8 Myths about ADHD ...

Jennifer

8 Myths about ADHD ...
8 Myths about ADHD ...

A decade or so ago, a child’s diagnosis of ADHD would send a parent into a flurry of worry, but nowadays, we know so much about the condition, and there are so many ways to treat it, there’s no need to panic. A few conversations with your child’s teachers and pediatrician will reveal that so many of the frightening, disheartening myths about ADHD are just that — myths! Here are a few myths about ADHD, with real facts to disprove them all.

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1

Kids Outgrow It

If ADHD is left untreated, it will follow the child into their teen years, and often into adulthood. That’s why successful, early treatment, including behavior modification and perhaps pharmaceutical therapy, is so important.

2

Only Hyper Kids Have It

This isn’t true. Some children have ADHD without exhibiting any hyper-activity at all, while in other children, that hyper behavior is almost a trademark. There are three sub-types of ADHD, so it’s completely possible for a child who sits still with ease to have the “inattentive” condition — and for a child who is hyper to have the more “hyperactive/compulsive” sub-type.

3

It’s a Discipline Issue, That’s All

ADHD is a real physical ailment, one that can cause children with the disorder to have difficulty controlling some of their behavior. This doesn’t mean they’re “bad” or “troubled” any more than any other child, and a child with ADHD didn’t develop it due to poor discipline.

4

It’s Caused by a Poor Diet

While too much fat or sugar in anyone’s diet isn’t healthy, it doesn’t cause or worsen ADHD. Sugar and caffeine can make children hyper, which may cause them to have a hard time focusing, but that’s not the same as ADHD.

5

Ritalin (or Another Pill) Can Cure It

Right now, there’s no “cure” for ADHD, but the drug Ritalin has proven to be very effective at helping children with add focus and be less hyperactive. On its own, though, it’s not going to work very well — it must be part of an overall treatment plan that features tutoring, among other things.

6

Kids with ADHD Don’t Have a Future

This is definitely untrue. Did you know that photographer Ansel Adams, statesman Benjamin Franklin, poets Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson and Microsoft founder Bill Gates all had ADHD as children? They’re just a few of the millions of famous people who had ADHD, and it doesn’t seem to have hindered their success at all.

7

Kid Who Take Medication for ADHD Have a Higher Risk of Becoming Drug Addicts

Children and teenagers with ADHD are often impulsive, but this doesn’t mean they’re any more likely to experiment with drugs or drinking than any other teenager. In fact, they may be even more likely to have respect for prescription drugs than most teens.

8

Boys Have It More than Girls

While the numbers of boys and girls with the condition don’t differ by much, it is more often diagnosed in boys because they tend to exhibit the “hyper” sub-type, and girls more often will exhibit the “inattentive” sub-type. Both sub-types of the condition need to be diagnosed and treated, though, so if you suspect your daughter may be affected, even if she’s not “hyper,” get help!

These are just a few of the common misconceptions about ADHD, and I’m so glad I could help disprove them! Of course if you have any questions or concerns, it’s always a good idea to talk to your child’s pediatrician and teacher… but in the meantime, if your child has ADHD, can you help dispel any myths? What other ADHD misconceptions can you clear up?

Top Photo Credit: Christopher Futcher

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