PEI

Island adults will soon have access to new ADHD clinics

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 pilot project will start in Charlottetown and Summerside

The $1 million initiative between UPEI and the provincial government, and led by retired pediatrician and ADHD specialist Dr. David Wong, will start with clinics in Charlottetown and Summerside. (Tracy Lightfoot/CBC)

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.

Retired pediatrician and ADHD specialist Dr. David Wong estimates there are currently more than 7,000 Islanders living with ADHD, many of them undiagnosed. (Jessica Doria-Brown/CBC)

"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.

ADHD P.E.I.'s executive director Sandy Slade said symptoms are at risk of turning into mental health issues and becoming problems as a person ages. (Jessica Doria-Brown/CBC)

"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

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now