ADHD is probably one of the most misunderstood, misdiagnosed, and mistreated medical concerns of the 21st century. There are 3 misconceptions about this rather common attention disorder that need serious clarification before an honest and helpful approach to diagnosing and treating ADHD can be undertaken.
Misconception number one. My child has been tested for ADHD.
There are several factors that must be taken into consideration before a person can be said to have problems with ADHD. There is not urine test or other simple sample evaluation process that signifies the existence of ADHD. ADHD is not a known chemical imbalance or a specific disease as in the presence of a specific physical defect in the body, but rather a whole host of symptoms and symptomatic reactions that when taken together, give a consistent picture of what we refer to as ADHD. Behavioral patterns are not enough. Reaction to physical stimulus or chemical makeup alone are not enough. Even when diagnosed with ADHD, it is best to seek out a second opinion as even the definition of ADHD and the severity and extent to which the disease is thought to be able to be controlled by medicine alone can vary from one medical professional to another.
Schools diagnose ADHD.
Teachers and educational professionals play a large part of our children’s lives and our children have a huge impact on theirs. But even with daily close contact and the best intentions at heart, a person who is not a medical expert for one, and a specialist in ADHD in children for two, has no authority to administer a diagnosis of ADHD on a child. Often there are other issues at hand. The most common reason for teacher diagnosis is in fact misbehavior. A child who acts up in class more than the others or has problems focusing does not necessarily have ADHD, but might just be bored. It is my personal opinion that it is sometimes the teacher, unable to maintain the attention of young children, is a problem, and not the child at all. That is not to say that the observations of the educational community are to be ignored, but should be backed up with medical expertise before taking unneeded action.
Misconception number three, ADHD children are intellectually impaired.
ADHD can definitely have a negative impact on academic performance and may even disrupt social skills, but intelligence is not the issue here. There are several incredibly smart people who are affected by ADHD. The inability to concentrate on material at hand or simply being able to stay motivated for any length of time for any single task has nothing to do with how smart a person is. ADHD is a medical condition with accompanying psychological and sometimes behavioral repercussions, but these symptoms usually only act as a barrier to education if they are left unchecked, uncontrolled, and unchanged. Getting over the fear of stigma or guilt, and making sure that ADHD is managed at the first sign of trouble is the best way to ensure that your child continues to learn at a normal pace and does not fall behind the others.