There are still people who believe that ADHD is just a condition invented by the medical and pharmaceutical communities to make more money! There is no truth in this at all. That is the first myth to get debunked as there is now overwhelming medical and scientific evidence to show that ADHD is a real neurological disorder. |
Is parent mismanagement to blame?
Another myth says that it is all due to the fact parents cannot manage their children and that too much TV babysitting will cause this condition to spread like wildfire. Although parent management will be an essential part of the treatment, it is certainly not a cause.
Can ADHD really be genetic?
There are many myths surrounding the fact that ADHD is not genetic in origin. There is, in fact, a strong genetic element and some estimates say that it is about 80%. If a parent is suffering from ADHD, which may well go undiagnosed for years, his or her chances of having a child with ADHD are actually around 57%.
There is plenty of anecdotal evidence to show that even foetuses can actually be already hyperactive in the womb. Many women who have had their ADHD kids diagnosed have spoken about the foetuses being overactive during pregnancy and in some cases, even causing a broken rib. This is further proof that the condition is genetic and not acquired later on in childhood.
Controversy and myths about medical treatment
As regards the treatment of ADHD by psychostimulants, the drugs are mainly effective although they cannot be used on a permanent basis. There is some evidence to show that the effects of these drugs could lead to drug abuse and delinquency. Again, it would be very hard to prove that Ritalin was the cause of criminal behavior.
This case came to light recently in Australia where the father of an ADHD child claimed that his grown up son had become a bank robber because of the negative effects of the main ADHD drug, Ritalin.
It is interesting to note in this case that the boy was prescribed Ritalin at the tender age of four. But a second opinion revealed that the broken marriage was causing a trauma for the child and that was probably the reason for his disruptive behavior. That boy was probably misdiagnosed with ADHD.
Problems concerning ADHD diagnosis
Another myth to dispel is that ADHD is easily diagnosed. It is anything but as there are no clear diagnostic tests which will show whether the child is suffering from this mental disorder.
This leaves the door wide open for many cases of misdiagnosis especially when we learn that there are about fifty similar childhood illness and disorders which have very similar symptoms to ADHD. Many of the childhood illnesses and disturbances which mimic ADHD are:- • sleep disorders • eyesight problems • hearing problems • autism • depression • sensory processing disorder (SPD)
There is now hope that with much more awareness of ADHD and the attention it has recently got that parents, teachers and other interested stakeholders are better educated. With some optimism, the usual myths about ADHD will slowly disappear. Let us hope so!
Robert Winterson is an award winning author and has written extensively on parenting, ADHD, child health problems and mental disorders. You can find out more about ADHD treatment
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