ADD/ADHD: Know the Facts from the Myths

To arm yourself with the weapon ready to combat Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), you must know the facts about them.

Myth No. 1: Only kids who are hyper have ADHD.
FACT: It is possible for a child to be suffering from the disorder without being hyperactive. ADHD actually has three subtypes: predominantly inattentive subtype, predominantly hyperactive-impulsive subtype and combined subtype. Most children who fit into only the first subtype may be suffering from ADHD without showing signs of hyperactivity.

Myth No. 2: Children can naturally outgrow ADHD.
FACT: If left untreated, ADHD continues into adulthood. However, by developing their strengths, structuring their environments, and using medication when needed, children with ADHD can grow up to be adults leading very productive lives.

Myth No. 3: Children on ADHD medications are more likely to take drugs when they become teenagers.
FACT: While it’s true that people with ADHD are naturally impulsive and more likely to take risks, those patients taking stimulants for this disorder are actually at lower risk of using other drugs. Children and teenagers who have ADHD and also have coexisting conditions may be at high risk for drug and alcohol abuse, regardless of the medication used.

Myth No. 4: Stimulants cures ADHD.
FACT: In order for stimulants to be most effective, it must be part of a larger treatment plan that may include academic help for the child and behavior-modification treatment.

Myth No. 5: Kids with ADHD are just poorly disciplined and poor parenting is responsible for ADHD behaviors in children.
FACT: ADHD is a condition of the brain that makes it difficult for children to control their behavior. While researchers have been unable to find the exact cause of ADHD, they have discovered a distinct change in brain size and activity in children with ADHD.

Myth No. 6: Children on ADHD stimulants will never grow to full size.
FACT: ADHS medications may have an effect on some children’s growth. But recent studies have revealed that any effect on height is only temporary. Even children who are still taking the medicine throughout adolescence ultimately do achieve their normal height.

Myth No. 7: ADHD can be treated through herbs and vitamins.
FACT: Researches have shown that the following methods aren’t proven to work in scientific studies: optometric vision training, applied kinesiology, megavitamins and mineral supplements, and EEG biofeedback.

Myth No. 8: ADHD is caused by too much white sugar, preservatives, and other artificial food additives. Removing these things from a child’s diet can cure the disorder.
FACT: Studies have shown that very few children with ADHD are helped by special diets. Most of the children who do respond to diets are very young or have food allergies. Sugar and food additives have been ruled out as causes for ADHD.

Myth No. 9: ADHD isn’t associated with any other conditions.
FACT: The majority of children who have been diagnosed with ADHD have at least one coexisting condition. The most common conditions are: Conduct disorder, Mood disorders, Anxiety disorders, and Learning disabilities.

Myth No. 10: Kids with ADHD won’t amount to anything.
FACT: Many talented people such as artists, scientists, and politicians had ADHD as children.

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