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What Is CHADD?

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  • Written By: D. Fish
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 05 August 2014
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Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) is a nonprofit organization that was established in the U.S. state of Florida in 1987 by concerned psychologists and parents along with their children to increase awareness and gain support for individuals who have ADHD. CHADD offers education, support and advocacy to its members and surrounding communities. At the time of CHADD's establishment, ADHD was highly misunderstood, and children diagnosed with ADHD were viewed as having behavioral problems or uneducated. By 2010, CHADD was viewed as the leading nonprofit organization for children and adults with ADHD.

The organization has a staff that delegates everyday responsibilities and a board of directors that decides on the well-being of the organization and makes major decisions. The mission of the organization tries to promote ADHD assistance and is stated as CHADD CARES. CARES is an acronym that stands for "collaborative leadership, advocacy, research, education and support." As of 2010, the organization had about 20,000 members, mostly representing families of individuals with ADHD and a fraction of professionals who provided services to those with ADHD.

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To increase education of ADHD, CHADD maintains an active website for its members and inquiries. Outside of its website, the organization encourages several annual conferences and provides publications to increase awareness of ADHD. Sometimes these publications are simply in the form of informational brochures, but CHADD also distributes a periodic magazine entitled Attention. It also operates the National Resource Center on ADHD (NRC), which is federally funded by the United States' Center for Disease Control and Prevention and operates as an archive of information about ADHD.

At the conclusion of 2010, CHADD had incorporated more than 225 chapters in more than 40 U.S. states and Puerto Rico. The organization's members are mostly comprised of parent support groups for people who are affected by children with ADHD, but the number of adult support groups has continually grown. CHADD's leaders typically are volunteers and are fundamentally the foundation of the organization's success. The chapters offer local, personal support to members of their communities who are affected by individuals with ADHD.

The organization's public policy emphasis tries to promote and advocate those affected by this serious but treatable mental disorder. There has been a focus on the issue of United States' Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), but members of the organization also serve as chairs on other committees usually involving the education of children with ADHD and advances in medical treatments of the disorder. CHADD is partnered with federal agencies, medical groups and several other organizations.

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