ADHD Myths

from The Diary of a First Grade Teacher

ADHD myths are widespread. Due to a lack of accurate information, misconceptions about ADHD can bring tears and make it harder for your child to adjust to this trying condition.

Here are some common myths – with the TRUTH behind them.

Myth #1 – ADHD is Not Real

ADHD is a true disorder that begins in early childhood, usually around the ages of 5-to-8 years old. It’s a condition that affects how the brain works, especially in the center that controls concentration, focus, and activity.

Scientists don’t know what causes ADHD, but they are gaining insights into how the brain works and the conditions that can interfere with its proper functioning. They do know that in the most severe cases ADHD can last into adulthood.

ADHD Myth #2 – Caused by Bad Parenting

Since ADHD begins in the brain, your parenting skills didn’t cause the condition to affect your child. But facing the challenges of ADHD can be demanding. MUCH is required of you, the parent ...

A medical diagnosis of ADHD means your child will need you to help him or her learn coping skills.

Myth #3 – Unfair Advantages in School

According to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), ADHD is a classified disability. The brain functions differently in individuals with ADHD, so it’s often hard for them to concentrate, to stay organized, to comply with classroom rules, and to participate in group activities.

You must BE SURE to tell every one of your child’s teachers about your child’s medical diagnosis. Please do this the first week of school, if not sooner.

Classroom modifications make it easier for your child to take advantage of the same opportunities that other kids have. But without such modifications, it can be harder for children with ADHD to learn successfully in the regular classroom.

ADHD Myth #4 – Medication is Over-prescribed

In my opinion, this one is debatable, but studies indicate that medication might be under-prescribed. The medications are not cheap and some groups - based on socio-economic status - are underrepresented in the statistics.

For example, due to cost, minority children are less likely to seek treatment. Also, language barriers, availability, and lack of perceived need may be problems.

Myth #5 – Childhood Condition

Children with severe ADHD symptoms are more likely to have to deal with the condition as an adult. And adults who were not diagnosed in childhood - but who have concentration issues and trouble holding down a job - may have ADHD.

But those who were diagnosed in childhood and received help with diet and/or medication can transition easier into adulthood. With proper medical diagnosis, education, and parental help, they can learn ways to change their behaviors.

ADHD Myth #6 – Disabled for Life

A disability is a part of you, but not completely who you are. And when you use all the resources at your disposal to fight back, ADHD doesn’t have to define a person’s future.

Several famous people - Abraham Lincoln, George Bernard Shaw, Benjamin Franklin, and Mozart - were diagnosed with ADHD. They were able to make their “disability” work for them.

But you don’t have to be famous to make a success of your life with ADHD.

Yes, ADHD is a challenging condition, but it can be managed with help and with hard work. As researchers learn more and more about how the brain works, new treatments and choices will become available.


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