Common ADHD Misconceptions About Children With ADHD
ADHD Is Caused by Bad Parenting
Although different parenting styles can affect your child’s behavior, they’re not the reason behind your child’s ADHD diagnosis. The truth is ADHD is a neurobiological condition that affects the parts of the brain responsible for decision-making, paying attention, emotional regulation, and more. These areas of the brain in the prefrontal cortex develop more slowly in people with ADHD, making it challenging for them to succeed in situations where self-regulation, focus, and organization are required.
ADHD Isn't a Learning Disability
ADHD is not technically classified as a learning disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders (DSM). However, because of the way it affects your child’s brain development, it can significantly impact their ability to learn in a classroom setting. Dealing with various types of ADHD symptoms, such as difficulty concentrating, impulsivity, and hyperactivity, may make it challenging to engage with class material. For example, many affected kids may skip over words while reading, which can drastically impact their understanding of the material.
Fortunately, certain strategies, such as having extra time for tests or using visual aids to help your child stay focused, can alleviate some of these struggles and give your child the resources they need to excel in school.
My Child Doesn't Have ADHD Because They Can Focus on Certain Tasks
How your child is able to focus with ADHD is another common misconception. Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t the inability to pay attention, but the inability to regulate attention.
Many parents see their children with ADHD lose focus when doing tasks like math homework yet focus intently on activities like video games. Because of the way the condition affects the prefrontal cortex, your child may struggle to stay focused on things that seem boring, dull, or too difficult. Being diagnosed doesn’t mean your child can’t learn to focus on these sorts of tasks—they just need to be given the tools to do so. Attention and focus training, neurofeedback, and executive functioning therapy are a few of the ways you can help your child train their prefrontal cortex to engage with difficult tasks.
Children With ADHD Choose to Misbehave
It may seem like kids with ADHD deliberately choose bad behavior, like blurting out answers in class or getting irritated and defiant when things don’t go their way. However, most don’t misbehave out of malice. They struggle with impulse control, which makes it hard for them to think through the consequences of their behavior before acting out.
Impulses happen extremely quickly. For people without ADHD, it takes the prefrontal cortex about a half second to inhibit them. If the brain is delayed in developing this regulatory ability, it can be hard for your child not to take action on their impulses.
Manage ADHD Symptoms With Abbey Neuropsychology Clinic
Children With ADHD Perform Better in Unstructured Learning Environments
Unstructured, nondirective learning environments like Montessori schools are a great way to encourage children to explore their freedom and creativity. However, they’re not always ideal for children with ADHD, who struggle with executive functioning. In these environments, they aren’t necessarily required to think ahead, self-regulate, or stay focused on a specific task. On the other hand, the consistent routine of a structured classroom environment lets your child know what’s expected of them each day and encourages them to build executive functioning skills.
My Child Doesn't Have ADHD Because They Aren't Hyperactive
diagnosis. There are three main types of ADHD: inattentive, hyperactive/impulsive, and combined type. Your child may not exhibit signs of physical restlessness but may instead deal with inattentiveness, a lack of motivation, or poor organizational skills. A comprehensive neuropsychological assessment can help determine what type of ADHD your child deals with, even if they aren’t exhibiting signs of hyperactivity.
You Can Grow Out of ADHD
Growing out of ADHD is a common misconception, and, unfortunately, it’s a rather pervasive one. It’s not possible, but one can manage it and give your child the tools to transform their life.
Many people believe that ADHD medication is the solution to their child’s diagnosis. However, medication typically only provides short-term relief and limited sustained attention. It doesn’t address the developmental issues within the prefrontal cortex itself. Once the medication wears off, symptoms return, often with increased intensity.
To improve the symptoms of ADHD, you need a treatment plan that addresses the core brain functions relating to executive function, attention, and self-regulation. By training these areas of the brain and bringing them up to speed, your child can experience lasting relief and live a happy, normal life.
My Child Simply Isn't Trying Hard Enough
The misconception that children aren’t trying hard enough can significantly affect their self-esteem, making it hard for them to apply themselves in school, sports, or social situations.The kids do, in fact, try their best—they just deal with developmental issues in their prefrontal cortex that make it difficult to sustain attention, motivate themselves, or keep pace with their peers.
Combat ADHD Misconceptions With a Transformative Brain Program
At Abbey Neuropsychology Clinic, we understand the powerful effects that ADHD misconceptions can have on children’s lives. That’s why we’re committed to providing custom Transformative Brain Programs that give children the tools they need to unlock their potential, train their brains, and give them lasting relief from both their symptoms and harmful ADHD misconceptions.
Get in touch today to schedule your initial call and learn more.