By Derrick C. Parker
Scioto Voice Writer
ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is characterized as a mental disorder marked by an ongoing pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity and impulsiveness that interferes with functioning or development. It is one of the most commonly misunderstood mental disorders among parents and teachers in the United States.
Wheelersburg River Days candidate Kylan Canary hopes to shed some light on ADHD within our county.
“Being in the River Days Pageant makes me feel like I can really do something in this community that I’ve never had a chance to do before,” said Canary. “It gives me the opportunity and platform to make a difference…ADHD is a topic some people are either uncomfortable addressing or simply don’t understand. My goal is for people in Scioto County to acknowledge the disorder and have a better awareness about what it is.”
For Canary, ADHD hits close to home. Her brother, Trey, has the disorder.
“There are three facets of ADHD: hyperactivity, compulsivity, and inattentiveness,” explained Canary. “Trey has inattentiveness and some compulsive behaviors as well. He has trouble focusing and paying attention. For example, in the middle of a conversation he will just blurt something out without thinking. It affects him in both his school and social life. In class, he needs constant reminders to stay on task.”
“Having ADHD really does set him apart from other kids sometimes.”
Canary is having a fundraiser to help sponsor her river days campaign called ‘Camp ADHDitude’ on Friday, June 1st from 9-11AM in the Wheelersburg High School cafeteria. The camp is for children in grades K-3 and will help both those with and without ADHD who struggle with maintaining focus.
“Every single one of us struggles with focusing sometimes,” said Canary. “So, I thought it would be a great idea to include all kids.”
The event will have five stations: diet, physical activity, learning strategies, breathing techniques, and figiting.
“The breathing station will help teach relaxation. It can help with hyperactivity and constantly wanting to move around. Deep breathing and finger tracing can be a good coping method. The diet station will teach what foods to avoid that can make matters worse, such as sugar, caffeine, and artificial food coloring.”
Proceeds for the event will go towards buying equipment for Wheelersburg Local Schools for children with ADHD (such as stress balls, and desk bands). Currently, over 6 million children across the country suffer from ADHD and many do not have access to such equipment.
Canary is also involved in a number of activities at WHS. She’s a cheerleader, runs track, is Vice President of the junior class, and is a member of Key Club and the prom committee. And while she hasn’t officially nailed down a major and college of her choice, she says she would love to become an architect.
“It’s what I really want to do,” said Canary. “And it’s not offered at many colleges, so I’m looking mostly at large universities such as the University of Cincinnati…But I want to build homes. I love houses and the architecture behind them.”
Canary says the River Days Pageant experience has been nothing but positive thus far.
“I love the other girls. Sometimes it can be crazy with a group of girls together, but we all get along very well. It’s been truly awesome. I’m excited for River Days. Maybe a bit nervous, too, but I can’t wait for it to get here.”
Finally, she has a message for the readers out there.
“I just want all the readers out there to know that I’m hoping to make a difference in this community and I hope they will support me in that.”