Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is when a child or adult has difficulties in managing behaviour that causes them to easily lose focus, act impulsively or being hyperactive.

In cases of ADHD, different parts of the brain don’t communicate in the typical manner, causing difficulties in social situations, learning, expressing feelings or controlling their behaviour.

Common symptoms of ADHD in a child can fall into two categories: inattentive symptoms and hyperactive and impulsive symptoms.

Inattentive Symptoms include:

  • A lack of close attention to details causing ‘careless’ mistakes.
  • Difficulty following instructions and finishing tasks like homework or chores.
  • Is easily distracted, and often by little things.
  • Has trouble remembering everyday things.
  • Avoids tasks that require a lot of mental effort like schoolwork or homework.
  • Doesn’t seem to listen when spoken to.
  • Has trouble getting things in order or doing things on time.
  • Often loses things like schoolwork, pencils, books, wallets, keys or mobile phones.

Hyperactive and Impulsive Symptoms include:

  • Fidgeting a lot and an inability to sit still.
  • Runs around/climbs on things in inappropriate situations.
  • Finds it hard to play or take part in activities quietly.
  • Talks a lot.
  • Is impatient and doesn’t wait for a turn.
  • Blurts out answers before questions are finished.
  • Interrupts other people’s conversations or games or uses things without asking.

October is ADHD Awareness Month and in 2019, ADHD Support Australia wanted to reduce the stigma and stereotypes surrounding this common condition and debunk some of its most widely believed myths.

Here are some common misconceptions of ADHD debunked:

  • ADHD is a common medical condition in which the brain develops and functions differently, resulting in hyperactivity and impulsive behaviour.
  • It is estimated that approximately 1 in 20 Australian children have ADHD in one of the three forms: inattentive, hyperactive and combined.
  • The development of ADHD does not occur from ‘bad parenting’. Rather, ADHD has a strong genetic link.
  • Treatment of ADHD is multifaceted including behavioural and cognitive therapy, making medication one of many treatments for this common condition.
  • ADHD affects both boys and girls, despite more boys being diagnosed. This is because symptoms of ADHD in girls present themselves more covertly than symptoms in boys.
  • Other mental health conditions often occur alongside ADHD such as low self-esteem, depression and anxiety. In fact, approximately 80 per cent of those with ADHD are diagnosed with at least one other psychiatric disorder in their lifetime.

A lack of understanding about ADHD prevents people from seeking help. By understanding the misconceptions, you are already contributing to beating the stereotype!

For more information, visit www.adhdsupportaustralia.com.au.