The myths and misconceptions surrounding attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children are many, and we hope to dispel some of the misconceptions about it by listing out the top 5 biggest culprits of mis-information.
1. “ADHD Isn’t a Real Medical Disorder”
The National Institute of Health, U.S. Department of Education, and the American Psychiatric Society, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, all recognize attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as a biological condition that is caused by an imbalance of neurotransmitters or chemical messengers in the brain. The condition causes symptoms ranging from mild distractibility to a complete inability to focus, complete simple tasks or control inappropriate impulse behaviors. People with ADHD have difficulty with the aspects of daily living. Psychiatrists, psychologists and physicians recommend a number of behavior modification programs, brain training programs, and medications in the attempt to treat and manage the symptoms of the disorder. Brain training programs such as C8Sciences’ ACTIVATE™ program have been very successful in helping children manage their symptoms and thrive in the classroom environment.
2. “ADHD is the Result of Bad Parenting”
If a child has problems remaining in his seat in school, has impulsive verbal outbursts, and fails to maintain an organized desk, it is usually not caused by a parent’s failure to discipline or teach the child how to behave. The disorder can be frustrating to teachers, parents and especially the child displaying the symptoms. Kids with ADHD do not want to be different form everyone else, or stand in in the crowd as the “weird kid”. Victims of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder cannot control their behavior without constant re-direction and guidance, and even then it is still sometimes impossible for them to focus or complete a task. Parents can contribute to the feelings of low self-worth and frustration if they are critical, overly strict, or punitive. Understanding that the disorder is rooted in brain chemistry, rather than lack of discipline will help the child with ADHD learn better coping skills as he navigates the troubling waters of ADHD.
3. “Children Who Have ADHD Are Stupid or Just Lazy.”
This is one of the most disturbing myths of all. Kids who have ADHD are bright and ambitious. They have the potential to excel both academically and socially, but their disorder limits their opportunity to do so. Programs such as C8Sciences’ ACTIVATE™ provides students, teachers and parents with the tools they need to help reach those goals. Children who have ADHD can learn the same skills and concepts as children that don’t have the disorder. Most ADHD students learn better when cognitive thinking and brain training exercises are combined with physical exercises and activities. The ACTIVATE™ program is a groundbreaking concept that allows kids with ADHD to learn in their own way, at their own pace. Children who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder love to learn. They are usually able to understand concepts quickly if the concepts are presented to them in a way that is easy to understand. The ACTIVATE™ program fine-tunes the learning process to meet the needs of each participant. Children who once appeared to be lazy or disinterested become eager learners who jump ahead by leaps and bounds!
4. “ADHD Affects Only Boys”
Studies have shown that girls are as likely to have ADHD as boys. The basic symptoms are the same in both genders, however girls seem to have more overall symptom distress and anxiety than boys. Reports of conduct disorders in girls are slightly lower than boys, which may explain the lower referral rates for girls. This myth has existed for quite some time, resulting in a larger number of boys being diagnosed with ADHD than their female counterparts. Girls with ADHD seem to be more aware of peer pressure and the desire to fit in, which can be a factor in developing the symptoms of depression more readily than boys.
5 . “ADHD Stimulant Medication Leads to Addiction”
The use of medications for the treatment of ADHD may be included in the treatment plan for children with ADHD. Although brain training programs such as the ACTIVATE™ program have been found to be very effective in helping children to learn skills to cope with ADHD, medication is prescribed if the child is unable to manage the symptoms of ADHD without it. There are no studies that indicate problems with addiction or substance abuse among people who have taken stimulant medications to control the symptoms of ADHD. In fact, studies indicate that children who take medications to alleviate the debilitating symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are even less likely to abuse drugs in adolescence and adulthood than those who do not take the medication.
The myths surrounding attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are being dispelled one by one as studies continue and parents and educators become more aware of the impact of this disorder and the stigma it bears on the children in their lives.