There are a lot of myths out there about ADHD. If you have a child diagnosed with ADHD, you have heard more than one misconception that will make it all the more challenging to be of genuine help. After all, you want to know what is true so that you can best support your child. After all, he/she depends on you!
Perhaps the best place to begin is to filter between fact and fiction. Once you know the facts, you are bound to feel more comfortable and confident in your decisions. What is the reality behind some of the most common myths about ADHD?
Myth #1 ADHD isn’t a Medical Condition
Fact: NIH, CDC and the American Psychiatric Association all regard ADHD as a medical condition. The research shows that ADHD is genetic—that 25% of those with ADHD have a parent who has ADHD as well. What’s more brain imaging studies show differences in brain development between kids with ADHD and kids without ADHD.
Myth #2 Only Boys Have ADHD
Fact: Here is a real tricky one. It is true that twice as many boys as girls are diagnosed with ADHD. But this doesn’t mean that girls don’t have ADHD as well. It is just more likely that girls are overlooked and unfortunately remain undiagnosed.
Also, attention deficits among girls present differently than with boys which may account for the girls being overlooked. Whereas boys struggle more with being impulsive and hyperactive, girls are often more “daydreamy.”
Myth #3 ADHD Comes From Lousy Parenting
Fact: People who don’t know your child may think that your child struggles with certain behaviors due to your ineffective parenting, such as lack of discipline. They don’t realize that your child speaks or misbehaves as a result of a medical condition and has nothing to do with your success as a parent.
Myth #4 ADHD Children Don’t Try Hard Enough to Pay Attention
Fact: What people don’t realize is that children who are suffering from ADHD often are working as hard as they can pay attention. Some of the time they are trying even harder than other children. It isn’t that these children are lazy or lack motivation.
Imagine telling a kid who is nearsighted to take off his glasses and see further away. Well, that’s precisely what you are doing when you say to a child with ADHD, “just focus!” The research shows that children with ADHD have different neural pathways in their brains responsible for focusing that work less efficiently than other children.
Myth #5 Kids With ADHD Will Outgrow it
Fact: Unfortunately most of the children who have ADHD in their early years never entirely outgrow it. That being said, some of the symptoms can either disappear or become less pronounced as the child matures. Besides as children grow older, they often learn management strategies that help them to cope.
Myth #6 The Only Way to Treat ADHD is With Medication
Fact: It happens to be that for around 80% of the children suffering ADHD the most effective treatment is medication. However, there are alternative treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy. And some other more innovative approaches are being explored as well.
The Benefit of Enlightenment!
And the best part is that now that you know the difference between myth and fact, you are in a much better position to help debunk the myths that others carry around as well!