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Myths About ADHD Every Parent Needs to Know

Your child has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Having the diagnosis may be a relief, as it usually explains why your child seems to have a motor inside that’s always churning, why transitions such as moving from TV to bedtime are difficult, and why they have frequent temper tantrums. Learning about ADHD benefits both you and your child as you help them navigate school and social life. 

Little Wonders Pediatric Therapy in Charlotte, North Carolina, helps children with ADHD reach their potential, both scholastically and interpersonally. Our therapists are highly trained to help your child learn ways to better regulate emotions, interact socially for success, and keep schoolwork on track. 

Myths about ADHD proliferate easily in the age of social media. Separating fact from fiction helps. Here are five common myths about ADHD that you should know. 

Myth #1: ADHD is the parents’ fault

When your child interrupts others or can’t stay in his seat when the teacher tells him to, you may take on guilt feelings: “It’s my fault,” is the thought that goes through your brain. 

It’s time to stop blaming yourself. If your child has ADHD, he simply doesn’t have full control of his own behavior. The part of his brain that regulates attention control and managing complex tasks is impaired. Knowing that your child isn’t misbehaving on purpose, but because of a medical condition, helps relieve feelings of parental guilt or inadequacy. 

Little Wonders Pediatric therapists work with ADHD children every day. Our therapists use occupational therapy exercises and strategies to help your child learn in ways that are most comfortable for them. 

Myth #2: ADHD isn’t a bona fide medical disorder

The National Institutes of Health and the American Psychiatric Society have classified ADHD as a medical disorder. Neurotransmitters, which are chemicals in your child’s brain, aren’t working smoothly to carry signals between nerve cells and other cells in the body. Scientists have found real differences in how the brain operates in those with ADHD compared to those without it. Symptoms of the imbalance in brain chemicals include inattention, restlessness, impulsiveness, and hyperactivity. 

Knowing that your child has a brain disorder helps you to understand why it may be very difficult for him to follow multistep directions, follow through on extended learning tasks, learn organizational skills, and stay focused. Our therapists are trained to help your child learn ways to organize and complete schoolwork for greater academic success.

Myth #3: ADHD is only a childhood problem: “They’ll grow out of it.”

ADHD continues in adulthood for up to half of those diagnosed with it in childhood. Without treatment, adults are more at risk for emotional difficulties and psychological issues such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. Some adults may think taking ADHD medication in adulthood signals weakness, yet they wouldn’t think that way about taking medication for a physical illness. 

Many adults who refuse to take medication or seek treatment for ADHD have trouble with relationships and careers. It can impair every aspect of life: social, emotional, psychological, financial, school, and work. 

Myth #4: Only boys get ADHD

This myth probably persists because ADHD is so easily observable in boys who are hyperactive. However, the brain disorder affects both boys and girls. Some girls aren’t quite as hyperactive as boys, so they may not be diagnosed as frequently. Common symptoms of ADHD in girls include incessant talking, frequent interrupting, daydreaming, and inability to complete schoolwork and pay attention. 

Myth #5: Children taking ADHD medication get hooked on drugs in adolescence 

Just the opposite is true. When ADHD is untreated in childhood, adolescents are more at risk, not less, of abusing drugs and alcohol. Medications help calm distressing symptoms of ADHD and help your child function more normally. Sometimes medication can be tapered off in adolescence, but even if it isn’t, it helps your teen stay on track socially and academically. Adolescents want to fit in with their peers and are able to tell the difference in their performance with and without medication when it’s needed. 

If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD or you aren’t sure if they might have the disorder, call or message Little Wonders Pediatric Therapy today to set up a consultation. We’re here to help your child achieve success. 

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