Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Studying Treatment, Educating Congress

The MTA Update
Last week, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) announced its latest follow-up information on the nation’s most comprehensive treatment study of persons with AD/HD—the Multimodal Treatment Study on AD/HD, known as the “MTA Study.” This study was first published in 1999, its findings updated in 2004, and now again in 2007. Researchers are following the same group of children over a number of years.

The lessons from the study are that comprehensive treatment is the most effective treatment and that comprehensive treatment is most likely to have a long-term impact if it is maintained with intensity over time. Comprehensive treatment is treatment combining family education, behavioral modification, medication therapy, and special educational modifications for children. Intensity means ongoing and regular activity in each of these areas, carefully monitored by the family and professionals. When intensity of treatment declined, treatment success declined. For a subset of children, there were concerns about growth, future delinquency, and future substance use. These concerns reinforce the need to carefully monitor treatment, which should be intensive.

For further information on the study, go to our Web sites— for the complete statement from CHADD, and for the NIMH statement. The study is published in the August issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Morning on the Hill
On November 8, all CHADD annual conference attendees will visit with their U.S. Congressional delegations. CHADD is making the appointments, conducting the training, and providing the transportation and support.

Last week, our Director of Public Policy, Paul Seifert, wrote all CHADD members with e-mail addresses, explaining our plans to visit the U.S. Congress. We encourage anyone interested in AD/HD to participate in this public education event. Here is what Paul wrote:
Now, we know the thought of meeting with your U.S. Representatives and Senators can be, well, a little daunting…so we’re making it as easy as…taking a walk! And of course you have questions—we have answers!

Q) I’ve never met with my elected officials and I don’t how to make an appointment.
A) That’s okay because CHADD will handle all that for you.

Q) I’m worried about how to get to the Capitol and back.
A) No problem. We’ll provide wheelchair-accessible, climate-controlled coach buses to and from the Capitol and get you back in time for lunch!

Q) What if get lost and maybe miss the rest of conference?
A) We have you covered! Each and every step of your visit will be guided along the way by experienced and trained CHADD Hill Visit “Captains.”

Q) I won’t be all alone, will I?
A) Absolutely not! Hundreds of CHADD conference attendees will be there with you—easily recognizable, and you’ll be meeting with your Representatives and Senators with other CHADD members from your home state!

Q) What if I get tired or stressed while I’m there, where can I go?
A) We’ll have two staffed rooms, one on the House side one on the Senate side, for you to relax in, grab a soda or juice, rest your feet, and chat with other CHADD members. Just don’t get too comfortable because there’s a whole evening of activities we wouldn’t want you to miss.

Q) But I’m not an expert on the issues; I don’t know what to say!
A) No worries. We’ll provide handouts on a few special issues, and facilitators will be assigned to each and every meeting to guide the discussion. All you need to do is tell your story about how AD/HD has affected you and/or your loved ones; and you already know about that. Speak from your personal experience.

Q) What if they ask a question I can’t answer?
A) Just tell them we’ll get back to them. Each meeting facilitator will have a way to get those questions to us.

Hmmm…okay, well, that sounds easy enough.

Q) Now, how do I get signed up for the Morning on the Hill?
A) Easy… just register for the Conference and we’ll handle it from there.

Q) Oh, one last thing, what should I wear?
A) Whatever you want as long as it’s comfortable.

And for more on CHADD’s Conference go to our Web site.
So, come to Washington and speak from your own personal experience and let Congress know we’re paying attention!

I hope to see you in Washington in November.


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