It’s quite normal for a parent to worry about their child. If he or she is inattentive or races around the house with seemingly limitless amounts of energy, the parent may be concerned. The diagnosis of a child with ADD or ADHD can be tricky and is not made easier by certain myths and assumptions.
By all means have your child assessed by the appropriate medical professional but it helps if all parents are aware of certain facts.
Myth #1 – Many children with ADHD are not hyperactive. In fact they can be just the opposite as they simply sit around staring into space being amused and alive in their own little world.
Myth #2 – A child diagnosed with ADHD may be disobedient and resistant to instructions. But their heart may be in the right place. They are not necessarily behaving out of spite and in fact may want to do the right thing. It’s just that their condition pushes them into other forms of behavior.
Myth #3 – Drugs may not be necessary. Many children with ADHD can lead a fulfilling life with treatment at home and at school which includes behavior therapy , exercises and nutrition. Certainly medication can and often does play an important role but it is not a cure-all for every child.
Myth #4 – You will never get a child with ADHD trained to sit still and concentrate. Nothing could be further from the truth. Eye-contact is vital and many a teacher and parent are able to establish communication with a child and help them achieve great things.
Myth #5 – ADHD is a child’s condition and when they become adults the problem will disappear. There are many adults with this condition and will live with it for their entire life. There are ways to manage it and an adult has the advantage over a child in being able to understand the condition.
In fact this final myth is doubly interesting because many people only discover they have ADHD when they become adults. They go through their childhood and teen years unaware of their condition.
Diagnosis is not the result of a simple test. The experts carry out a series of tests using observation and reports from parents and teachers. It is as much a case of eliminating conditions and discovering the ADHD once other conditions have been discounted.
One confusing aspect is that other conditions such as anxiety and depression can also be present in an adult and even a child to some extent. The diagnosis will need to consider these possibilities when making the assessment.
If as an adult you feel you have trouble concentrating, are often stressed and perhaps change jobs on a regular basis, you should ask about the possibility of having ADHD. The diagnosis is painless and the knowledge of treating the condition is growing every year.
If you or your child needs to be assessed, first consult your family doctor for a recommendation to a specialist. It is a specialist field and there are many fine practitioners who will be able to diagnose you or your child and set your mind at ease.