Children and Adults with ADHD (CHADD)

Part 1: Challenges in ADHD Care for Children of Color

January 29, 2021

Podcast transcript


African Americans face many barriers in getting a proper ADHD evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment. Practitioners need to be mindful of the historical mistreatment of African Americans by the medical community in order to better serve these patients. Dr. Roberto Olivardia, a clinical psychologist and a lecturer in the department of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, describes specific barriers that African Americans face and how they are often misdiagnosed with behavioral problems or overdiagnosed without proper assessment. Dr. Olivardia talks about empowering African-American parents and families so they can advocate for their children, especially when facing a culturally insensitive school system or medical clinician. Additionally, he exhorts practitioners to understand the cultural context of where people of color are coming from and to help increase awareness of ADHD in the African-American community.


Roberto Olivardia, PhD

Dr. Roberto Olivardia is a clinical psychologist and lecturer in the department of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He maintains a private psychotherapy practice in Lexington, Massachusetts, where he specializes in the treatment of ADHD, executive functioning issues, and students with learning differences. He also specializes in the treatment of body dysmorphic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and eating disorders in boys and men. He currently serves on the professional advisory boards for CHADD, ADDA, and the National Association for Males with Eating Disorders.


Learning Objectives:  

  1. Learn the barriers to evaluation and treatment that exist in healthcare and the school system for African-American children.
  2. Understand the challenges for individuals who are not accurately diagnosed or treated.
  3. Learn the factors that can increase disparities in diagnosis and treatment of ADHD.
  4. Understand how African-American parents can advocate for their children with ADHD when dealing with a culturally insensitive school or medical clinician.

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