Vancouver Parks commissioner Sarah Blyth was and AFAIK still is the only politician to go public with ADHD in North America while in office.
She recently did an op ed in the Georgia Straight Oct 21st on why we need to think of ADHD for the other 51 weeks of the year in BC.
Unfortunately, students with ADHD in B.C., unlike in provinces like Newfoundland and Alberta, do not qualify for help in classrooms unless they have learning disabilities or severe behaviour problems—and most do not. With class sizes as large as they are these days, teachers are left to struggle with little help and schools end up piecing together the best they can with little funding.
The large group of kids in this grey area that have a hard time in school, slip through the cracks and end up having difficulty in life which end up costing more long term.
If the student with ADHD does not have a coexisting Learning Disability or does not display significant disruptive behaviour, they will not be identified.
Students with ADHD and no diagnosed LD may be excluded from receiving accommodations for their academic disabilities.
This lack of recognition encourages educators to believe that ADHD is not a legitimate disability.
Recognition under behaviour can lead to academic weaknesses not being addressed and the students being stigmatized.
Sarah goes on.
Later in life, some of these folks end up in our shelters, hospitals, and jails, unwanted in our society.
I have met many people who suffer with ADHD like me but have ended up in the DTES. They identify with my story and have come to me with their stories. Unfortunately, when people suffer anxiety and difficulties in life, drugs can be a way to escape.
21-45% of prisoners have ADHD 15 clinical studies show.
One study of 127 homeless participants showed that 1 in 3 participants met the established criteria for further evaluation for ADHD.
Only 5% of adults have ADHD.
I hope more politicians and others in BC go public and tell their stories about ADHD. Its a very powerful way to raise awareness of ADHD and counter the stigma we so often get.