CADDAC 2017 Accomplishments

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Web site

  • CADDAC launched our new web site in June of 2017
  • This site integrates our general web site with the ADHD Awareness Canada web site combining ADHD information and awareness and advocacy efforts
  • The site provides information on ADHD geared to parents, adults with ADHD and their families, adolescents and children with ADHD, educators, health care professionals and employers
  • The site hosts over 40 of our most popular ADHD information documents translated into French
  • The site prominently features our educational webinars and educational events, our current advocacy campaigns and CADDAC news
  • The site displays current blog posts and links to the CADDAC blog
  • The site links to past filmed presentations by ADHD experts hosted on YouTube for free viewing
  • The site links to all our social media platforms
  • The site provides CADDAC flyers for medical professionals to share with their patients and post-secondary reporting tools for medical professionals
  • Continuing up-dates to the new web site occur weekly/bi-monthly

Information Brochures and Postcards

  • CADDAC continues to ship ADHD child and adolescent and adult brochures as well as CADDAC resource postcards to doctor’s offices and clinics across Canada
  • CADDAC distributes brochures and postcards at patient educational events and community events
  • Brochures were given out in significant quantities at information booths during;
  • the Primary Care Conference
  • the CADDAC and CADDRA conferences
  • ADHD World Congress Conference and Family Day
  • Parent Expo
  • The adult and adolescence workshop
  • The ADHD PREP workshop
  • The TDSB Parent Special Education event
  • The Dorothy Hill Symposium for Ontario school psychologists
  • Community Health Services Presentation In Calgary

Brochures were shipped out after these events to physicians and clinics who requested larger quantities

Online Presentations and Webinars

  • During 2017 CADDAC presented another 5 live webinars which were recorded and added to the 6 existing webinars that can be accessed from our web site
  • Webinars are free to members or accessible for the reasonable cost of $10 for non-members
  • Webinars attendance is increasing membership registration

CADDAC Workshops and Conference

Two Day Parent ADHD PREP Program

March 18th and 19th and September 16th and 17th in the GTA area  

This year CADDAC presented our ADHD Parent Readiness Education Program twice due to the continued demand. We had full registration at each session.  In addition, CADDAC filmed the September workshop which is undergoing review and editing prior to making it accessible online.

Adolescence and Adulthood Workshop

This year CADDAC hosted a full day workshop featuring Dr. Umesh Jain, Jason Froats and Heidi Bernhardt. The series of presentations covered, Using Positive Aspects of ADHD: resiliency, tools and strategies to develop strengths, Electronic Addiction, the Adult ADHD Experience, Communication Strategies for Adolescents & Adults, Transitioning From Childhood ADHD into Adolescent ADHD and Beyond: what parents need to know, Transition to Post-Secondary Education for Students and their Parents and Adult ADHD in the Workplace. We had the largest attendance to-date.

CADDAC 9th Annual Two Day Conference

This year’s two day conference took place in Calgary at Foothills Academy. Our featured speaker this year was Dr. Thomas E. Brown and also included a roster of Canadian ADHD experts, Dr. Dr. Don Duncan, Dr. Sam Chang and Dr. Geraldine Farrell. Additional presenters were, Anne Price Ph.D, Meadow Schroeder, Ph.D., R Psych, Krista Forand, M.Ed., R. Psych, Amy Winters, M.Ed., R. Psych, Jaime Gaber, M.Sc., Larissa Predy, M.A., R.Psych, Dr. Brent MacDonald  Ph.D, Tanya Keto B.Ed., M.Ed., Sue Williams Brawn, PCC, PACG, Laura Godfrey, AAC and Heidi Bernhardt, RN

The conference was hosted at Foothills Academy and received nothing but positive reviews. This year we had our greatest number of attendees to date. The 2018 conference will be held in Halifax.

The ADHD World Congress Family Day

CADDAC was honoured to be asked to organize and run the World Congress Conference Family Day. The day was full of presentations by world renowned experts in the field of ADHD, Dr. Thomas Brown, Dr. Sandra Kooij, Dr. Penny Corkum, Dr. Don Duncan and Dr. Anthony Rostain. The registrations were so numerous that CADDAC had to turn people away after squeezing additional seating in the room.  The feedback was hugely positive with many requests for a return to the area.

Additional Presentations

Safe Schools Mississauga

Heidi Bernhardt presented on ADHD and Learning to a group of health workers and tutors working at this organization which assist at risk children and adolescents

TDSB Parents for Parents Conference

On April the 1st Heidi Bernhardt presented a workshop on “What Parents Need to Know When Advocating for Their Child with ADHD in the Ontario School System”

Durham School Board

On April the 5th Heidi Bernhardt presented at a parent information night at the Durham School Board

Calgary Children’s Hospital Community Education Services 

On October the 12th Heidi Bernhardt presented a workshop on ADHD and Learning which was hosted by Calgary Children’s Hospital’s Community Education Services. They commented that this was their most highly rated presentation to-date and hoped to arrange additional online training sessions with CADDAC in the future     

 Macaulay Clinic

On December the 12th Heidi Bernhardt presented to a group of support workers at this community clinic

CADDRA Conference

On October the 18th Heidi Bernhardt presented on “What Medical Professional Need to Know about ADHD and Education Systems” in Quebec City at the CADDRA Conference

Early Childhood ADHD Education Material

Work has begun on the development of information packages on early childhood ADHD for parents, childcare workers and early childhood educators. A committee consisting of an ADHD expert, an early childhood educator, a retired principal and educator, and an ADHD/Autism therapist will be working on this project. The goal will the development of an easily accessible information package combined with an online, and possibly also a live workshop, on the topic.


ADHD Awareness Month

This year’s Awareness Month began with a launch of our newest policy paper, “Inequitable Access to Education for Canadian Students with ADHD”. This paper covered issues in education for students with ADHD nationally as well as provincially. The summary of issues and asks of government can also be viewed on our web site.

The paper was sent to all Ministries of Education across Canada and resulted in numerous follow-up meetings with many of these ministries. Please access the section on “Advocacy” for further details. A media release and media outreach resulted in interviews with Global News in Winnipeg, CHEX TV, CBC Island Morning, Radio Canada, Cobourg Radio Station, and Accessibility Radio.

During Awareness Month CADDAC also launched a national survey to collect feedback from parents and care givers on their children’s experiences in Canadian education systems. The survey was promoted and remained up until February of 2018. It collected feedback on educators’ knowledge of ADHD and appropriate teaching strategies, access to special education resources, identification as exceptional learners, the practice of disciplining behaviours caused by ADHD symptoms and bullying as well as the impact all of these things had on students with ADHD. The survey resulted in 1029 responses and the feedback will be featured in a 2018 media release.  

The policy paper and awareness month messaging along with the survey were the underpinnings of a national ADHD in Education Campaign. This has led into an Ontario advocacy campaign during the 2018 election cycle and a campaign to support proposed changes to the BC Special Education Guidelines that have been promised by the BC Ministry of Education.  

Additional Media Interviews and Contact

  • Feb 16th CBC interviews, Halifax – Mainstreet, New Brunswick – Shift, Edmonton –  Radio Active, Montreal – Home Run, Whitehorse – Airplay, Windsor – The Bridge, Winnipeg – Up to Speed, Quebec City – Breakaway, Sudbury – Up North. Interviews were arranged so Dr. Ainslie Gray could cover additional regions. 
  • Oct 2nd set up interview with parent and CBC
  • Feb 23rd, set up interview on Adult ADHD with CBC Out in the Open
  • July 18th interview for Today’s Parent magazine
  • August 9th interview for Huffington Post article
  • Nov 1st Interview with MediaPlanet
  • Interviews with Club ADHD


National Advocacy

Generic Medication

After continuing advocacy work on the issue Health Canada (HC) released a notice regarding consultation on the proposed modification to bioequivalence standards for this type of medication. In September, CADDAC contacted HC expressing our pleasure with this review, but asked whether any decisions made would also impact medications that had already been approved for bioequivalency. This information is of importance because medication for ADHD would fall under this category.  If this was not to be the case, CADDAC wanted to know whether labeling informing patients that this medication was approved under old guidelines would be required. CADDAC has yet to hear back from Health Canada.

Education Policy Paper Follow-up

Following the release of our policy paper “Inequitable Access to Education for Canadian Students with ADHD” CADDAC had meeting with Ministries of Education:

  • October 23rd Newfoundland
  • October 24th New Brunswick
  • November 23rd Saskatchewan
  • November 30th Manitoba
  • December 4th British Columbia
  • December 12th Ontario
  • And corresponded with Alberta

Following most of these meetings CADDAC sent education material for educators to these contacts at their request. 

Provincial Advocacy

British Columbia

BC Pharmacare Advocacy Campaign

On May of 2017 CADDAC and CADDRA put out a joint media release, “New BC PharmaCare Coverage Discriminatory to Adults with ADHD” commenting on the fact that BC Pharmacare was only expanding its existing coverage of medications for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in the paediatric population. A CADDAC blog post and social media posts and tweets accompanied the release.

BC Education

During 2017 CADDAC reached out to the BC Ministry of Education special education representatives on more than one occasion to confirm that the proposed changes to the Ministry’s Special Education Guidelines which would add ADHD into the Learning Disability category, following the path of DSM 5 recognizing ADHD as a neurodevelopmental disorder, were still going to happen. CADDAC was informed that this had been somewhat altered and ADHD would now be included under its own special education category. A meeting occurred with the Minister of BC Education on December the 4th. To view the results of this meeting please access our blog post.

Safe Prescribing Guidelines

CADDAC has been working with CADDRA and the BC physician committee advocating for the removal of ADHD stimulant medication from the Safe Prescribing Guidelines published by the BC College of Physicians since a draft was released.  Meetings were held with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC (CPSBC), letters sent and the development of stand-alone stimulant medication guidelines proposed by CADDRA, all to no avail. At CADDRA’s request CADDAC has developed a patient advocacy campaign on this issue at the start of 2018.


Justice and Corrections

On January the 31st CADDAC met with Dena Bonnet, Crown Counsel of the Ontario Ministry of Justice to discuss points presented in our policy paper on ADHD in the Justice System, The Benefits of Recognizing and Treating ADHD in Canadian Justice and Correction Systems.

Ms. Bonnet advised that she would make this information available to crown prosecutors so they would be informed if ADHD was used during defence. She also facilitated contact with Ontario Legal Aid and the Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee. Follow-up meetings were arranged with both groups.  A.J. Grant-Nicholson, Policy Counsel, Mental Health Strategy Legal Aid Ontario advised that he would include our information on the OLA Mental Health Guidelines web site.

On February the 6th CADDAC, along with Dr. Gunter Lorberg, met with Julian Portelli Senior Policy Advisor to the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services to share the highlights from the ADHD Justice paper. As well as promising to share the information with his superiors Mr. Portelli suggested that we meet with Jennifer Shiller, Senior Policy Advisor in Minister Hoskins’ Office who has carriage of the Mental Health policy file there. Jennifer responded that she would like to move forward on our initiative to bring more awareness of ADHD to the correction and mental health systems and we met on March the 7th.  During the meeting Jennifer shared existing policies on assessing, diagnosing and treating ADHD with correction facilities across Ontario that had already been successfully implemented. A discussion followed on how best to disseminate our information and exiting practices with other Ontario facilities.  

On February the 9th CADDAC met with Michael Nicin, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of the Hon. Michael Coteau, Minister of Children and Youth Services to review the impact of ADHD on youth justice and other areas that ADHD impacts this ministry.

Ontario Public Drug Program (OPDP)

On-going advocacy work continued through-out the year on the inclusion of Intuniv in the Ontario formulary.


Recognition of CADDAC Resources and Expanded Resource Lists 

During the summer of 2017 CADDAC employed a student who researched clinics and independent physicians who diagnosed and treated ADHD throughout all provinces and territories in Canada. These clinicians and clinics were then all contacted individually. The aim of this contact was two-fold. Firstly, to inform them about CADDAC’s new web site and the information and support that we have available for families with ADHD and secondly to collect their information and ask permission to include them in our resource lists. New expanded resources lists were then created for all provinces and territories for us to share with parents and adults who contact CADDAC looking for medical resources. Clinics and professionals were also encouraged to become CADDAC subscribes or members. The result was a far greater awareness of CADDAC’s resources by medical professionals in the field of ADHD and more robust resources lists that can be shared with those seeking ADHD diagnosis and treatment.

Launch of the Club ADHD (Adult ADHD Podcast and Facebook Page)

This year CADDAC launched “Club ADHD”, a CADDAC resource for adults impacted by ADHD. Club ADHD is a place where adults with ADHD can learn about adult ADHD and talk about their experiences and ADHD issues. Club ADHD has three components:

  1. A Facebook Discussion Group
  2. A Biweekly Podcast Check out the most recent interview with Patrick McKenna
  3. A Twitter account

Club ADHD the Podcast is now also listed on Google Music

Social Media

  • This year we again had significant growth in our social media following on all platforms
  • Scheduled Facebook posts are occurring twice weekly and tweets three times a week
  • The blog is now prominently featured on the home page of the new web site further integrating social media platforms with the web site
  • Targeted Alberta and Calgary advertising was purchased on Facebook for our conference which resulted on increased awareness and membership purchases in Alberta    
  • Our Facebook page and Tweets are now also prominently featured on the new web site and are linked
  • CADDAC Facebook and Awareness Month pages were edited for Awareness Month and revitalized
  • All platforms were used to promote Awareness Month, the conference, our surveys and our advocacy initiatives
  • The blog was frequently linked to documents and campaigns featured on the websites increasing web site traffic

Increased Networking among Canadian ADHD Organizations/Support Groups Increased National Presence

  • In the past year CADDAC’s subscriber list has increased by over 30% and our membership by 20%
  • Communication with all ADHD local groups across Canada continued this year
  • Our presence in Alberta grew due to the conference being held in this area which also resulted in greater involvement in the survey from Alberta
  • Continued meeting and discussion occurred with those interested in staring support and/or advocacy groups across Canada. In particular discussions were held with three groups, one in Halifax, and two in BC, in Langley and Nanaimo
  • A CADDAC board member was assigned to increase networking with support groups
  • Recent communication confirmed the long term trend of some groups having a continuous presence, others starting and then dissolving within a few years while other new groups stated up
  • All groups were informed of the national education campaign and the survey
  • Groups in Ontario and BC were notified of Ontario and BC campaigns
  • Two support groups in Halifax and two in New Brunswick will be assisting with the 2018 conference organization and promotion

Representation at Conferences and Educational Events

CADDAC ran booths and shared Information material throughout the year at the:

  • TSDB Special Education Parent Day, April 1
  • ADHD World Congress in Vancouver April 20-23
  • Parent Expo May 6
  • Primary Care Conference, May 11-13
  • Dorothy Hill Ontario School Psychologist Symposium, Sept ember 28
  • Calgary Children’s Hospital Community Education Services October 12
  • CADDRA Conference in Quebec City October 27- 29
  • MacCaulay Clinic December 12

Working Groups/Collaboration and Communication

  • Contact with CMHA regarding a lack of ADHD information available at local chapters – shared our resources for them to make available
  • Attended Kid Brain Health Network Conference Feedback session and follow-up meeting with Dan Goldowitz Director of Research
  • Continued work with Awareness Month coalition members and other ADHD groups across Canada
  • Continued contact and communication with LDAO and MYCSE ADHD representative
  • Continued interaction and postings of clinics, support groups, research studies, coaches and other resources
  • Continued to assist ADHD researchers with study recruitment through our web site, blog and newsletter