The internet is absolutely packed full of myths and misconceptions when it comes to different forms of Neurodiversity, and ADHD is no exception. When a lot of people hear the word ADHD also known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, they immediately think of a kid bouncing off the walls creating havoc, and being difficult. This is unfortunately what the media has taught society to associate with ADHD and it is up to us as individuals to learn and set this misconstrued mindset straight. There are several common myths regarding ADHD, let’s take a look at what some of those are.
Myth 1: Children with ADHD are Always Hyper
Though it may be true that some children with ADHD can present themselves as being hyperactive, restless, and unable to sit still for periods, the fact is that there are multiple forms of ADHD and each one of them comes with a different set of symptoms, let’s talk about the different types of ADHD
Hyperactive children are restless, they fidget more often than others and are likely to become bored quickly. Kids with ADHD may struggle sitting still for long periods and they oftentimes can have a hard time remaining silent when they are expected to do so. These children might play a little rougher than others but with no intention of actually hurting or causing harm to those around them, they may also do things to distract those around them and because of that sometimes are blamed for disrupting the learning of other children around them.
Contrary to the popular misconception that all children with ADHD are hyperactive, those who struggle with Inattentive ADHD are often quite the opposite. Children might find themselves losing focus easily and daydreaming or ‘spacing out’ regularly and have a hard time concentrating, paying attention, and staying on target. They might not follow instructions well, they might overlook crucial information, and they might not finish what they start.
The main thing that children who have an impulsive form of ADHD will do is act without considering the potential consequences. These children may have difficulties standing in line or waiting their turn for something and could very well resort to shoving or yelling without realizing that they are doing so until it has already happened. Similarly to the previous point, they might exhibit emotions that come across as over the top or excessive regarding the present situation.
Myth 2: Only Boys Have ADHD
There it is, the very popular and very unfair idea that only boys are capable of having ADHD.
In reality, anybody can be diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder regardless of gender or even age. Though indeed, girls are just as likely to get ADHD as boys, there is certainly a difference in the rate at which they are diagnosed. The reasoning behind this is that boys are more likely to present with symptoms that most people associate with ADHD.
Boys have been more likely to exhibit behaviors that stand out and are more commonly recognized by people as symptoms of ADHD, these include things like excessive talking, fidgeting, becoming disruptive, and showing signs of hyperactivity. These are signs that most people will link to ADHD because as stated before, this is what we were all brought up believing ADHD was.
Girls are more likely to show signs of ADHD that are easier to pass off as something else because they are not signs that most people in the world have regularly associated with and still likely do not realize that they are signs of ADHD as adults. Because so many people do not realize signs such as daydreaming, losing focus, or being unable to complete tasks are signs of ADHD, many girls end up, unfortunately, going undiagnosed.
Myth 3: ADHD is a Learning Disability
A harmful misunderstanding about ADHD is that it is a learning disability. A learning disability is something that affects a person’s ability to learn a specific skill set. ADHD does not affect a person’s ability to do so. People may be under misunderstand that ADHD is a learning disability because children who struggle with ADHD often have difficulties staying focused or keeping up with the rest of their class due to daydreaming, dissociation, and excessive fidgeting.
Though ADHD can present a child with a series of challenges when it comes to focusing on and taking in new knowledge, it does not make a child unable to properly learn certain skills such as mathematics or reading. The most important thing to remember when it comes to teaching children with ADHD is that the children are not intentionally being disruptive and they are not losing focus on purpose.
Instead of immediately reprimanding a child for exhibiting behaviors associated with ADHD, the best thing to do is to take the time to learn about ADHD and work with the child to figure out how to properly help them navigate their way through what is unquestionably a challenging journey for them and find ways to ensure that they are still receiving the education they need and the education they deserve.
Myth 4: ADHD Can be Cured
Though there are treatments for ADHD, the fact of the matter is that it is not something that can ever be fully cured. With the right treatments, symptoms of ADHD can very well be managed and may become less apparent over time. Just like any diagnosis, the earlier ADHD is caught, the better. There are a few different types of treatment for ADHD, let’s look at them.
Medicine is used to help brain chemicals work better. The medication used to help manage symptoms of ADHD work with two chemicals, dopamine, and norepinephrine, these are the chemicals in the brain that affect a person’s attention as well as their ability to concentrate. Medication is used to help balance them out and in turn, reduce the symptoms of ADHD.
Therapists can be essential in the treatment of ADHD symptoms. A therapist specializes in working with children and individuals to help them develop skills socially and emotionally which in turn can help them to understand when their behavior is not acceptable and why they are reacting to things the way that they are.
Just as children need to learn and understand their Neurodiversity, it is equally crucial for the parent of a child with ADHD to learn about the disorder to gain the skills necessary to properly respond and react to otherwise difficult behavioral situations brought on by their child’s ADHD.
Parents and teachers alike need to understand the difficulties that a child with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder faces every day and the fact that they are not fully in control of their actions. The worst thing for a parent or teacher to do is to react without consideration of the child’s Neurodiversity and respond to a situation with anger or accusations. Always keep in mind that more often than not, a child is not behaving in a disruptive way because they want to cause trouble for those around them, just as they do not want to cause stress for the adults in their life.
We understand that certain situations may be difficult to navigate and it is crucial in those situations for you to remember that you are not alone.
ADHD is nothing to be ashamed of and should never be treated as such. If you have questions regarding ADHD or any other beautiful form of neurodiversity there are many resources out there to help educate and inform you, as well as work with you to better understand those around you who have ADHD. There are workbooks and classes and there is ThearaWay.
Theara and ADHD
Theara was built to support Neurodivergent people, including those with ADHD. We have several life hacks, resources, and blogs to support people with ADHD as they navigate their Neurodivergent life.
We also specifically crafted the Theara Academy.
The Theara Academy
Theara has created a community and resource hub for all Neurodivergent people, what Theara refers to as the Neurodiverse Collective. We created an innovative acronym-based digital training to ensure Neurodivergent live fulfilling and rewarding lives where they reach their goals, maintain meaningful relationships, and embrace who they truly are.
Here at Theara, we have 4 unique courses to support Neurodivergent people.
Know the Way at Home is a resource for parents of Neurodivergent children.
Know the Way at School is a resource for parents, teachers, and educators to navigate the Neurodivergent academic journey.
Know the Way at Work is a resource for employers, business owners, and HR representatives wanting to create a more inclusive and accommodating workplace for their Neurodivergent staff.
E.M.E.R.G.E. ND is for people wanting to remove the mask, heal the trauma and grief, reach their goals, and navigate their Neurodiversity.
Each course is tailored to a different stage of the Neurodivergent experience. Whether you’re a parent seeking to support your child, an educator wanting a more inclusive classroom, an employer ready to create a more diverse workforce, or a Neurodiverse person wanting to be themselves, then we have a course for you.
Let’s build a bridge to a brighter future, together.