Hazlet Township ADHD Testing

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Empowered Learning Transformation Centers

Common Misconceptions about ADHD

Popular myths that hinder understanding of the disorder

“Isn’t everyone a little ADHD?”

 “Those kids just don’t want to sit still.”

“Girls don’t have ADHD.”

“I was the same way when I was in school, and I turned out fine.”


 When it comes to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, there are still many misconceptions, despite mountains of research showing the brain-based medical disorder affects children and adults of every gender, IQ and background.


“Just like many other disorders, such as high blood pressure, the symptoms of ADHD are present to a greater or lesser degree in everyone. It’s not like you have high blood pressure or no blood pressure,” says Empowered Learning Transformation Centers.  “What makes ADHD, or high blood pressure, a disorder is when the symptoms exceed a cutoff level that is known to be abnormal and problematic. In order to have ADHD, the symptoms have to interfere with your daily functioning more than typical for someone your age.”


Here are some common misconceptions about ADHD, debunked by local experts:


Myth #1: Kids with ADHD just aren’t trying hard enough.

ADHD looks different for everyone. The disorder includes three subsets: predominantly hyperactive-impulsive – the kids who have trouble sitting still; predominantly inattentive – the kids who struggle to stay focused or pay attention; and a combination of the two, which is most common.

One of the trademarks of ADHD is trouble with executive functioning skills such as organization, problem solving, reasoning, controlling behavior and working memory, all of which are crucial to learning.


Myth #2: Only boys have ADHD.

ADHD is diagnosed more often in boys than in girls, but the disparity may have to do with what kind of symptoms are noticed most often, experts say. While research shows that boys tend to have a combination of ADHD types, most girls with ADHD have predominantly inattentive traits.


Myth #3: There’s only one way to treat ADHD.

When it comes to treating ADHD, experts stress that it doesn’t have to be a choice between medicine or therapy.

“Cognitive training helps with working memory, but it doesn’t address hyperactivity, and just because medicine helps a child stop moving, it doesn’t mean they are paying attention.”


Myth #4: Kids with ADHD will outgrow it.

It’s true that the hyperactivity of ADHD tends to dissipate as children grow, but the impulsivity often remains well into adulthood, even if it changes form over time.


“In the same way that a 5-year-old may act out impulsively and break his mother’s vase, a 21-year-old might say something that gets him into trouble because he didn’t think about it first.” “Adults mature and develop strategies to help themselves stay on task and focus, but depending on how much it interferes with their life, they may still benefit from continued treatment.”


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