To say that attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is often misunderstood would be a grand understatement. Even after years and years of studies, with researchers trying to educate teachers and parents about ADHD, there are still many people in this country with widespread notions about the disorder that are either mildly inaccurate or simply not true at all.
To illustrate this and to educate parents and teachers on the truth about ADHD, in the following article we will list 5 common myths about ADHD in children, along with some new and accurate information that debunks these myths.
5 Myths About ADHD In Children
When a condition like ADHD is not fully understood, often the myths surrounding the disorder become more widely accepted than the actual truth. This can present an even bigger challenge for parents and teachers as they strive to understand to fully understand the disorder and develop ways to help an ADHD child. To help you avoid the setbacks often caused by this misinformation, below we have listed 5 common myths about ADHD children and replaced these myths with accurate information.
1. ADHD in Children Always Presents as Hyperactivity
While hyperactivity can be a symptom of ADHD in children, not all children with the disorder will show this type of hyper-energy. ADHD can cause a range of symptoms in children, including hyperactivity and inattention, and this latter symptom sometimes results in children who are very quiet and withdrawn, rather than “hyper” and impulsive.
Inattentive children may be easily distracted and forgetful, while having great difficulties in making friends and forming relationships, all of which can lead to isolation and withdrawal.
2. ADHD Children Are Unintelligent
The symptoms associated with ADHD often make it difficult for affected children to succeed in the traditional school environment, but to say ADHD children are not intelligent is a statement that is just not true. Research shows that many ADHD children are exceptionally bright, even gifted, and they tend to score higher on intelligence tests than their non-affected peers. In fact, many of the great minds of our time have struggled with the effects of ADHD, including the famed Albert Einstein.
3. Only Boys Are Diagnosed with ADHD
While boys tend to be diagnosed with ADHD at a rate 3Xs higher than girls, the disorder does affect female children as well. Girls with ADHD tend to exhibit symptoms of inattention, rather than hyperactivity. They tend to daydream and may have problems with focusing and concentrating. And because these symptoms are not as overt as hyperactive or impulsive symptoms, many experts believe that girls in this country may actually be under-diagnosed in terms of ADHD.
4. ADHD Is A Disorder Children Will Outgrow
The myth that children will usually outgrow ADHD is one that is very widespread, but also largely untrue. Experts say that close to 60 percent of all children with ADHD will continue to be affected by the disorder well into adolescence and adulthood. In fact, current research indicates that close to 4 percent of all American adults still struggle with the effects of ADHD.
5. Too Much Sugar Causes ADHD
While certain foods, including sugar, may make the symptoms of ADHD more difficult to manage, there is no medical proof that sugar can actually cause ADHD. While the exact cause of ADHD is still unknown, doctors do know it is a brain disorder affecting 8%-11% of all school-age children, with strong links to heredity, and very few links to food, environmental conditions or parenting choices.
Collectively, these myths (and the many more just like them) can make it very difficult for parents and teachers to get at the real truth regarding ADHD, which is why most doctors suggest that these groups spend some time researching ADHD, using credible sources and published research studies as their primary research tools.