Advocates spreading ADHD awareness during month of October

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By Michael Henrich

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Oct. 7, 2014) -- A rising number of Hoosiers are diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) every year and advocates dedicate the month of October to raising awareness about the issue.

In the most recent statistics available, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report 15.7 percent of Hoosier children aged 4 to 17 have been diagnosed at one time or another with ADHD.  That 2011 statistic is 3.5 percentage points higher than the previous report in 2007.

In central Indiana, the Fortune Academy is a private school that focuses on helping students with learning differences, including ADHD and dyslexia, another disorder receiving attention in the month of October.

"Smaller classroom sizes are better for our children because it is hard for them to pay attention and it’s hard for them to sit still," said Lori Jones, Assistant Head of the Lower School at Fortune Academy.  "We give them a lot of breaks and we give them what I call the attention tool box, little things that can do to help them stay focused and on track."

In fact, Jones said ADHD is often just the tip of the iceberg for students, claiming about 60 percent of children with ADHD also have another type of learning difference.

"We call it a difference because they really just need a different way to learn," Jones said.  "Once you give them that, they will soar, be very successful and in a lot of ways they’ll be able to let that strength shine through."