THE
LEARNING DISABILITIES AND
AUTISM, WHICH ARE
NEURODEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS,
ARE UNDER THE CATEGORY OF
SPECIAL EDUCATION IN ONTARIO.
ADHD IS NOT.
SO IF A STUDENT HAS A LEARNING
DISABILITY OR AUTISM AS WELL AS
ADHD, THEY DON'T GET SUPPORT.

Steve says I'VE GOT THE LIST
HERE.
LET'S GO THROUGH THIS.
SHELDON, WE'RE AT THE TOP OF
PAGE 3.
WHY DON'T WE BRING THIS GRAPHIC
UP HERE?
HERE'S ONE OF THESE WONDERFUL
ACRONYMS THAT THE MINISTRY OF
EDUCATION LIKES TO USE.

A slate appears on screen, with the title "Categories and definitions of exceptionality."

Steve reads data from the slate and says
WHEN YOUR STUDENT IS IDENTIFIED
BY AN IPRC... IDENTIFICATION
PLACEMENT AND REVIEW
COMMITTEE... ONCE YOU'VE GONE
THROUGH THAT PROCESS, THERE ARE
ALL SORTS OF EXCEPTIONALITIES,
AS I GATHER THEY'RE CALLED,
WHICH ENTITLES YOU TO ADDITIONAL
HELP.
AND YOU CAN SEE THEM ON THE LIST
THERE.
WE'VE GOT BEHAVIOUR, AUTISM,
DEAF OR HARD OF HEARING,
LANGUAGE IMPAIRMENT, SPEECH
IMPAIRMENT, LEARNING DISABILITY,
GIFTEDNESS AND SO ON.
WE GO ALL THE WAY THROUGH HERE.
DR. GRAY, LET ME GET YOUR VIEW
ON THIS.
DO YOU THINK THAT ADHD OUGHT TO
BE ON THAT LIST AS WELL AND
THEREFORE STUDENTS AUTOMATICALLY
SHOULD BE ENTITLED TO ADDITIONAL
SUPPORTS IF THEY'RE SO DIAGNOSED DIAGNOSED?

The caption changes to "Ainslie Gray, @SpringboardADHD."
Then, it changes again to "Educating the educators."

Ainslie says YES, I
STRONGLY THINK THAT IF IT'S
IDENTIFIED EARLY, BECAUSE IT
RESPONDS SO WELL TO TREATMENT,
THE YOUNGER THE CHILD OR
ADOLESCENT IS IN BEING PICKED UP
MAKES IT EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO
FLAG THESE INDIVIDUALS, WHETHER
THEY HAVE A COMORBIDITY, LIKE A
LEARNING DISABILITY AS WELL.
LET ME GIVE YOU AN EXAMPLE THAT
HAS CHANGED IN THE LAST 5 YEARS.
IN THE POSTSECONDARY AGE GROUP,
OFTEN UNIVERSITIES WOULD NOT
CONSIDER ACCOMMODATIONS FOR
STUDENTS UNLESS THEY HAD A FULL
PSYCHO-EDUCATIONAL ASSESSMENT,
WHICH HEIDI REFERRED TO AS BEING
ONE OF THE PARAMETERS IN
IDENTIFYING A LEARNING
DISABILITY.
BUT ADHD BY ITSELF WOULD NOT
ACHIEVE THE REQUIRED STRATEGY
CHANGE.
AFTER A NUMBER OF VERY SERIOUS
MENTAL HEALTH TRAGEDIES, THE
POSTSECONDARY COLLEGES AND
UNIVERSITIES NOW TREAT ADHD AS A
STANDALONE IN ORDER TO ACCESS
ACCOMMODATIONS.

Steve says AND YOU WOULD LIKE
TO SEE THE SAME THING HAPPENING
I GATHER FOR SECONDARY AND
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STUDENTS AS WELL?

Ainslie says ABSOLUTELY.
AND ACCOMMODATIONS, WHAT I MEAN
BY THAT TERM, IS PERHAPS
EXTENDED TIME FOR EXAMS, PERHAPS
USE OF OTHER RESOURCES.
BUT IT'S NOT AN EXCUSE FOR
PEOPLE TO NOT PERFORM TO THEIR
ABILITY.
IT ACTUALLY LEVELS THE PLAYING
FIELD FOR STUDENTS SO THAT THEY
CAN OPTIMIZE THEIR LEARNING
OPPORTUNITIES.

Steve says NATALIE, YOU PUT
FORWARD A RESOLUTION RECENTLY TO
THE WATERLOO DISTRICT SCHOOL
BOARD, YES, ABOUT THIS?
WHAT WAS THAT ABOUT?

Natalie says IT WAS A
PROPOSED RESOLUTION.
I HAD TO PUT IT FORWARD TO MY
BOARD TO GET THEIR SUPPORT.
FOR IT TO GO FORWARD TO THE
ONTARIO PUBLIC SCHOOL BOARD
ASSOCIATION.
BUT IT BASICALLY IS TO GET...
ULTIMATELY I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE
THE PUBLIC SCHOOL BOARD
ASSOCIATION LOBBY THE ONTARIO
MINISTRY OF EDUCATION TO INCLUDE
ADHD AND, YOU KNOW, AND OTHER
NEURODEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS IN
A CATEGORY AND THEN ANOTHER
IMPORTANT PIECE WOULD BE TO HAVE
THE MINISTRY INVEST IN EDUCATING
THE EDUCATORS.

Steve says OKAY.
TWO DIFFERENT THINGS THERE.
FIRST ONE FIRST.
YOU PUT THE RESOLUTION TO THE
WATERLOO BOARD.

Natalie says YES.

Steve says DID IT GET THROUGH?

Natalie says YES, IT DID.

Steve says SO IT'S GOING TO THE
ONTARIO SCHOOL BOARD EDUCATION?

Natalie says IT WENT TO THE EXECUTIVE
COUNCIL AND IT WILL GO TO THE
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING AT THE
END OF THIS MONTH.

Steve says AT WHICH TIME THEY
WILL VOTE ON IT.

Natalie says YES.

Steve says DO YOU HAVE ANY
SENSE OF HOW THAT VOTE IS GOING
TO GO?

Natalie says I HAVE NO IDEA.

Steve says IF YOU GET A YES
VOTE IT GOES TO THE MINISTRY OF
EDUCATION AND PRESUMABLY GETS TO
PRESSURE THEM FOR A POSITIVE
VERDICT.

Natalie says THAT'S MY HOPE.

Steve says THAT'S YOUR HOPE.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE THE
CHANCES OF THAT HAPPENING?
YOU KNOW THE SYSTEM.

Heidi says WE'VE BEEN
ADVOCATING FOR THIS FOR ABOUT 15
YEARS NOW.
WE'VE HAD NUMEROUS, NUMEROUS
MEETINGS WITH THE MINISTRY OF
EDUCATION.

Steve says WHAT'S THE ARGUMENT
AGAINST DOING IT?

The caption changes to "Heidi Bernhardt, @CentreforADHD."

Heidi says YOU KNOW WHAT?
THERE'S A LOT OF RHETORIC AROUND
IT.
THERE WAS A REPORT PUBLISHED IN
DECEMBER 2011 THAT SAID STUDENTS
WITH ADHD SHOULD NOT BE BARRED
FROM BEING IPRC.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: TVO.org. Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, YouTube, Periscope, Instagram."

Steve says BOY, THAT'S A
VERB... THAT'S A... WHAT'S THAT?

Heidi says IDENTIFIED UNDER THE REVIEW
PLACEMENT COMMITTEE.
GETTING THAT IDENTIFICATION AS
BEING AN EXCEPTIONAL STUDENT WHO
HAS A RIGHT FOR SPECIAL
EDUCATION AND RESOURCES, RIGHT?
SO THIS MEMORANDUM SAYS YOU
SHOULDN'T BAR STUDENTS WITH
ADHD, BUT THE SCHOOL BOARDS,
MANY OF THEM, ARE STILL SAYING,
BUT LOOK AT THE DEFINITIONS OF
THOSE CATEGORIES.
ADHD DOES NOT FIT INTO ONE OF
THOSE DEFINITIONS, SO TOO BAD SO
SAD, WE DON'T HAVE TO IDENTIFY
THESE STUDENTS.
YET THE ONTARIO HUMAN RIGHTS
COMMISSION IDENTIFIES ADHD AS A
DISABILITY, AND IN MY
DISCUSSIONS WITH THEM, THEY HAVE
SHARED THAT, YES, THESE
CATEGORIES ARE AN ISSUE BECAUSE
THEY HAVE NO INPUT INTO THAT,
AND IT'S THESE CATEGORIES THAT
ARE THE STUMBLING BLOCKS.
AND THE MINISTRY SAYS THEY CAN
USE ANY CATEGORY.
IN REALITY, THEY'RE NOT.

Steve says BECAUSE THEY HAVE A
LIST HERE AND UNFORTUNATELY
YOU'RE OUT OF LUCK.

Heidi says EXACTLY.

Steve says DR. GRAY, JUMP IN, PLEASE.

Ainslie says JUST JUMP
IN FOR A MOMENT.
THE OTHER THING THAT HEIDI IS
VERY FAMILIAR WITH IS BECAUSE OF
THE STIGMA AND MYTHS AROUND A
MENTAL HEALTH DIAGNOSIS, WHICH
INCLUDES ADHD, THE PARENTS OFTEN
DO NOT REACH OUT AND INVOLVE THE
SCHOOL OR COMMUNITIES FOR
SUPPORT.
BECAUSE OF ALL THE
MISUNDERSTANDING AROUND
EXCEPTIONALITY.
SO I THINK EMPOWERING PARENTS IN
THIS CASE TO RECOGNIZE THAT THE
SCHOOL IS A SOURCE OF SUPPORT IS
A VERY BIG HURDLE THAT HAS
CHANGED IN THE LAST FEW YEARS.

Steve says WELL, TRUSTEE
WADDELL, I DON'T KNOW THIS FOR
SURE BUT I'M GOING TO TAKE A
WILD STAB AT IT HERE.
MY HUNCH IS THE MINISTRY DOESN'T
WANT TO GIVE YOU THIS BECAUSE IT
WILL COST THEM TENS IF NOT
HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS
TO PROVIDE THESE EXTRA SUPPORTS
TO STUDENTS AND THEY MAY NOT
HAVE THE MONEY OR SAY THEY DON'T
HAVE THE MONEY.

The caption changes to "Natalie Waddell, @Waddell_KW."

Natalie says I THINK THAT MAY BE THE FEAR
OF THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT,
BUT IN REALITY, THE
ACCOMMODATIONS THAT WE'RE
TALKING ABOUT ARE NOT GENERALLY
THINGS THAT COST A LOT, OR
ANYTHING AT ALL.
IT MIGHT BE PREFERENTIAL SEATING
FOR A STUDENT THAT'S EASILY
DISTRACTED.
DON'T SEAT THEM NEAR THE
HALLWAY.
IT MIGHT BE GIVING INSTRUCTIONS
IN A VERBAL WAY AS WELL AS A
WRITTEN WAY FOR THE ONES THAT
LEARN AND RETAIN THE INFORMATION
DIFFERENTLY.
IT'S CHUNKING OUT PROJECT WORK
WITH A CHECKLIST SO THEY CAN
MOVE THROUGH THE PROJECT WITHOUT
GETTING DISTRACTED.

Steve says NONE OF THAT SOUNDS
LIKE IT COSTS ANYTHING.
WHY AGAIN WOULD THERE BE A
RETICENCE TO GREEN-LIGHTING IT?

Natalie says SOME OF IT... NOT FOR GREEN
LIGHTING.
SOME OF IT COULD BE DONE AND IT
WOULD HELP STUDENTS, NOT JUST
THE ADHD STUDENTS, AND IT'S A
LACK OF EDUCATION OF TRUE
UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT ADHD IS.

The caption changes to "Cost of inattention."

Heidi says OUR
MESSAGE TO THE EDUCATORS IS, IF
YOU DON'T IDENTIFY THESE
CHILDREN, THEY DON'T JUST
DISAPPEAR IN YOUR CLASSROOM.
SO THEY ARE STILL BEING
DISRUPTIVE.
THEY ARE NOT GETTING THEIR WORK DONE.
YOU'RE SENDING THEM DOWN TO THE
PRINCIPAL'S OFFICE.
YOU'RE HAVING TO DEAL WITH
ASSIGNMENTS NOT HANDED IN.
SO YOU ARE EXPENDING YOUR
RESOURCES IN WAYS THAT YOU'RE
BEING REACTIVE.
WHY DON'T WE BE PROACTIVE,
EDUCATE THESE EDUCATORS TO
UNDERSTAND THESE KIDS AND NOT
LOOK AT THEM AS LAZY OR BAD
KIDS, WHICH THEY DO FREQUENTLY,
AND PUT IN THOSE STRATEGIES,
THOSE CLASSROOM STRATEGIES, AS
NATALIE SAID, THEY'RE BENEFICIAL
TO THE ENTIRE CLASS BUT THEY'RE
ESSENTIAL FOR KIDS WITH ADHD.

Steve says THIS SOUNDS LIKE A
CLASSIC UPSTREAM-DOWNSTREAM PROBLEM.
SOLVE THE PROBLEM UPSTREAM SO BY
THE TIME THEY GET DOWNSTREAM,
THEY'RE NOT A BIGGER PROBLEM.
DR. GRAY, GO AHEAD.

Ainslie says YOU CAN'T
HELP BUT FEEL PASSIONATE ABOUT
THIS BECAUSE SOMEWHERE BETWEEN
60 AND 70 PERCENT OF THESE
CHILDREN WHO ARE IDENTIFIED WILL
NOT GROW OUT OF THEIR ADHD
DIAGNOSIS.
THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS WILL
CHANGE WITH MATURITY, BUT THE
COSTS OF IMPAIRMENT TO SOCIETY
IS MASSIVE.
AND BY ALLOWING CHILDREN TO
DEVELOP STRATEGIES AND THE ADHDS
BE TREATED ONCE IT'S IDENTIFIED,
IT'S SO RESPONSIVE TO
INTERVENTION.
AND I THINK BEING PROACTIVE IS
GOING TO SAVE SOCIETY IN THE
LONG RUN.

Steve says CAN I GET YOU TO
FOLLOW UP, DR. GRAY, ON THIS
ASPECT OF IT?
I HEAR FROM TIME TO TIME THAT
THERE ARE STILL PLENTY OF
MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS WHO ARE
KIND OF UNWILLING TO ACKNOWLEDGE
ADHD AS A SERIOUS MENTAL HEALTH
ISSUE OR CONDITION.
DO YOU HEAR THAT TOO?

Ainslie says I CERTAINLY DO.
I FOCUSED... I'M A GENERAL
PRACTITIONER AND I FOCUS MY
PRACTICE ON MENTAL HEALTH AND
PRIMARILY SCHOOL-BASED ISSUES.
BACK IN '94.
AND OVER THE 25 YEARS, THERE
HAVE BEEN HUGE ADVANCES AND
CHANGES, AND AN ADHD DIAGNOSIS
IS REAL.
AND THE APPREHENSION I THINK
OFTEN OF PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIANS
IS A COMFORT LEVEL IN
UNDERSTANDING IT AND HOW THEY
CAN SUPPORT IT WITH THE MEDICAL
SIDE OF PERHAPS PHARMACEUTICAL
INTERVENTION WITHOUT RUNNING
INTO THE DIVERSION APPREHENSION
AND FEARS AROUND THE MEDICATIONS
THAT ARE OFTEN USED.

Steve says NATALIE, I DO NOT
WANT TO INVADE YOUR FAMILY'S
PRIVACY HERE ON TELEVISION, BUT
YOU ARE HERE AND I'M GOING TO
ASK YOU A QUESTION.
IF YOU DON'T WANT TO ANSWER IT,
THAT'S OKAY.

Natalie says OKAY.

Steve says ONCE YOU DISCOVERED
YOU HAD TO DEAL WITH YOUR SON'S
ADHD, DID YOU PUT HIM ON MEDS?

Natalie says YES, I DID.

Steve says HOW DID THAT GO?

Natalie says IT WAS FINE FOR A LITTLE
WHILE, PROBABLY SIX MONTHS, AND
THEN HE HAD AN EXTREME ADVERSE
REACTION TO THE MEDICATION.

Steve says HOW DID THAT
MANIFEST ITSELF?

Natalie says HE STARTED SAYING, WHAT IF I
HURT MYSELF?
WHAT IF I HURT YOU?
THAT SORT OF THING.
SO THERE WAS SOME SUICIDAL
IDEATION SIGNS.
SO WE TOOK HIM OFF, AND I THINK
THE REASON THAT WE ENDED UP DOWN
THAT PATH WAS THE MEDICAL
PROFESSION THAT WE HAD WAS NOT
TOTALLY UNDERSTANDING THE
MEDICATION, NOT TOTALLY
FOLLOWING UP WITH US ON A
REGULAR BASIS.

Steve says YOUR SON IS OR IS
NOT ON MEDS NOW?

Natalie says HE WAS OFF FOR QUITE A PERIOD
OF TIME BECAUSE WE WERE VERY
SCARED TO PUT HIM BACK ON.
HE WAS 10 YEARS OLD WHEN THAT
WAS GOING ON, AND IT WAS
EXTREMELY DIFFICULT FOR OUR
FAMILY.
SO WE TRIED A DIFFERENT TYPE OF
DRUG, VERY SLOWLY.
WE WERE FORTUNATE ENOUGH,
BECAUSE OF THE WAY HE HAD THE
REACTION TO THE MEDICATION, WE
WERE ABLE TO GET TO SEE A CHILD
PSYCHIATRIST WHO IS NOW MANAGING
HIS MEDICATION VERY WELL.

Steve says HOW'S HE DOING NOW?

Natalie says OH, HE'S DOING WONDERFUL NOW.

Steve says ISN'T THAT GREAT?

Natalie says YES.

Steve says ISN'T THAT GREAT?
WHAT DO YOU THINK TURNED THE
CORNER?

The caption changes to "The power of being understood."

Natalie says SO I THINK... THERE'S A FEW
THINGS.
SO HE'S MATURING.
SO THAT HELPS.
THE MEDICATION CONTROL IS
DEFINITELY HELPFUL.
THE THIRD THING THAT I WOULD SAY
IS SIGNIFICANT WAS A CHANGE IN
SCHOOL.
SO WE HAD A BOUNDARY CHANGE, SO
HE WAS FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO GO
OFF TO A NEW SCHOOL, AND I THINK
THE EDUCATORS AT THE NEW SCHOOL,
FOR WHATEVER REASON, THEY HAVE A
BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF ADHD,
HOW TO ACCOMMODATE CHILDREN LIKE
MY SON.

Steve says GOOD.

Natalie says AND IT'S BEEN A WONDERFUL
EXPERIENCE FOR HIM.

Steve says I'M CURIOUS.
IF THIS IS GENETIC, DID YOU TEST
YOURSELF?

Natalie says SO I ACTUALLY WENT TO HEIDI'S
CONFERENCE IN THE FALL LAST
YEAR, AND I KEPT HEARING ABOUT
PARENTS RAISING KIDS WITH ADHD
AND HOW DIFFICULT IT CAN BE, AND
THAT 76 PERCENT OF CHILDREN WITH
ADHD HAVE A PARENT WITH ADHD.
AND THAT MADE ME START TO THINK
AND I ULTIMATELY DID GO GET
DIAGNOSED A COUPLE DAYS PAST MY
50TH BIRTHDAY.
SO IT WAS A REAL A HA MOMENT
BECAUSE I UNDERSTAND NOW A LOT
ABOUT HOW MY MIND WORKS...

Steve says WHAT WAS THE VERDICT
WHEN YOU GOT DIAGNOSED?
HAVE YOU...

Natalie says I HAVE ADHD.

Steve says YOU'VE GOT IT TOO?

Natalie says YES, YES.

Steve says YOU BURIED THE LEAD
THERE.
I DIDN'T KNOW THAT.

[LAUGHTER]

Steve says DR. GRAY, GO AHEAD.

Ainslie says I WOULD
JUST LOVE TO JUMP IN HERE
BECAUSE WHEN... I OPENED
SPRINGBOARD CLINIC IN TORONTO IN
2009, TAKING A LOOK AT LIFE SPAN
ADHD, A DIAGNOSIS.
WE EXPECTED THE MAJORITY OF
PATIENTS TO BE CHILDREN, BUT IN
REALITY, OVER HALF OF OUR
ASSESSMENTS NOW ARE ADULT AND
GENERALLY ABOVE AVERAGE
INTELLIGENCE AND OFTEN
UNIVERSITY EDUCATED OR
UNIVERSITY STUDENTS.
SO A VERY IMPORTANT MYTH TO
DISPEL IS THAT, BECAUSE YOU HAVE
A UNIVERSITY DEGREE OR A
PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION, YOU
COULDN'T POSSIBLY HAVE ADHD.
WELL, THAT'S WRONG.
THE HYPER FOCUSSED TYPE OF
SUPPORT THAT MANY PEOPLE WITH
ADHD CAN TURN ON SHOWS HOW
UNIQUE AND MARVELLOUS OUR BRAIN
CAN BE, AND HAVING ADHD DOES NOT
HAVE TO BE SEEN AS A HUGE
LIABILITY WHEN TREATMENT OPTIONS
ARE EMPLOYED.

Steve says HEIDI, CAN WE LOOK
AT THE FLIP SIDE OF THIS FOR A
SECOND, WHICH IS, I IMAGINE
THERE ARE PARENTS OUT THERE AS
WELL WHO GET THE WORD FROM, YOU
KNOW, THEIR KID'S TEACHER, THAT
YOU MIGHT WANT TO LOOK INTO
HAVING YOUR KID DIAGNOSED FOR
ADHD...

Heidi says THEY CAN
NEVER SAY THAT.
THEY CAN SAY, HERE ARE THE
SIGNS, THE SYMPTOMS THAT WE'RE
SEEING OR PROBLEMS IN THE
CLASSROOM.
YOU MAY WANT TO GO TO AN
ASSESSMENT.
AN EDUCATOR CAN NEVER SAY...

Steve says CAN NEVER USE THE
WORD.

Heidi says NO.

Steve says I GUESS WHAT I WAS
GETTING AT HERE IS, THERE ARE
PARENTS... I IMAGINE THERE
ARE... YOU CAN TELL ME HOW
FREQUENT AN ISSUE THIS IS.
PARENTS SAY, NO, MY KID DOESN'T
HAVE IT BECAUSE THEY'RE AFRAID
OF THE STIGMA THAT IS ASSOCIATED
WITH THAT DIAGNOSIS.

Heidi says AND THE STIGMA AROUND ADHD
AND THE MISINFORMATION IN THE
MEDIA AND THE GENERAL PUBLIC IS
HUGE.
SO, YES, WE GET A LOT OF THE
BACKLASH "MY CHILD IS NOT ONE OF
THOSE KIDS," AND NO WAY NO HOW,
AND HE'S A CHIP OFF THE OLD
BLOCK, WHICH MAY BE TRUE,
THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH MY
SON OR DAUGHTER.
AND THE STIGMA CAUSES SO MANY
ISSUES AND ACTUALLY IS AT THE
HEART, I THINK, OF WHY SCHOOLS
HAVE NOT REALLY DONE ANYTHING
ABOUT ADHD OR THE GOVERNMENT
DOESN'T UNDERSTAND HOW IT
IMPACTS THE JUSTICE SYSTEM, THE
WORK FORCE, EVERYTHING.
BECAUSE PARENTS AND FAMILIES OF
ADHD STILL BUY INTO THAT STIGMA.
THEY DON'T TALK ABOUT THEIR
CHILD HAVING ADHD OR THEMSELVES
HAVING ADHD, BECAUSE THEY'RE
AFRAID OF BEING LABELLED A BAD
PARENT.
WHEN WE DO OUR ADVOCACY WORK AND
TALK TO POLITICIANS, THEY SAY
FAMILIES NEVER TALK TO US ABOUT
ADHD, BUT PARENTS OF KIDS WITH
AUTISM DO.
OUR MESSAGE TO PARENTS IS, THEY
HAVE TO GET OUT THERE.
THEY NEED TO TALK TO THEIR
ELECTED OFFICIALS THAT, YES,
THIS IS AN ISSUE FOR THEM, AND
IT'S OF INTEREST AND THEY WANT
THE GOVERNMENT TO DO SOMETHING.

Steve says WE WILL SEE IF THIS
BECOMES A BIGGER ISSUE ON THE
ELECTION CAMPAIGN HUSTINGS WHICH
WE'RE IN THE MIDST OF RIGHT NOW.
I WANT TO THANK DR. AINSLIE
GRAY, THE MEDICAL DIRECTOR OF
THE SPRING BOARD CLINIC FOR
BEING THERE FOR US IN CALGARY,
ALBERTA.
WE APPRECIATE YOUR
PARTICIPATION, DR. GRAY, VERY MUCH.

Ainslie says THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

The caption changes to "Producer: Patricia Kozicka, @TrishKozicka."

Steve says HERE IN OUR STUDIO,
HEIDI BERNHARDT PRESIDENT AND
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE CENTRE
FOR ADHD AWARENESS IN CANADA,
AND NATALIE WADDELL WATERLOO
REGION DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD
TRUSTEE.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Watch: Helping Students with ADHD