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LDAO supports the right of students with ADHD to equitable access to special education in Ontario

Attention: Education Editor, Health/Medical Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor

TORONTO, ONTARIO, MEDIA ADVISORY–(Marketwire – Nov. 2, 2010) – On October 27, 2010 the Centre for ADHD Advocacy, Canada (CADDAC) released its report card on access to special education for students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) across Canada. Ontario was one of only three provinces that received a failing grade.

The Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario (LDAO) is the organization representing more than 40% of students in Ontario
with special education needs. The LDAO definition of Learning Disabilities, 2001 includes the statement: “‘Learning Disabilities’ refers to a variety of
disorders that affect the acquisition, retention, understanding, organization or use of verbal and/or non-verbal information. These disorders result from
impairments in one or more psychological processes related to learning, in combination with otherwise average abilities essential for thinking and reasoning”.

Psychological processes are defined to include memory and attention as well as executive functions. Therefore many students with ADHD would be identified under learning disabilities if the Ontario Ministry of Education officially used the LDAO definition, which was developed under a Ministry funded initiative.

However, students with ADHD who do not meet the criteria for learning disabilities may also struggle with academic skills and should have equitable access to special education programs and services.

LDAO agrees with the statement by Dr. Rosemary Tannock that “our school systems need to become more educated about this legitimate disorder and officially recognize that students with ADHD are indeed special learners that require school accommodations as part
of their treatment.”

In its official policy on ADHD, LDAO “advocates for the provision of services to individuals with ADHD as part of the overall program
of services provided by ministries, school boards and other agencies”.

In an Ontario that was the first province to enact landmark legislation, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), it is only fair that students with ADHD have equitable access to special education programs and services. The
Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario, along with its 20 local chapters, represents the interests of children, youth and adults with learning disabilities throughout Ontario.

LDAO is a charitable organization established in 1964, and its members include parents, individuals with learning disabilities, educators
and professionals. /For further information: Diane Wagner, Manager, Public Policy, Client Services & Training Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario
416-929-4311 Ex. 22

Reproduced from