Myth: All Children with ADHD are hyperactive.

Fact: This is not always the case with all children as many children with ADHD are not hyperactive, but only some children are hyperactive. The children who are not very active and inattentive appear to be in a state of mental numbness and unmotivated.

Myth: ADHD is the result of bad parenting.

Fact:  Children with ADHD often struggle with some behaviours – owing to which people say that the child’s behaviour is due to a lack of discipline. They do so because they do not understand the real problem that the constant fidgeting and misbehaviours of the child are the signs of a medical condition, but not due to bad parenting.

Myth: Children with ADHD can do better if they want.

Fact: Children suffering from ADHD may try to be good or try to behave better, but still cannot do so. However, they try to do their best, they are unable to do so – stay calm, sit quiet or still or pay attention. Though they seem to be doing certain things purposefully, they do not act on purpose. That’s why they appear to be disobedient, but in real terms, they are not.

Myth: It is always difficult for children with ADHD to pay attention.

Fact: It is not always true that children having problems with their attention cannot concentrate on all activities they do – they do concentrate on some activities they enjoy. But, when they are involved in activities that are repetitive and boring, they find it difficult to maintain focus no matter how desperately they try to concentrate.

Myth: Children can overcome ADHD on their own

Fact: Children cannot overcome ADHD on their own as the problem often continues into adulthood. Therefore, parents should not wait until the issue becomes bigger. Timely intervention, treatment and support may help manage the symptoms and minimize the risks.

Though some of the symptoms may get lessen as children grow older, children don’t totally outgrow ADHD. As kids enter into adolescence age – some of their symptoms may change – but it doesn’t mean that they outgrow them. Many people with ADHD will carry their symptoms forward to adolescence.

Myth: Medication is the only treatment option for ADHD.

Fact: Medication is not the only treatment option for ADHD though it is often prescribed. Behavioural therapy (CBT) in combination with medication, diet and exercise is the most effective approach. Proper education, support at school and at home, and proper nutrition are the other effective approaches.

Bottom line

As a parent, your understanding of ADHD is important – this will help debunk the myths that others may have. It will also help in augmenting the knowledge you have about ADHD. Furthermore, if you think your child may have ADHD, then learn what to do next after consulting your paediatric neurologist.