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ADHD in Canada Building an environment where ADHD can thrive

When you have ADHD, you not only have to manage the signs and symptoms that come with a diagnosis, but also people’s reactions to those very same symptoms.

This is why it’s so important for individuals with ADHD to advocate for themselves and establish a supportive environment with the help of the people in their lives – family, friends, teachers, coworkers, and more. This can make a huge difference in helping someone thrive – it can help an individual with ADHD accept their diagnosis, better manage their symptoms, and capitalize on their strengths.

Luckily for Canadians with ADHD, there are quite a few opportunities available that play a role in setting up that supportive environment. We’ve got a long way to go, but it’s important to recognize how far we’ve come. So, to celebrate Canada Day, we highlight some facts about what it means to have ‘ADHD in Canada.’

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ADHD in Canada:

  • Almost every school board in Canada – except in Quebec and BC – has now acknowledged ADHD as a recognized learning disability, meaning students “have the right to equitable education opportunities and should not be barred from receiving additional support.” **Prior to December 2011, a diagnosis of ADHD alone did not qualify a student for an official “exceptional student” designation.
  • The Canada Revenue Agency allows individuals with ADHD to claim a disability tax credit. Claiming the disability amount will lower your taxes! **A qualified physician must complete the T2201.
  • Canada has a multi-disciplinary alliance of healthcare professionals called CADDRA (Canadian ADHD Resource Alliance) whose purpose is essentially to make our healthcare professionals more adept at diagnosing and treating ADHD. They provide practice guidelines, host an annual conference, and disseminate the newest research. **Australia recently purchased CADDRA’s Practice Guidelines for implementation down under!
  • Canada also has a national, non-profit organization called CADDAC (Centre for ADHD Awareness in Canada) whose purpose is to help Canadians access information and resources for ADHD. They also advocate for individuals and families, and provide bursaries for those who cannot afford support. **In 2010, CADDAC wrote a Provincial Report card for the fair treatment of ADHD across Canada. Ontario failed at the time, but subsequently joined the other provinces in recognizing ADHD as a learning disability.
  • Canada has its very own stimulant medication, called Biphentin, that is not available in other countries. ** Canada has at leasteight first-line medications for ADHD, compared to many countries where Ritalin is still the only option.

Canada is a leader in the fair treatment and highest standard healthcare for individuals with ADHD. Of course, there is always room for improvement, but take comfort in knowing your environment is among the best in the world when it comes to ADHD. Go Canada!

Happy Birthday, Canada!

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