See also part 1 and part 2. Georgina Rayner of CADDAC chaired the special ed program for the Toronto School board in the early 90’s. They calculated that the cost of dealing with someone with learning disabilities was:
$3,000 a year if done in elementary school
$60,000 to $80,000 a year if done in high school
$100-$120,000 a year if done as an adult
$160-$225,000 a year if you have to incarcerate them. There are a huge number of people with ADD and learning disabilities in Jail.
One reason many of them are in there is they drop out because they don’t get diagnosed and treated for their LD and/or ADD in school so they do poorly, feel frustrated, drop out, get into drugs to self medicate, hang around with the wrong crowd, and from there….
Karen Johnson the community relations rep from Jansen Ortho, makers of Concerta gave a talk on how people with ADD and parents of children with ADD lobbied the media, bureaucrats and politicians to get Concerta approved under section 8, a provincial drug care program (similar to pharmacare here). Seems like the most important tactic was getting people to talk or write directly to their members of the Ontario legislature on how this impacts them. Concerta is not covered by pharmacare in BC.
Still they have to jump through a lot of hoops to get approved and a lot of paperwork on the doctor’s part.
Some members of my Vancouver Adult ADD Support Group were there. One gave me a great ADDA denim shirt that she won at the recent ADDA conference in Tucson Arizona. Cool, I like unexpected gifts. Met the person who started CHADD in Canada, Dr Joel S. Kanigsberg who’s a psychologist in Nepean, Ontario. Very cool guy. Met some people from the ADHD certificate program at Langara College, Linda Chow from Lilly Canada and Norm Wolter the technology director for CADDAC
Also met Kathy Sheppard, the head of the ADHD parent program here in Vancouver that’s gotten rave reviews. They not only have group classes but also actually go out to the participant’s homes. There’s nothing like that in the other cities in the lower mainland although people phone me on the CHADD Vancouver help line and constantly ask for something like it. I have to tell them, sorry nothing for you. Only in Vancouver. Hopefully someone will start a similar program in the other cities.
Talked to Daniel Letourneau of PANDA the Quebec ADD organization. Learned that Attention Deficit Disorder in French is Trouble Déficit de l’Attention.
Talked to Christopher MacPhee a psychologist who the district administor of student services in Rocky Mountain school district in BC who’ll be doing a presentation tomorrow on Adolescents ADHD and Addiction, the BC experience. Talked about the tendency of many undiagnosed ADDers to self medicate with pot. Met some interesting doctors and pediatricians.