ADHD is said to affect anywhere from 3 to 10% of school-aged children. Yet despite this number, the word on the street would make you believe that this number is much higher. With anyone and everyone thinking they know about ADHD, as a parent, you must really sort through a lot of rumors and hype about attention deficit disorder.
The following are 7 critical pieces of information every parent must know about ADHD:
1. ADHD is a popular diagnosis
I am fairly certain this will come as no surprise to many parents. ADHD seems to be everywhere today. We hear about medications in the news and throughout various other media outlets. We are also subjected to some people who will tell you that “everyone has a little ADHD.” This is just not true. While it might look like attention deficit disorder, there are very specific criteria that children must meet to be diagnosed with the disorder.
2. There is no known cause
Despite all the research, scientific evidence, and wild theories about ADHD, there is not one universally accepted cause. Most people will tell you that there is a large genetic component, and yet others will have you believe that it is impacted by diet, parenting, and many other conspiracy theories.
While there is no definitive cause, the most popular theory relates to chemical processes in the brain and how certain neurotransmitters are absorbed.
3. There is no cure
Unlike many medical disorders, there is no known cure for ADHD. In fact, the medications that most children are prescribed do not resolve the symptoms, but rather merely relieve them. One professional suggested that medications provide a little extra “horsepower” to help focus less on disruptive symptoms and more on what will help someone be more productive.
4. Mimic symptoms
This one bit of information really frustrates me when it comes to understanding ADHD in children. What frustrates me the most is that this is very rarely spoken about or taught outside of the professional community.
What is this one piece of information?
There are a great number of other disorders, illnesses, health problems, and developmental factors that can mimic the symptoms of ADHD. In fact, there are many that overlap and make it quite difficult for professionals to differentiate and properly diagnose the disorder without a thorough evaluation.
5. Medication only covers up
What most people are never told is that medications only cover up the symptoms of ADHD. While your child might appear to be doing better on the outside, and to people around him, he can still be struggling on the inside.
Since there is no cure, medications only cover up the symptoms and leave many people convinced that their child must be “cured.” As we discussed above, there is no cure and as such, we cannot simply stop treatment or follow-up care with medication alone.
6. Underlying issues
In conjunction with medications only really covering up the symptoms, many people often overlook the underlying issues or problems that many children struggle with in addition to or separate from the diagnosis.
For instance, as a therapist, I used to see many children diagnosed with attention deficit disorder. More often than not, what these children struggled with the most had more on their minds than what they had been labeled with.
7. Be careful who you listen to
Consider all the people who have likely told you or suggested to you that your child has ADHD. Out of this group of people, how many of them are qualified professionals? Just because someone is in a professional role (like a teacher or guidance counselor), it does not mean they are an expert on the subject.
Consider who you listen to, and make sure that only qualified, licensed professionals are diagnosing your child with ADHD.
And now I would like to invite you to download an almost 60-minute audio interview available at http://www.adhdsuccessaudio.com where one successful professional reveals his personal struggle and success managing his symptoms of ADHD over the last 15 years.
You are also invited to keep up with constantly updated information on ADHD at http://www.thetruthbehindadhd.com.