ADHD: Common Myths And Misconceptions

According to The American Psychiatric Association, approximately five percent of children in the United States are living with ADHD, or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. If your child was recently diagnosed with ADHD or you believe they are exhibiting some symptoms of ADHD, you might be reluctant to treat your child's condition because of the stigma attached to the disorder. 

Here are a few of the most common myths and misconceptions associated with ADHD.

ADHD Isn't a Real Disorder

Unfortunately, many people believe that ADHD isn't a true medical condition and but merely a way for parents to explain while their child is naughty or as an excuse for their child's poor behavior in school. In reality, ADHD is a proven medical condition with specific symptoms and can be diagnosed.

Typically, ADHD is only diagnosed when a child exhibits a number of symptoms for a set amount of time, such as six months and the child must exhibit these symptoms in at least two settings, such as daycare or school and at home. The symptoms must also have a drastic impact on the child's quality of life and impair their ability to thrive at school or at home.

ADHD is Caused by Improper Parenting

Many children with diagnosed or undiagnosed ADHD will be called naughty. Unfortunately, the inability to follow the rules, inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsivity is often blamed bad parenting. This is not true, parents of children with ADHD are not using the wrong discipline strategies on their children or not paying enough attention to their children.

Once again, ADHD is a diagnosable condition and an ADHD diagnosis has nothing to do with a parent's abilities.

ADHD Is Only Treatable Through Medications

Finally, many parents of children living with ADHD believe that medication is their only option. Medication is highly effective for many children. In addition, there are lifestyles changes and non-prescription ways to help your child live a better life with ADHD. For example, your doctor may recommend putting your child on a regular sleeping schedule and avoiding certain foods and beverages, such as soda, candy, and other sugary treats.

If your child has trouble with executive functioning, such as issues with time management or completing a task from start to finish, they might benefit from having a routine. For example, make sure your child goes to bed at the same time every day, wakes up at the same time every day, and has a chore chart they must complete before being awarded with screen time.

ADHD is a very misunderstood condition with several myths and misconceptions that are not true. Talk to your doctor and have an ADHD evaluation done before making any lifestyles changes or to discuss how your child might benefit from medication.