There is not a lot of information out there on ADHD! So, how do you differentiate between ADHD myths and facts? Since, everyone seems to have different opinion on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and the topics may range from ADHD causes, symptoms and therapy/learning options. Having worked with ADHD in children for many years, I would like clear some of the fiction up with fact! Note: the following comparison of ADHD myths and facts is NOT my personal opinion but facts that are researched and validated from multiple reliable resources!
|ADHD Myths||ADHD Facts|
|All children and teenagers with ADHD/ADD are hyperactive||Young children do exhibit hyperactivity especially boys. Once the teenage years are reached the teen becomes restless or a “couch potato” rather than hyperactive|
|Hyperactive children and teens cannot sit for even ten minutes||Young children have problems with their attention span; however it usually is longer than 10 minutes. Teens tend to reverse and daydream or sleep|
|ADHD/ADD disappear as the child grows older||People believe ADHD disappears as the child gets older because the hyperactivity decreases. This does not mean the child, teen or adult has “outgrown” ADHD. As your child grows, they learn that it is not acceptable to get up during dinner or class. Instead they may actually tune out or sleep through.|
|Stimulant medications do not work in teenagers||Stimulant medications are effective for children, teens and adults. It may appear over time that they no longer need medication. This is because their dosage of medication is holding them at a continuously steady level. If your child is taking meds, do not stop or lower the dose of medication without a doctor consultation|
|ADD/ADHD is always diagnosed in early childhood||The age of diagnosis will vary. Boys will be diagnosed earlier than girls. Mild cases may not be diagnosed until the teen years. Unfortunately, children that exhibit very little symptoms other than scholastic under-acheivement may remain undiagnosed all their lives. They would just be considered someone who did not perform well in school or at work|
|ADHD/ADD is over-diagnosed||There is no conclusive evidence till date that ADHD/ADD is over diagnosed. There seems to be a lot of media attention given to over-diagnosing ADHD, however there is no statistics to back this up. Studies are ongoing with no definitive result as of now. Prior to 1994, there was no criteria to base a diagnosis of inattentive attention deficit disorder, possibly leaving many undiagnosed?|
|Ritalin can cure ADHD||Ritalin is an extremely effective drug and is often prescribed as a psycho-simulant. He helps combat or mitigate the symptoms of ADHD, however it is never a cure. Other ADHD therapies are usually more effective treatment plan. Click on the link to read more about ADHD Medications for Children.|
|ADHD is a result of bad parenting||ADHD have very little to do with environmental factors like bad parenting. It is induced more due to malfunctions in brain’s chemical discharge and is more genetic or hereditary in nature.|
|People with ADHD cannot succeed||ADHD can be overcome through the right blend of therapies, medication and personal resilience. I have met many patients who have been diagnosed with ADHD have and gone ahead to be just as successful as you and I.|
|Symptoms of ADHD are far too obvious||It often required a clinical setting to diagnose a child with ADHD. A child may be put under observation for several instances to accurately diagnose the disorder. Parents should look at the different pointers, some of which are far too implicit and could only manifest in the form of poor performance or oppositional defiance.|
|Herbal “miracle” cures exist of ADHD||There is no such thing a herbal or “miracle” cure for ADHD. ADHD could only be treated through repeated therapy sessions aided with the use of medication.|
Table 1: Top 10 ADHD Myths and Facts
As you can see there are many myths floating around about ADHD/ADD. Social Media has become a forum for people to openly express what they “think” and not necessarily present factual information. More and more research is being done, data compiled and more factual reports made available. We must consider the increasing amount of environmental changes that we have experienced since the early 1990’s. These factors must also be included in the research being conducted.
Everyday there is new information being discovered and older information being revised – this helps us to re-baseline the ADHD myths and facts . We can be thankful that, the attention this subject draws, will improve the lives and quality of lives of those affected by ADHD/ADD.