Jan 10, 2024 | Neurodiversity

Common ADHD Myths

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Over the past 25 years, research has helped to dispel many myths about ADHD, including the idea that it is a childhood disorder that disappears in adulthood. Education and awareness can help dispel misconceptions and myths surrounding neurodiversity. Today, we want to talk about a few common myths related to ADHD to help people better understand the condition. Better understanding fosters better accommodations, kindness, and consideration to those who face challenges in their daily lives. 

ADHD Myth #1: Only boys are diagnosed with ADHD 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “boys (13%) are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than girls (6%).” There are several differences between AMAB males and AFAB females in relation to symptoms of ADHD, which makes it more likely to be diagnosed among boys. Everyday Health cites common external behaviours such as excessive talking, fidgeting or constant interrupting, are common among boys.  

However, girls are more likely to exhibit the following: 

  • Daydreaming 
  • Quietness 
  • Struggling to maintain friendships 
  • Developing anxiety and or depression 
  • Masking with perfectionism 

“For many with inattentive ADHD, they are the ones daydreaming in class rather than paying attention. However, since they aren’t being disruptive, their symptoms can easily go unnoticed.”

American Psychological Association 

Since these behaviours are often less disruptive, girls tend to go unnoticed in their symptoms. Many girls are not diagnosed until much later in life when they begin to struggle with things like maintaining a job, mood disorders, or struggle with anxiety or self-esteem issues. 

ADHD Myth #2: It isn’t a “real” medical disorder  

ADHD is a neurological condition. Science and extensive research have found that there are anatomical differences in the brain in those with ADHD, and the frontal lobes, caudate nucleus, and cerebellar vermis of the brain are affected in ADHD (American Psychiatric Association). 

“Like neurological disorders, neurodevelopmental disorders affect the structure or function of your brain or nervous system. This means that scientists have identified biological irregularities that can be seen in advanced imaging tests or treated with medications.”

Healthline 

Many people believe that ADHD symptoms are behavioural and can be fixed with discipline or better parenting, which is a misconception. An article from Healthline emphasizes that “irregularities in the brain can cause behavioral issues, such as trouble with emotional regulation or impulsivity. They can also affect the way people think, learn, and interact with others.”  

ADHD Myth #3: ADHD is a learning disability 

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder and not a learning disability, according to the CDC. However, since individuals who are diagnosed with ADHD often struggle with traditional learning settings, they are widely conflated. In an article from Medical News Today, the following may impact a person’s ability to be successful in a learning environment: 

  • Reduced executive function 
  • Hyperactivity 
  • Trouble paying attention 
  • Disorganization 
  • Impulsivity 
  • Lack of attention to detail 

On the other hand, individuals with ADHD can possess exceptional skills and are successful in a variety of different aspects. People with ADHD are more than capable of being successful and impactful contributing members to the workplace, maintaining healthy relationships, and performing highly in schools and other environments. 

We hope that we have shed some light on these common ADHD misconceptions. If you would like to discuss more about neurodivergent education training, and how you can implement a more inclusive workplace, please contact the Candor team today. 

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