Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that can affect a kid’s life in various ways. From school success to their relationship, it can be a consequence of ADHD. Sometimes the symptoms of ADHD are difficult to recognize, so today we’re busting the myths about ADHD in children.
Myth #1: All kids with ADHD are hyperactive.
This is not the case with all children with ADHD. Some are hyperactive, while others are inattentive and may seem unmotivated. It can be hard to recognize the difference between ADHD and ‘normal’ behavior.
But if the symptoms and signs of this disorder are visible across all situations (home, school, play), it’s time to monitor it a bit closer.
Myth #2: ADHD stops when the kids grow up.
Waiting for your kid to ‘grow out of it’ is not a good game plan. ADHD often continues into adulthood, so the longer you leave it untreated, the more serious are the symptoms. Education, support and a little bit of creativity go a long way in managing it in children.
Myth #3: ADHD just means that a kid is lacking willpower. They do good things that are interesting to them, so they focus on other tasks as well if they want to.
It may look like a willpower problem, but it’s actually a chemical problem happening in the management system of the brain. This neurodevelopmental disorder makes it difficult for kids to constrain their spontaneous responses, but it can be beaten.
Myth #4: The best way to treat the disorder is with medicine.
This highly depends on your kid and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Medication is not the only way to help your child, so ask questions, look up the information and take notes on how your kid is reacting to certain therapy. Exercise, proper nutrition, education, behavior therapy, and a good support system are often the most important things your kid needs when dealing with ADHD.
Myth #5: Unless your kid has been diagnosed with ADHD, it can’t have it as an adult.
Many parents have children with ADHD and don’t even know it. As a consequence, many adults live with unrecognized symptoms.
To help you with noticing ADHD in children, here are the most common symptoms according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders:
ADHD Symptoms: Inattentive ADD Checklist
- Fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities
- Has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities
- Does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
- Does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) or failure to understand instructions)
- Has difficulty organizing tasks and activities
- Avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort (such as schoolwork or homework)
- Loses things necessary for tasks or activities (e.g., toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools)
- Easily distracted by extraneous stimuli
- Forgetful in daily activities
ADHD Symptoms: Hyperactive and Impulsive ADHD Checklist
- Fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat
- Leaves seat in classroom or in other situations in which remaining seated is expected
- Runs about or climbs excessively in situations in which it is inappropriate (may be limited to subjective feelings of restlessness in adults)
- Has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly
- Appears “on the go” or acts as if “driven by a motor”
- Talks excessively
- Blurts out the answers before the questions have been completed
- Has difficulty awaiting turn
- Interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games)
Parenting is challenging enough, and adding ADHD in the equation is not helping in making it easier. But there are many things you can do as a parent to ease the symptoms and help your kid in living a healthy and happy life. Don’t give up.