Myth Debunking Monday! In honor of ADHD Awareness Month, let’s dive into some common myths around this disorder. Myths such as the ones mentioned below can lead to stigma, bias, and reduce access to care for those in need. The first step to supporting our communities is by understanding the facts.
🚩Myth: ADHD is a Disorder of Childhood Fact: Long-term studies of children diagnosed with ADHD show that ADHD is a lifespan disorder. Recent studies of children with ADHD show that ADHD persists from childhood to adolescence in 50%–80% of cases, and into adulthood in 35%–65% of cases (Owens et al. 2015).
🚩Myth: Poor Parenting Causes ADHD Fact #1: Research studies point to genetic (hereditary) and neurological factors (such as pregnancy and birth complications, brain damage, toxins and infections) as the main causes of ADHD rather than social factors including poor parenting. Twin studies of children with ADHD show that the family environments of the children contribute very little to their individual differences in ADHD symptoms (Barkley, 2015)
🚩Myth: ADHD is Over-Diagnosed Fact #1: The rate of diagnosed ADHD in children has increased approximately 5% every year, but best practice guidelines for diagnose have been shown to be used over 90% of the time. Possible explanations for increased diagnostic rates include improved awareness about ADHD among healthcare practitioners and parents, more screenings by pediatricians and other primary care givers, decreased stigma about ADHD, availability of better treatment options, and more cases arising from suspected environmental causes such prenatal exposure to toxins or high blood lead levels.