*With special thanks to The Discovery Channel
Myth or Fact?
ADHD is not a real medical condition. It is caused by bad parenting or bad children.
MYTH: Parents may blame themselves when a child is diagnosed with ADHD, but researchers increasingly believe that causes have more to do with inherited traits than parenting choices. ADHD is recognized by the National Institute of Health, the US Department of Education, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Psychiatric Association. When a child with ADHD does not stay in his seat or blurts out answers, it’s not because he hasn’t been taught these behaviors are wrong. He simply cannot control his impulses. The problem is bio-chemical in nature, NOT discipline. Children with ADHD are awesome!
Fourteen-time Olympic Gold Medalist, Michael Phelps, has ADHD.
FACT: Michael Phelps became the most decorated Olympian in the history of the Olympics. He has, overall, won 16 Olympic medals—six gold and two bronze at Athens in 2004, and eight gold at Beijing in 2008. When Michael was in the sixth grade, he was diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). After the 2008 Summer Olympics, Michael Phelps started the Michael Phelps Foundation, which focuses on growing the sport of swimming and promoting healthier lifestyles.
Stimulant medication encourages drug abuse in teenagers.
MYTH: The opposite is true. Having untreated ADHD increases the risk that an individual will abuse drugs or alcohol. Appropriate treatment reduces the risk of substance abuse.
ADHD only affects boys.
MYTH: Although gender makes the expression of ADHD symptoms look different, According to the Surgeon General's Report on Mental Health (2001) girls are less likely to receive a diagnosis of and treatment for ADHD compared to boys despite need. Girls are just as likely to have ADHD as boys. Boys are more likely to be initially identified as having ADHD because their symptoms are more notable.
Children outgrow ADHD by high school.
MYTH: More than 70% of children with ADHD continue to have ADHD as adults. It is estimated that 6% of the adult population has ADHD. Only 1 in 4 adults who have ADHD seek treatment.
Adults with ADHD contribute greatly to our society.
FACT: Lots of successful people have ADHD, including James Carville, political consultant and Campaign Chair for Bill Clinton, David Neeleman, founder of JetBlue, Ned Hallowell, MD, author of Driven to Distraction, Paul Orfalea, founder of Kinkos, Patricia Quinn, MD, author of Understanding Girls with ADHD and the founder of ADHD Aware, Natalie Knochenhauer, JD.
There is no effective treatment for ADHD.
Myth: The medicines used to treat ADHD have been proven safe and effective over 50 years of use. While medicine cannot cure ADHD, it can help alleviate symptoms and allow children to more easily learn important life skills, that allow for later success. A long range study by the National Institute of Health on effective ADHD treatment found behavioral interventions WITH medication were the most effective treatment for ADHD.
Kids with ADHD who are given accommodations in school have an unfair advantage.
MYTH: Accommodations for kids with disabilities, including those with ADHD, simply level the playing field, so all kids have the opportunity to be as successful as their non-ADHD peers.
ADHD is caused by eating too much sugar.
MYTH: ADHD is a neurobiological condition. It is a chronic condition that affects millions of children and often persists into adulthood. Problems associated with ADHD include inattention and hyperactive, impulsive behavior. Children with ADHD may struggle with low self-esteem, troubled relationships and poor performance in school.
Parents of children with ADHD deserve understanding, support, and flowers.
Fact: While incredibly rewarding, raising children with ADHD is a lot of work. Parents of children with ADHD deserve our support, understanding and, yes, an occasional bouquet of flowers.