Marty Clark

Marty Clark

As the mother of two children diagnosed with ADHD, a common childhood neurological developmental disorder that affects concentration and school performance, Ortega Forest resident Marty Clark had a lot of questions.

One way Clark was able to get answers was to attend CHADD (Children & Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) of Duval County monthly meetings. CHADD’s professional speakers and programs provide updates regarding services and treatments. Soon Clark began to volunteer for CHADD.

“When a child is diagnosed with ADHD, parents have so many questions. I like to meet other parents coping with this and share what I have learned with them. Meetings are just not enough. Families are in crisis dealing with the many challenges of ADHD and it helps to be able to talk to a parent who has already been through it,” Clark said.

ADHD may cause hyperactivity or impulsive behavior. Clarke said the concerns of parents whose children suffer with ADHD are heightened by the complexity of the diagnosis and the many different medications and strategies for coping with the disorder.

“Medications and treatments for ADD (Attention-Deficit Disorder) or ADHD (Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) are constantly advancing. As a mother and future grandmother I want to stay up-to-date so I can explain and share new information with other families,” she said. Her children are now young adults and she is currently the CHADD Chapter Coordinator for Duval County.

Clark also spends her days helping children through her position as programs supervisor at the Children’s Home Society of Florida–Buckner Division in Jacksonville. Clark says that a career in social work requires one to go above and beyond and she voluntarily gives far more than 40 hours a week. She describes it as a labor of love and an attitude of helping others that she learned from her parents, Joe and Martha Welker.

Clark is a Jacksonville native who grew up on Grand Avenue in an Old Ortega family home. Her late father, Joe, ran his landscape business, Duval Landscaping Company, in his home office from 1948 to 2005. He worked on most of the yards in the historic district, including for Ninah Cummer.

“My dad served in WWII and settled in Jacksonville to start his business. He and Mother volunteered in many ways. Dad was a founder of the Christmas International House for foreign students to stay over holidays at Riverside Presbyterian Church. He helped found the Riverside Presbyterian House & Apartments for seniors and was passionate about world mission aid because of his wartime experiences,” Clark said. “Mom helped the PTA, Girl Scouts and volunteered to substitute teach in inner city public schools during the teachers’ strikes because she felt it was terribly wrong for the children who needed school most, to miss classes.”

By Julie Kerns Garmendia
Resident Community News

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