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CADDAC’s Letter to Minister Lisa MacLeod

Dear Mister MacLeod,

I am reaching out to you through this e-mail on behalf of the Centre for ADHD Awareness, Canada, or CADDAC.  We represent countless Ontario families that we hear from daily, who struggle with the lack of recognition of ADHD and therefore services for this disability in Ontario. We applaud your Ministry for allowing families of children with other disabilities to also be heard. 

Did you know that Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, was clinically observed more than 100 years ago, is a lifelong disorder and a significant risk to health, learning and employment. ADHD is the most common neurodevelopmental disorder occurring in children, with incident rates exceeding Autism and learning disabilities. But, children with ADHD who receive the proper treatment and support can grow into success contributing members of our Ontario society. 

Untreated, or inadequately supported, ADHD leads to increased school dropout, increased unemployment and social services, increased physical and mental health issues including addiction and substance abuse and increased involvement with the justice system. ADHD incident rates in our correction systems are 5 fold for adults with ADHD and 10 fold for youth with ADHD. One third of Canadian inmates have ADHD despite the fact that we know that treating the disorder greatly reduces recidivism.

Although multimodal treatment for ADHD is recommended, all types of treatment, other than medication, including cognitive behaviour therapy and childhood behaviour therapy, are not covered by Ontario provincial health care. 

Although many of the learning and self-regulation impairments that students with ADHD experience are very similar to those of students with Autism, ADHD is not included in any of the Ontario special education categories of exceptionality. This has resulted in many school boards using this as an excuse to not IPRC students with ADHD leading to inadequate resources for students with ADHD. One of our major asks of the Ontario government’s Ministry of Education is that ADHD be included in the categories of exceptionality. Since learning disabilities, Austism and ADHD are all neurodevelopmental disorders that impair learning, so it would only make sense to group these disorders together in one category. 

Similar to students with Autism many students with ADHD are also being excluded from a full day of education in our Ontario school boards.

We very much want to be included in any stakeholder consultation on this issue that is being initiated by your government. 

We would very much like to meet with you to discuss these issues and the continued inequity of access of education and health resources faced by children and adults with ADHD in Ontario.

I look forward to hearing from you regarding possible meeting dates.

Sincerely, 

Heidi Bernhardt

President / Executive Director CADDAC

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