Nearly one in ten school-aged children are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
For some, it's just a statistic. To a parent raising an ADHD child, it's life changing, which is why the Liverpool Central School District now offers an ADHD parent support group.
The group-created and organized by Kim Saffioti, ADHD coach; Leah Stuck, Nate Perry Elementary psychologist; and Leighanne Herd, NPE fourth grade teacher-started last fall, after Saffioti and Herd both voiced the need for a parent support group in a community.
"People don't understand that ADHD affects the whole family, not just the child or the parent," said Herd, and it is important for parents to share stories and relate to other parents going through the same situation.
When the trio presented the school district with the idea for the support group, the district was very supportive and gave the go-ahead shortly after, said Stuck.
With backgrounds in medicine (Saffioti is also a registered nurse), psychology and teaching, and a having been personally affected by ADHD, the three women had a good basis to start planning, and a consensus on running the group was reached very quickly, said Herd.
The group is open to Liverpool families and teachers raising ADHD children from pre-school to adulthood.
After the first meeting on Jan. 10, the trio agreed that the parent participants have brought their own goals to the group. At the first meeting, many expressed an interest in learning more about ADHD in general, available resources, strategies on behavior management, and forging relationships with other parents in the group.
"Parents in the group are able to relate to one another in a compassionate way when they have some information to share. There's such power in hearing other people's stories," said Saffioti.
"There were a lot of tissues passes around the first meeting, a lot of tears as parents shared their stories. Having an ADHD child is not what you think of when you go into parenting. It's difficult," said Herd. "These parents should be commended for getting up everyday, and be told that they're doing OK," said Herd.