Island adults will soon have access to new ADHD clinics
The pilot project will start in Charlottetown and Summerside
Two new clinics will soon be available for adults living with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder on the Island.
The initiative is a partnership between UPEI and the provincial government, and will be led by retired pediatrician and ADHD specialist Dr. David Wong.
The $1 million investment is a pilot project that will start with clinics in Charlottetown and Summerside, and will first focus on teens who are too old for pediatric care to help them get started in adult life.
Those who are diagnosed can access supports that include prescription adjustments, counselling and coaching. The clinic will also provide assessment services for those who are undiagnosed, showing symptoms or are at risk of ADHD.
Adult ADHD gets recognized
For years, Wong has been one of the Island's only specialists dedicated to ADHD with much of his work focused on children.
He said the disorder does not stop when children age out of pediatric care, so there is a huge demand for adult support.
"As they go through life, they will have new challenges," he said. "Some of them need help even into their 70s."
Wong estimates there are currently more than 7,000 Islanders living with ADHD, many of them undiagnosed. There are already 400 on a wait list to see him for an assessment.
Sandy Slade, ADHD P.E.I.'s executive director, said symptoms like hyperactivity can turn into anxiety as an adult.
He said other symptoms like distractibility, that wasn't a problem in the past, could become issues as a person ages.
"It was only in the last couple of years has adult ADHD been recognized, so it's good that they're doing this to kind of catch up," he said.
Islanders will be able to refer themselves if they don't have a family doctor.
More details about the program are expected to be released in May.
With files from Jessica Doria-Brown