One of the most prevalent myths about ADHD is that it is "caused" by poor parenting.
To test this hypothesis, a study by Goodman and Stevenson (1989) involving twins found that it was genetic factors and not a shared family or parenting environment that accounted for about 80% of ADHD symptoms.
However, for children already diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, negative parenting behaviors such as being critical and domineering can exacerbate the symptoms of ADHD.
In addition, such negative parenting behaviors can also increase the risk of children developing other disorders such as Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Conduct Disorder (Barkley, 1998).
Hyperactivity is just one category of ADHD symptoms.
The other two are Inattention and Impulsivity. Inattentive children may appear to be unmotivated, spacey daydreamers, and impulsive children tend to blurt our answers to questions and engage in risky behaviors.
This is one of the more potentially damaging myths about ADHD because children with inattentive symptoms often go undiagnosed.
False! Children and adults with ADHD are capable of thriving. In fact, some of the world's most powerful and successful people suffer from ADHD. See this list of famous people with ADHD.
Children with ADHD cannot control their symptoms, especially in the early stages of the disorder.
ADHD is a chronic condition that often continues into adulthood, but it can be managed and controlled with proper treatment.
Another of the common myths about ADHD is that it is a made up disorder created by pharmaceutical companies in order to generate additional profit. However, studies show that ADHD is a chronic disorder that has a negative impact on virtually every aspect of daily emotional, academic and work functioning (Barkley, 1998). Children and adults with ADHD have higher rates of other psychiatric disorders, higher frequency of hospitalizations, emergency room visits and total medical costs compared to individuals without ADHD (Liebson et al., 2001).
Mainstream medications such as Ritalin are often prescribed for ADHD, but they might not be the most effective option for your child, perhaps due to ineffectiveness, debilitating side effects, withdrawal, etc. In such cases, there are a number of ADD natural remedies that can be highly effective, are less expensive, and do not result in any nasty side effects.
Medications that help control and relieve ADHD symptoms are only one part of the treatment battle however. ADHD sufferers often need concrete help in terms of completing tasks, homework, chores, money management, appropriate social interaction, etc. This is done with the help of an ADHD coach.
Just as important, parents need guidance to help manage challenging ADHD behaviors. As far as effective, at-home, behavioral programs, in my clinical opinion the ADHD Breakthrough Program is a great tool that teaches parents how to manage and eliminate difficult ADHD behaviors.
For adults, the How To Conquer ADHD Program is a guide authored by a man with ADHD who learned how to successfully manage the condition. He details all of the things he did to overcome the challenges of ADHD.
Other effective treatments often include some combination of ADHD behavior modification, exercise, ADHD diet, and neurofeedback for ADHD. Also, there are many other helpful techniques such as how to calm hyperactive children and how to create a calm home for children suffering from ADHD.