Pennington, now 41, was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) at age 18. Shire Pharmaceuticals approached the popular handyman in 2005 to serve as a spokesman for the company’s ADHD medication. Now, for the second year running, Pennington and a team of experts man a hotline for the company’s “ADHD Experts on Call” event, which invites the public to phone in questions about living and thriving with ADHD on Sept. 20, National ADHD Awareness Day.
Affecting between 3% and 7% of all school-age children, ADHD is marked by inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. Untreated, it can have serious consequences – including school failure, depression, relationship problems, substance abuse, juvenile delinquency, and an increased risk for accidental injuries – according to information from Children and Adults with ADHD (CHADD), a nonprofit group.
Proper diagnosis and treatment has changed Pennington’s life. “It was like night and day,” he says. “My grades improved dramatically, I went from sitting on the bench to scoring in soccer, and I could actually talk to girls.” His newfound ability to concentrate also helped him hone the carpentry skills that have led him to create new homes for families in need, including some that were displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
“It’s been an incredible ride… I did not think a kid with ADHD would be able to do (what) I have done,” he says. “And if I can inspire mothers and other kids with ADHD, that’s what I want to do.”
Ref: – Abridged from
Denise Mann WebMD the Magazine / July/August 2006 p. 19.