I am a big advocate for ADD and ADHD. I feel passionately that people with ADD and ADHD have hidden gifts and need extra help and support to bring these gifts forward.
One of the most important aspects from the medical side of ADHD is ongoing research which sheds light on it as a medical condition. This information is critical – so that people can make educated decisions about this condition based on the best facts that we know.
One major area of research in adult ADHD has been around the impact of ADD on driving. This is one important angle of research which helps to justify treatment for ADD/ADHD. There are growing data showing that when adult ADD is not well treated, there are increased risks behind the wheel – such as higher rates of speeding, accidents, etc. There are new medication studies showing that treatment with medication helps with safety behind the wheel.
These are important studies for the following reasons:
- They help to document one aspect of the significant impairment and danger associated with ADD/ADHD if it is not treated
- They help to show that treatment for adult ADD is not just an optional ‘lifestyle’ choice
- They help to improve (and save) lives by educating doctors, parents, adults with ADD, etc. about an important public health issue
- And there are others… (feel free to share your thoughts on this in the ‘comments’ below)
When I started learning about the driving studies with ADD/ADHD, one of the nurses that I worked with asked a very insightful question:
“What do the insurance companies say about this data?”
I realized what she asked was important, but I didn’t give it too much though beyond discussing the importance of this research.
TRUST ME – Now I am giving it a lot of thought.
I was troubled to see that in Sweden – the Road Authority is considering taking away the right of people with ADD/ADHD to even get a driver’s license because of the risks to road safety.
The head physician of the Swedish Road authority compares ADHD to conditions like epilepsy and alcoholism, and is concerned about drivers with ADD having licenses.
To me – this is a VERY CONCERNING development in twisting new data that is meant to help people with ADD/ADHD.
I strongly encourage any Swedish readers of this blog to file an appeal of this decision, or get involved locally and create some ‘noise’ about this.
I suggest that we all want the roads to be safe, and we want good treatment for ADD and ADHD – but this approach will lead to frank discrimination against the diagnosis of ADD/ADHD, and it will lead people to refuse to get it diagnosed or treated. In other words, it will push the diagnosis underground – and we all know that there are much more serious consequences to that.
I also encourage people connected to advocacy groups all over the world to be aware of this potential danger lurking on the sidelines for other countries.
We want to advocate for the proper recognition and support for ADHD – not frank discrimination which leads to ignorance, mistreatment and forces people with ADD to go into hiding for fear of real persecution.
Please share this post with others who need to know about it, and share your comments and thoughts below.
p.s. a similar discrimination issue is going for pilots with ADD. You can read my post about it here: http://addadhdblog.com/adhd-pilots-medication-and-the-faa/, and you can read about the battle of a Doctor with ADD (who is bravely fighting the FAA) here: http://www.adhdpilots.org/
p.p.s. This issue has got me pretty concerned and ticked off. If you have other examples of ‘discrimination against ADD’, please enter your comments below. Maybe we can get more people aware of it and help to support you to overcome it.
[tags] ADHD, ADD, Driving, Discrimination, Pilots, ADHD Medication [/tags]