October is Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder Awareness month. This year, 2016, the theme is “Knowing is Better.”
It is better for everyone (parents, young adults, adults) to know that ADHD is a part of their or their children’s lives so that they can seek the help that is needed. This helps in school, workplaces and the frustration of being an underachiever. ADHD constitutes a serious issue in the African-American community.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention lists that African-American males as leading other racial groups and gender in the diagnosis of learning and behavioral disorders.
In 2006 in the United States there were 4.5 million children between the ages of 5 and 17 who had been diagnosed with ADHD (Pastor & Reuben, 2008). Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is one of the most expensive mental disorders, costing U.S. citizens $77 billion every year (Reinberg, 2004). This makes African-American males living in poverty the least likely to receive mental health services, even though they are the most likely to be referred to a mental health agency.
Before we delve into the impact of ADHD on the African-American culture, we need to understand ADHD. 3-7% of school age children have the diagnosis of ADHD, this means approximately 2 million children in the United States have the disorder (Brown, 2000;).