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Fighting Myth with Fact: 7 ADHD Truths

Updated: Jun 4, 2023

Navigating ADHD is complicated. While its symptoms are visible to the eye, the common mental health disorder is not. And so the myths begin… Here are 7 valuable ADHD truths to help you set the record straight.




Judgment. Criticism. “I bet you she’s thinking.”

We all spend a lot of time in our heads, assuming what others think. We also blame ourselves for what we think. As the expression goes, we are our own worst critics.

We’d like to add a subset to that expression.

When it comes to ADHD, blame is your worst enemy.

ADHD, the Blame Game

Your child’s not performing. They keep turning in assignments late. They lied. They got caught. They’re more difficult than all your other kids combined. The blame questions pop up like mushrooms after the rain. Whose fault is this?

My spouse’s bad genes? My bad parenting? My child’s personality? Maybe it was the playdate that developed into the disastrous friendship that ended in his getting kicked out of school.

So many thoughts. So many questions. So much blame.

We’re here to tell you that you’re not alone in playing the blame game. Just about all ADHD parents do. When things go wrong, looking for a direction to point a finger at is common.

Also, (though you probably knew this), it doesn’t help.

Here’s what does. Separating fact from fiction.

Here are 7 FACTS about ADHD kids.

For you, your spouse, your child, and that obnoxious mother that pointed a finger at your kid re: his “rude” behavior.

7 Facts About ADHD

1. ADHD is an actual medical condition

2. ADHD is NOT a result of bad parenting

3. No, your kid doesn’t have an unfair advantage at school

4. No, you didn’t overmedicate your child

5. Yes, ADHD did exist when “so and so” was growing up

6. No, your child doesn’t need to be “fixed”

7. Yes, they have every opportunity to become a successful adult

1. ADHD is an actual medical condition

The medical community officially recognizes ADHD. The DSM-V, the accepted diagnostic standard for mental health, classifies ADHD as a “Neurodevelopmental Disorder characterized by 6 or more symptoms of inattention.” The symptoms? You’re probably highly familiar with them. If you’d like to have the satisfaction of going “check, check, check” or simply disproving a mouthy know-it-all, feel free to check it out here.

2. ADHD is NOT a result of bad parenting

You can quote us on that. ADHD can, and often is, inherited by genetics. It also can be managed ‘better’ or ‘worse’ by ‘good’ parenting. But it was not ‘caused’ by your parenting skills. Look around at other ADHD families (or your own). You’ll often find a ‘well-behaved’ sibling without ADHD and a ‘poorly behaved’ one with. Sometimes, vice versa as well. Was the parenting that different between kids? Highly unlikely.

3. No, your kid doesn’t have an unfair advantage at school

“Why should your kid get untimed testing?” “Why does she get a tutor? She’s smart enough. She’s just lazy!” If any of these sound familiar, see our response in item one above. ADHD is a medically recognized disadvantage. It may not be as visibly obvious as, say - a broken foot. But it is just as real. The Federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) recognizes it as a disability as well, which is why they provide public school kids with ADHD special resources to help.

4. No, you didn’t overmedicate your child

Giving a seven-year-old medication to manage their emotions is a hard pill to swallow (pun intended). But many times, it’s the right move. Dr. Nicholas Grumbach, a pediatrician and Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University explains, “While some ADHD children are treated with therapy alone, medication and therapy combined are proven to effectively manage ADHD best .” Furthermore, “effective ADHD treatment enables your child to close emotional and educational gaps.” Lack of proper treatment, however, “adds to both your and your child’s exasperation, making it cumulatively harder to do so.”

5. Yes, ADHD did exist when ‘so and so’ was growing up

This is one of our personal favorites. Just because no one knew what was wrong with the hyperactive kid who never followed directions doesn’t mean ADHD didn’t exist. It means previous generations were less mentally health aware than ours is. And thank God we are. With awareness comes constructive discussion around treatment.

6. No, your child doesn’t need to be “fixed”

Your child may have a (common) neurodevelopmental disorder. And there are certainly ways that you can help them function better. But they don’t need to be “fixed.” Nor can they be. Dr Grumbach explains, “ADHD children function differently, for better or worse. As a parent, the best thing you can do for your child is help them navigate the worse and embrace them for their positive qualities.” Your child doesn’t need to be “reset” or “fixed. They just need the proper care and support to navigate their world.

7. Yes, your child has every opportunity to become a successful adult

Your ADHD child may have it harder during their structured school years. But as they enter adulthood, ADHD offers unique benefits that will serve them well: reams of energy, a creative way of thinking, cultivation of resilience, and hyperfocus, to name a few. Take a look at Mozart (composer), George Bernard Shaw (playwright & Nobel Prize winner), and Richard Branson (owner of Virgin Records & British billionaire). They seem to have made ADHD work for them.

Speaking Your Child’s Truth

If you’ll notice when reading the above, some of the facts were aimed at providing you with practical information. Others were aimed at providing you with a response to people that give you or your child a hard time. We hope it helps you clear up any myths and better serve as your child’s advocate.

You can help your child be recognized for the fantastic human being they are.

It starts by understanding their truth and then speaking it.


Summary

  1. There is no party to blame for your child being diagnosed with ADHD

  2. You can, however, seek school resources & treatment that will help

  3. Met an ADHD bully or two? See above for what to reply.



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