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ADHD Awareness Month Is a Reminder That ADHD Is Real
A post by AngelSense, a GPS & voice monitoring solution designed for children with special needs.
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Since this is ADHD Awareness Month, we thought it was time for a fresh perspective on what has become one the most misunderstood and difficult to diagnose disorders. ADHD is more common than you might think and affects children and adults of all ages. This non-discriminatory disorder is commonly misdiagnosed, with many of the symptoms being mistaken for disruptive behavior. But as any parent with a child that suffers from ADHD knows, this disorder is very real and is actually a brain-based medical disorder.
This October we want to challenge many of the myths and misconceptions surrounding this condition, and invite you to do the same by sharing this blog post. Our hope is that with enough acceptance and understanding of the complexities of this disorder, more children with ADHD will receive the treatment they need. After all, few things are quite as damaging as dismissing a child with ADHD as unruly and rowdy.
In the spirit of this very special awareness month, here are some of the main misconceptions that many people still hold to be true.
1. ADHD is nothing more than an excuse for bad behavior
Sometimes ADHD is seen as a way to excuse bad behavior in the classroom or to get out of doing homework. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Many studies show conclusively that children with ADHD not only process information differently, but their brains have distinct patterns which can make focusing near to impossible. Other research indicates that the brains of kids with the disorder are slower at forming connections between key brain networks. As a result, these kids are more prone to daydreaming and struggle focusing on tasks.
2. Kids with ADHD aren’t smart
Contrary to many of the stereotypes, research suggests that severe ADHD is often linked to above average IQ. One study of 117 kids found that all those that participated in the study exhibited ADHD symptoms and had an IQ of 120 or more. This link between ADHD and IQ perhaps explains why some kids with ADHD will excel at a single activity that lets them focus like piano, but perform poorly academically. It’s this behavior that leads to ADHD kids being seen as lazy when, in fact, their brains are just wired to function differently. And for those who still need convincing, it’s worth pointing out some of the most brilliant minds of our time including Mozart, Benjamin Franklin and George Bernard Shaw are believed to have had ADHD.
3. Poor parenting causes ADHD
ADHD is no one’s fault, and yet there is an ever-growing list of possible culprits which include everything from poor parenting and excess sugar to lack of discipline. While it may be convenient to pin the blame on one of these external factors, much of the research points to problems with the frontal lobes of the cerebrum. This is the part of the brain which is responsible for solving problems, understanding others’ behavior and restraining impulses. Other studies highlight the genetic link with at least 25% of the close relatives in families with kids with ADHD also having ADHD.
4. ADHD isn’t something to worry about
Wrong. The effects of ADHD if left undiagnosed and untreated can be crippling. In fact, researchers at Harvard Medical School claim that ADHD could actually be one of the most costly medical conditions in the United States. Severe ADHD can impact all aspects of a child’s life from school to job success and even relationships. Teens with ADHD tend to have more run-ins with the law. One study found that drivers with ADHD are 50% more likely to be in a serious car accident.
5. Only boys have ADHD
Both boys and girls can have ADHD. However the disorder is perceived differently. One survey found that 82% of teachers believe ADHD is more prevalent in boys. The same study also found that 40% of teachers admitted that they struggled to recognize the symptoms in girls. The sad reality is that girls are far less likely to be diagnosed for ADHD than boys despite need. A large part of the problem is that girls with ADHD tend to be less hyperactive and disruptive than boys which makes their behavior easy to dismiss.
There are many myths and misconceptions about ADHD, and unless we’re prepared to confront them head-on more kids will go undiagnosed. By raising awareness we can only hope that more kids with ADHD will get the treatment they so sorely need.
Does your child have ADHD? Tell us about the misconceptions you’ve had to confront in raising your little one. It’s time the world sees what ADHD is not.
This post is brought to you by AngelSense GPS and voice-monitoring.
AngelSense creates a safer world for children with special needs, with a wearable GPS tracking and listening device, a web app and smart analytics.