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Last October 20, 2018, the Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) Society of the Philippines (ADHDSP) concluded with a big round of applause its two-day 9th ADHD National Conference held in the School of Design and Arts Campus Theatre of De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde after a year of preparation.

As this year’s culminating activity for the National ADHD Awareness Week celebration, the organizers dubbed the event “ADHD Innovations: Breaking the Barriers to Inclusion” in response to the nation’s thrust of pushing for a more inclusive educational system and a more inclusive society.

Participants of the event were composed of educators, administrators, counselors, doctors, therapists, parents and even individuals with ADHD from different parts of the country like Batanes, Bataan, Cavite, Bulacan, Laguna, Pangasinan, Western Mindanao, including different cities of Metro Manila like Quezon City, Mandaluyong, San Juan, Valenzuela, Manila, Rizal, Marikina, Muntinlupa, among others.

A line-up of relevant topics highlighted the event and was delivered by excellent speakers, each from their own fields of expertise. On the first day of the conference, Dr. Francis Xavier Dimalanta tackled ADHD and DSM-5 while Dr. Mary Ann Abacan discussed ADHD and Genetics. Dr. Raymond Escalona, on the other hand, challenged the audience to consider Functional Medicine’s Approach to neurodevelopmental disorders like ADHD which was later connected to Dr. Carlos Pizarro’s talk on Mindfulness, Love and Compassion. In between sessions, the participants enjoyed some raffles.

On the second day, Eli Lunaria warmed up the event with his puppet show and was later on joined by his father, Wanlu Lunaria for an interview on how they deal with ADHD. Continuing the main topics from day one was Mr. Rogelio Dela Cruz who talked about ADHD and Educational Technology. The audience later on had a deeper understanding of inclusion with Dr. Therese Bustos’ topic emphasizing children with ADHD’s placement in general education. As research is an important component of the whole equation, Dr. Maricar Prudente clarified what Action Research is, who conducts it and what its role is in education. Mr. Rizalio Sanchez or “sir Zaldy” as he was fondly called by many, discussed Philippine Policies on PWDs to show how knowledge of existing laws on disability empowers those in the disability sector including their families.

With four workshops to choose from like Dr. Myra Tantengco’s talk on Universal Design for Learning, Teacher Grace Flores-Osio’s talk on Best Teaching Practices for Students with Reading & Math-related Co-morbidities, Ms. Krystel Tolentino’s talk on Job Coaching and Dr. Nino Jose Mateo’s Application of Choice Theory in managing ADHD; the participants hoped to undergo a full seminar tackling each topic in the future as they were limited to choosing only one of the four very interesting line-up.

Following the workshop is a panel discussion plenary showing a multidisciplinary team approach in dealing with issues of depression on a teenager with ADHD. Facilitated by Dr. Ma. Theresa Arranz-Lim, a Developmental Pediatrician, the panel were composed of Dr. Cornelio Banaag, Psychiatrist; Dr. Joie Fe Ancheta, Guidance Counselor; and Mr. Gerald Javellana, Basic Education Teacher. Thru the panel discussion, participants saw a different way of looking and appreciating proper management of individuals with ADHD.

Organized by the AD/HD Society of the Philippines in partnership with the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, NCDA, DOT, PCSO, Rotary Club of Manila, and AFP; together with media partners Light TV and ANC, in cooperation with the DFA, DOH, CSC, DILG, DSWD, TESDA, DOTr, FPPF, PIA and other media contributors and souvenir program sponsors; the event was also made possible by corporate sponsors like SM Cares and Life Science Center for Wellness & Preventive Medicine.

Michael Peralta

Author dreddurius

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