APDA: the Peruvian Association for Attention Deficit

APDA: the Peruvian Association for Attention Deficit

APDA (Peruvian Association for Attention Deficit) is a nonprofit institution founded by mothers of children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in 2002. Its first public activity was a roundtable discussion about this topic at an important school in Lima, in November of the same year, with the participation of three neurologists and two psychologists.

Information for parents and for adults with AD/HD
APDA main mission is to provide information to parents of children and adolescents with ADHD, to adults with this disorder and to professionals. We carry this out through our electronic newsletters, our website, the books we have published, lectures at schools and universities, the courses we have organized, ADHD coaching workshops and media interviews. Besides giving information, we play a role as public opinion leaders on the topics which are debated regarding ADHD treatment.

Electronic newsletters
Twenty electronic newsletters have been issued so far; they are sent, without charge, to more than 6000 e-mails belonging to people interested in the topic, including parents of children and adolescents with ADHD, adults with the disorder, physicians (neurologists, psychiatrists, pediatricians), psychologists, therapists and teachers. Medical and psychological articles are published, as well as articles belonging to other areas and testimonials written by parents and by ADHD patients. Almost half a hundred Peruvian and foreign professionals have sent us articles for the newsletters which also include news and links to additional information.

APDA website
Our website includes all the articles and testimonials published in the newsletters and also other articles written for the web, many of them on current issues or about topics which are under discussion in the field of ADHD. APDA web keeps the Peruvian public —and the Spanish speaking world— informed about the most important aspects of ADHD; many people visit it and it is well positioned in the search engine Google. It also has a section in English with the text of the articles that were written in this language, and with articles translated from Spanish to English, in addition to information about APDA and its activities.

APDA publications
In addition to the informational brochure, which is handed out free of charge at lectures and to people who request it, we have published five books on ADHD up to now.

In 2005 we published Por una vida con atención, an illustrated booklet that explains to children —in simple language— what ADHD is and how it is treated; it shows them it is a frequent disorder like any other medical problem. It was written by Belinda Castro, the mother of two children with ADHD; this publication will soon be out of print.

In 2006, the illustrated booklet Estrategias para el aula was published; it consists of strategies that are useful for the teachers to help children with ADHD. It was written by several professionals and mothers; many Peruvian schools are using it to train their teachers. The second edition is under preparation.

In 2007 the booklet Coaching para el TDAH appeared; it is the first publication in Spanish about this topic. The author is Beatriz Duda, who explains the origin of this practice and how useful it can be in different age groups, as well as its various modalities: group coaching at school, coaching workshop for parents and personal coaching for adolescents and adults.

Also in 2007, Belinda Castro’s second illustrated booklet was published, Yo tengo TDAH ¿y tú?, which talks about the life of a child with ADHD before and after being diagnosed and treated.

In 2008 APDA published its Manual de diagnóstico y manejo del TDAH: enfoque multidisciplinario, that deals with its medical aspects, the disorders associated to it, behavioral management in small children, learning therapy and private classes, behavioral therapy at home and school, coaching for ADHD, cognitive behavioral therapy and emotional therapy; finally, the standpoint of a mother about the diagnosis and treatment of this disorder is presented, and her advocacy role at school. The book was written by several authors.

Lectures at schools and universities
Since its foundation six years ago, APDA has given lectures at schools —especially in Lima but also in other cities in the country— on the general aspects of ADHD and on ADHD coaching. For the last three years it also has given lectures at universities in Lima for psychology and education students. In each conference, APDA informational brochure is handed out freely.

Courses on ADHD
After the initial roundtable APDA has organized courses for a wide public, all of which have had massive attendance.

In July 2004 we had a course on ADHD with the participation of distinguished Peruvian specialists. The various aspects of this disorder were covered, such as diagnosis, neurobiology, ADHD in adults, associated disorders, drug treatment and therapies.

In July 2007 we held an International Course on ADHD, with the participation of distinguished foreign and Peruvian professionals, the former belonging to the Iberoamerican forum of ADHD.

In June 2008 we had María Teresa Hill, Uruguayan educator, as invited lecturer, who held a meeting with parents and a workshop for professionals.

ADHD coaching workshop
Beatriz Duda, APDA president and ADHD coach, holds workshops on ADHD coaching for parents, professionals and adult patients. They consist of two hours each week for eight consecutive weeks, which cover the essential aspects of ADHD, the methodology of coaching and how this therapeutic modality can help organize the lives of children and adolescents with ADHD, and thus improve their academic performance and other aspects of their daily lives. So far, thirty four ADHD coaching workshops have been held.

APDA and the media
Since December 2003 APDA has had a presence in the media, through reports and interviews in prestigious newspapers and magazines of Peru and through television and radio interviews.

APDA voice in debates on drug treatment of ADHD
In the last three years there have been, on several occasions, unjustified alarming news about alleged harmful effects of drug treatment of ADHD, which at the time worried the parents of many children with this disorder. In every case, articles in APDA website analyzed each situation and kept Peruvian public —and the Spanish speaking world— informed through updates in these articles; they may be read at the periodismo médico  section of artículos on our website.

APDA projects that are being developed

Act on behalf of people with ADHD
APDA sponsored a bill drafted by two lawyers —parents of children with ADHD— in favor of people with ADHD, which was introduced by a congresswoman and is now at the Congress of Peru for discussion.

Coaching training course for ADHD
The first group of people who want to become professional coaches of ADHD in Peru is  being trained by APDA; the course will last for one year.

Book about coaching through the school
Under APDA sponsorship, a book is being written by several authors in order to help the implementation of coaching to children at school.

APDA project for the future
If we manage to get the necessary funds, we plan to have in the future a place in which we will provide direct care for the diagnosis and treatment of people with ADHD in Lima, Peru.

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Innovative Programs. Thursday, November 13, 2008 TC2 4:30 p.m.- 6:00 p.m.
CHADD 20th Annual International Conference. Anaheim, California.
Presented by Beatriz Duda, Maya Echegaray and Armando Filomeno.

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