Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a childhood disorder affecting 1/10 of the children in the United States. Though common, many misconceptions and stereotypes surround the disorder.
1. ADHD effects the brain.
a. Brain chemistry effects everything about us. Children with ADHD cannot simply be told to just pay attention or to concentrate harder. ADHD involves a certain brain structure in individuals, showing symptoms before adolescence. Though ADHD could be diagnosed in preschool, most aren’t until later childhood. If a parent has ADHD, the child has a 40-60% chance of developing it as well.
2. ADHD has three core symptoms: inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity.
a. Most children show all three of these qualities at times. For an ADHD diagnosis, these symptoms must be interfering with and affecting the child’s life at both school and home. These symptoms may fade or change overtime, with inattention being more common in young adults while the other two remain consistent with children.
3. ADHD can make social relationships difficult.
a. School requires attention and organizational skills. This can be hard for those with ADHD, often making them seem scatter minded or unorganized for losing an assignment or forgetting about an event. While kids with ADHD don’t generally have a problem with social skills, difficulty controlling their emotions and impulsivity can affect personal relationships and make it hard to maintain friendships. It can also be difficult for them to follow social rules or say appropriate things.
4. There are treatment options for ADHD.
a. Most children will grow out of their ADHD symptoms and not carry them into adulthood, though few do. Treatments are available to ease the interference of the symptoms into the child’s life. The most popular options are:
ii. Behavior therapy
iii. Education and training
iv. ADHD coaching
Regardless if you or someone you know has struggled with ADHD, educating ourselves and others on a very common disorder can help eliminate misconceptions surrounding the diagnosis. With education comes understanding and acceptance for many young adults and children across the nation.