Common Myths about ADHD Get the facts, spread the truth
MYTH: ADHD is not real.
FACT: ADHD is real, and has been demonstrated in countless research studies. Medical, psychological, and educational organizations such as the National Institute of Health, the American Academy of Pediatricians, the American Medical Association, and the American Psychological Association acknowledge ADHD as a disorder.
MYTH: ADHD is caused by poor parenting.
FACT: ADHD is a biological disorder. A child with ADHD has difficulty controlling impulses. Therefore, a child with ADHD may repeatedly misbehave despite being raised by parents who are teaching good behavior. In fact, overly strict discipline can make ADHD symptoms worse by punishing a child for behaviors he or she can not control.
MYTH: My child can concentrate on TV and/or Video Games, so he/she does not have ADHD.
.FACT: Children with ADHD are often able to pay attention for longer periods of time to things that present a lot of stimulation (i.e., TV, video games, toys). Indeed, many children with ADHD will actually hyperfocus on TV or videogames. This can make it very difficult for them to stop attending to TV or videogames, as the high degree of electronic stimulation makes it difficult for them to attend to what is going on around them.
MYTH: Only boys have ADHD.
FACT: ADHD is often seen in boys and girls. ADHD is not gender specific. Boys are 3 times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD, but many girls also have ADHD.
MYTH: Children who take medication for ADHD will abuse drugs as teenagers.
FACT: Children who take medication for ADHD are actually less likely to use drugs than children with ADHD who do not take medication. ADHD medication is proven to be safe and effective in reducing symptoms. Leaving ADHD untreated increases the chances that a child or teenager will engage in risky behaviors like drug use.
MYTH: Children with ADHD get unfair advantages in school
FACT: Accommodations at school help ADHD overcome their attention problems so they can perform as well as their peers. ADHD interferes with children's ability to pay attention, behave appropriately, and perform up to their potential. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that school give accommodations to children with disabilities that interfere with school performance. The accommodations given to children with ADHD do not give them an unfair advantage. Rather they help these children catch up to their peers.
MYTH: Children with ADHD will outgrow the disorder.
FACT: Most people with ADHD continue to have ADHD as teenagers and as adults. 70% will have ADHD in their adolescent years and about 50% throughout adulthood.
MYTH: People with ADHD are dumb or lazy.
FACT: ADHD has nothing to do with intelligence or effort. Research shows that people with ADHD have above-average intelligence. Many very smart and successful people have had ADHD. Children with ADHD are not lazy or unmotivated. In fact, most children with ADHD have to work much harder than their peers every day to pay attention and behave.