A valuable initiative to raise awareness and promote intervention and remediation strategies
"ADHD: knowledge and action" is the title of the first Piemonte (Piedmont) regional conference of AIFA Onlus (Italian Association of ADHD Families), which took place in Gerbole di Volvera, province of Torino, Italy. Over 200 teachers, parents, psychologists and operators crowded the Sala della Tenuta hall where doctors - including Dr. Benetto Vitiello, prof. Francesco Oliva and prof. Cristiano Termine - and specialists - including psychologists Francesca Sgroi, Alessandra Scalmani and Eva Benso - outlined the main characteristics of the ADHD disturbance in the span of life, the path to diagnosis and treatment, the risks of negative consequences in case of failed diagnosis, the possibilities of pharmacological treatment, the importance of awareness, parent training, and attention enhancement strategies. Particularly touching was the testimonial of Jasmine Rizzi, a volunteer of AIFA Onlus from Trento, who presented her personal story of a woman who became aware of having ADHD in adult age.
"The initiative was born at the request of numerous teachers and parents,” explains Cinzia Corradi, Piedmont region coordinator for AIFA Onlus, "who often highlight the need for scientific information on the subject of ADHD. Attendance to the conference, made possible by the sponsorship of Panini S.p.A., was very high and several participants, in filling out the feedback form, recommended the organization of other specific events, especially in schools, with dedicated time for teacher training, so that they can acquire suitable strategies and learn about inclusive didactics for children with ADHD."
ADHD, the English acronym for Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder, is included in the DSM5 - the Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - among Neurodevelopment Disorders, indicating a prevalence of ADHD in about 5% of children and 2.5% of adults. The disturbance is characterized by three main manifestations: difficulty in attention, difficulty in controlling motion skills, and impulsivity. According to the minimum parameters of international prevalence estimates (guidelines of British Institute Nice, according to whom at least 3% of minors have ADHD, one third of which in severe form), around 15,000 minors of school age have ADHD in Piedmont, 5,000 of which in severe form (on January 1, 2017, Piedmont residents between 6 and 18 years are 501,042 according to the Italian National Institute of Statistics). ADHD in people can take several evolutionary trajectories, both depending on any other associated disorders, and on the appropriateness or inappropriateness of therapeutic treatment. Among the most widespread consequences of untreated ADHD: abandonment of studies, loss of jobs, divorces, traffic accidents and withdrawal of driving licenses, tendency to neglect one's health, and even use of drugs and committing crimes.