Saturday, April 19, 2014

ADHD: Facts and Myths

As we await the phone call from Brandon's doctor saying the insurance company has given the "ok" for the medication that has been recommended for Brandon, I have continued to do research on ADHD.  There seem to be two VERY distinct takes on ADHD:

I decided to find a list of myths and facts about ADHD.  The first list is from the website

Myth #1:  All kids with ADD/ADHD are hyperactive.
Fact:  Some children with ADD/ADHD are hyperactive, but many others with attention problems are not.  Children with ADD/ADHD who are inattentive, but not overly active, may appear to be spacey and unmotivated.

Myth #2:  Kids with ADD/ADHD can never pay attention.
Fact:  Children with ADD/ADHD are often able to concentrate on activities they enjoy.  But no matter how hard they try, they have trouble maintaining focus when the task at hand is boring or repetitive.

Myth #3:  Kids with ADD/ADHD could behave better if they wanted to.
Fact:  Children with ADD/ADHD may do their best to be good, but are still unable to sit still, stay quiet, or pay attention.  They may appear disobedient, but that doesn't mean they're acting out on purpose.

Myth #4:  Kids will eventually grow out of ADD/ADHD.
Fact:  ADD/ADHD often continues into adulthood, so don't wait for your child to outgrow the problem.  Treatment can help your child learn to manage and minimize the symptoms.

Myth #5:  Medication is the best treatment option for ADD/ADHD.
Fact:  Medication is often prescribed for ADD, but it might not be the best option for your child. Effective treatment for ADD/ADHD also includes education, behavior therapy, support at home and school, exercise, and proper nutrition.

This list is from the WebMD website.

There is no such medical condition as ADHD.
ADHD is a medical disorder, not a condition of the child's will. A child with ADHD does not choose to misbehave.
ADHD is caused by bad parenting. All the child needs is good discipline.
ADHD is not caused by bad parenting. But parenting techniques can often improve some symptoms and make others worse.
ADHD is a life sentence.
Although ADHD symptoms usually continue into adulthood, the person learns ways to cope with the symptoms. People with ADHD have plenty of energy, are creative, and can often accomplish more than people who do not have the condition.
Having ADHD means the person is lazy or dumb.
ADHD has nothing to do with a person's intellectual ability. Some highly intelligent people have ADHD.
The diagnosis of ADHD is confirmed if certain medicines (psychostimulants) have a positive effect on what seem to be symptoms of ADHD.
Children without ADHD respond to psychostimulants similarly to children with ADHD. A trial of medicine is not used to diagnose the condition.
Medicine for ADHD will make a person seem drugged.
Properly adjusted medicine for ADHD sharpens a person's focus and increases his or her ability to control behavior.
Medicine prescriptions for ADHD have greatly increased in the past few years, because the condition is being overdiagnosed.
ADHD is estimated to affect about 3 to 7 out of 100 school-age children in the United States.1There is little evidence to support claims that ADHD is overdiagnosed and that ADHD medicines are overprescribed.
Psychostimulants are no longer useful after puberty.
Teens and adults with ADHD continue to benefit from medicine treatment.
Children with ADHD are learning to use the condition as an excuse for their behavior.
ADHD is a disability. Children with ADHD have to learn ways to deal with their symptoms (inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity) that cause them to have difficulties in life.
Children outgrow ADHD.
About 70 out of 100 children with ADHD continue to have symptoms during their teen years and about 50 out of 100 have symptoms into adulthood.2
If a child has ADHD, he or she can always be diagnosed in the doctor's office.
A child may not always show symptoms of ADHD, especially in an unfamiliar setting. Evaluating a child from one office observation may result in failure to recognize or diagnose symptoms.

A lot of these facts line up exactly with what I believe about ADHD.  I do believe that ADHD has been over diagnosed through out the years.  However, I know that something just isn't right with Brandon. After spending the past year and a half wondering what has been going on, I believe that Brandon struggles with many things on these two lists.  I also feel very strongly that medication alone is not the answer. I'm not trying to just medicate my child to make it all go away.

I look forward to hearing back from the doctor so that we can begin this process while Brandon is still in school.  He struggles with this the most there, and they're only about 30 days left until summer break. I'm also grateful for all my supportive friends and family; you guys are fabulous!

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