WASHINGTON (WDVM) — Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder — or ADHD — is a condition that affects a person’s ability to pay attention, sit still or control certain behaviors.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, over three million people suffer from the disorder — mainly impacting children.

The month of October is ADHD Awareness Month, used to educate people about the disorder and help demolish the stigma associated with it.

WDVM spoke with Trina Elliott, who is a mother in Frederick County. She expressed how she is constantly advocating for her son, who has ADHD.

Elliott says it has been hard to get others to understand her child and eliminate the stigma they associate his behavior with.

“Advocating for children is key, and parents should understand the signs early on so their child won’t go through so many difficulties. Early signs of ADHD include persistent repetition of words, unable to concentrate on one thing, aggression, forgetfulness, or mood swings, but these things can be conquered through support,” said Elliott.

Advocates like Ashley VanCleef devote all their energy to helping people with ADHD. VanCleef represents parents as they seek supports for students with disabilities including ADHD.

Her firm helps parents in understanding what their child needs in school but also working alongside the school team to ensure these needs are reflected in the students’ plans. 

VanCleef expressed that Identification of a student’s needs is critically important to ensure they receive the right supports and services. 

“We help parents in looking at the whole child and helping them to ensure the schools are addressing all of their child’s needs,” said VanCleef.