NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – It’s estimated that more than 6 million children have been diagnosed with ADHD. ADHD Awareness Month is recognized during the month of October.. 

People diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder have an inability to focus, trouble with organization, and find difficulty with detail-oriented tasks.  Advocates recognize as kids settle into their school routines, parents and educators should pay attention to their students’ learning abilities and behaviors.

“This is the point where they start struggling. There are some kids that start struggling and it’s very obvious,” said Dr. Jordan Wright,  Chief Clinical Officer at Parallel Learning. “Sometimes ADHD looks like hyperactivity, where kids are bouncing all over the place and can’t stay in their seat. Sometimes it’s much more subtle and kids struggle in silence. Sometimes teacher and parents aren’t aware of just how hard it is for these kids.” 

Dr. Jordan Wright is the chief clinical officer for Parallel Learning, a group that helps districts and students with special needs. He recommends if you think your child is having some challenges, partner with a licensed professional at their school and have the student formally assessed and diagnosed.

According to the CDC, in 2011 around 10% of parents reported whether a doctor or health professional ever told them that their child had ADHD in Virginia. Experts recommend partnering with your child’s special educator team to use some of the strategies at home. 

“ADHD is a natural variation of human diversity,” said Wright. “These kids’ brains are not broken, their brain operates in the world differently than the typical brain. We need to understand and be patient with them. If you are a coach or librarian and you see a child struggling, be patient with them. They are not trying to be bad.”

Advocates want to remove the stigma around being diagnosed with ADHD. They believe this month is a great time to gain more understanding around people who have different ways of learning.