ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is one of the most common developmental disorders of childhood and can persist into adulthood. When it comes to ADHD there is a stigma around it. Blacks are less likely to be diagnosed with it even though they tend to show symptoms at the same rate as white people. When they are diagnosed, they are less likely to receive the treatments that can help them manage their symptoms.
“ADHD is not a privileged disability,” Paul Morgan, Ph.D., professor of education and director of the Center for Educational Disparities Research at Pennsylvania State University, says. “We don’t want a situation where ADHD is a condition for wealthy white families. We want to be helping children who have disabilities, regardless of their race or ethnicity. But what we’re finding is consistent evidence that white and English-speaking children are more likely to be identified — and that’s an inequity.”
However, there is one new tool put together by researchers that may help Black children and their families get the help they need with ADHD.
ADHD: Treating Your Child Without Medication
Researchers have created a six-stage process to help families of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) deal with the disorder.
“This framework is family-centered, focused on breaking down the barriers that families face from before diagnosis to preparing children with ADHD for the future,” Dr. Andrea Spencer, director of the Reach for ADHD Research Program at Boston Medical Center says.
“This framework can help serve as a model to develop engagement interventions that will be more beneficial to families,” Spencer adds.
The researchers developed the framework based on the experiences of 41 urban, low-income racial and ethnic minority families — who are most likely to face difficulties — as they went from diagnosis to treatment of their children’s ADHD.
The six stages of engagement identified by the researchers are: