AD/HD and Sports Participation


CHADD Statement on AD/HD and Sports Participation

1. AD/HD is a real disorder that affects all areas of individuals’ lives, including participation in organized athletic competition.

2. Sports officials at all levels of athletics should take this into consideration as they make decisions affecting the lives of athletes who participate in their programs or leagues.

3. While it is true that the decisions made in professional and other high-level athletic circles affect only a small number of individuals, they nonetheless send a symbolic message to millions of people across the country and around the world about the importance of treating AD/HD and other disorders.

4. We expect mental health issues to be treated with the same sensitivity, respect and thoughtfulness as would be given to other important health concerns, such as diabetes, heart disease, or seizures.

5. The diagnosis of AD/HD must always be made according to evidence-based professional practice guidelines. The treatment of AD/HD must emphasize the science-based approach and frequently involves a combination of interventions. Children and adults who are properly diagnosed with AD/HD should not have to choose between taking their appropriately prescribed medication and participating in the sport of their choice.

6. CHADD calls upon all local, national, and international athletic organizations to ensure that the appropriate use of properly prescribed medication for the treatment of AD/HD is permissible under the organization’s medical guidelines and rules for eligibility.

7. Every effort should be made to ensure that all people with AD/HD receive proper treatment. Efforts should also be made to eliminate the misuse of stimulant medication, including misuse by those who have not received an AD/HD diagnosis from a qualified healthcare professional. These are not mutually exclusive goals; but when pursued together, they will enhance the ability of individuals with AD/HD to lead the productive, fulfilling lives they deserve.

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