Persistent myths about Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder damage public perception of the 4% to 9% of the population grappling with this devastating condition. The nation's four leading ADHD organizations seek to end the stigma, once and for all.
Four national organizations - ADHD Coaches Organization (ACO); Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA); ADDitude magazine; and Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) - are issuing a joint call to the public to assist children, adults, and families who are affected by ADHD. On the occasion of ADHD Awareness Week, September 13-17, they've compiled evidence-based information and links to available resources and supports at www.adhdawareness2010.org.
Four to 7 million children (5-9% of the population) and 9 to 13 million adults (4-6% of the population) in the U.S. have Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). It's time the general public started paying attention to the reality of this condition. Perhaps you've heard one of the following myths about ADHD
MYTH: ADHD isn't a real medical disorder.
FACT: Abundant scientific research has led every mainstream medical, psychological, and educational organization in the United States to conclude long ago that ADHD is real. The American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, National Institute of Mental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Psychiatric Association, American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, and the U.S. Department of Education, among others, recognize ADHD as a legitimate diagnosis. Research shows that ADHD is the result of an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain. Its primary symptoms are inattention, impulsiveness, and, sometimes, hyperactivity.
MYTH: ADHD is not a national health issue.
FACT: More than 50 percent of the individuals who have ADHD in childhood continue to have it as adults - and it costs these adult sufferers billions of dollars each year due to an inability to hold steady jobs. In fact, ADHD is one of the nation's costliest health problems (the estimated yearly income loss for adults with ADHD in the U.S. is $77 billion), costing more than either depression or drug abuse.
Find the straight facts that debunk the 7 most common myths about ADHD in a down-loadable, printer-friendly handout, along with the ADHD Awareness Week poster, at www.adhdawareness2010.org.
As long as these widespread mis-perceptions go unchallenged, when someone first suspects ADHD in her child, her spouse, or herself, she may not know where to turn for help and reliable information.
"It is our hope that every child and adult with ADHD be recognized, receive a proper diagnosis, and have access to the life-changing resources and treatments that exist," says Sarah D. Wright, of the ADHD Coaches Organization, speaking on behalf of the consortium. "No one should have to struggle alone with this debilitating, and highly treatable, condition."
7 Myths About ADHD
Find the facts that debunk the seven most common myths about ADHD as a down-loadable handout at www.adhdawareness2010.org:
1. ADHD isn't a real medical disorder.
2. Children who are given accommodations because of their ADHD are getting an unfair advantage.
3. Children with ADHD eventually outgrow their condition.
4. ADHD affects only boys.
5. ADHD is the result of bad parenting.
6. Children who take ADHD medication are more likely to abuse drugs as teenagers.
7. People who have ADHD are stupid or lazy - they never amount to anything.
ABOUT THE ORGANIZATIONS:
ADHD Coaches Organization (ACO) is a non-profit, professional membership organization for ADHD coaches, created to advance the profession of ADHD coaching worldwide. The ACO believes specialized life coaching is a powerful tool to help clients achieve goals and realize their full potential. It has the largest search-able, online directory of professional ADHD coaches anywhere. www.adhdcoaches.org
Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA), founded more than 20 years ago, is the world's leading adult ADHD organization. ADDA brings together scientific perspectives and the human experience, and provides information, resources, and networking opportunities to help adults with ADHD lead better lives. www.add.org
ADDitude magazine is a consumer publication for adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and parents raising children with the condition. Founded in 1998, ADDitude has provided clear, accurate information and advice about ADHD and learning disabilities from the leading experts and practitioners in mental health and learning for 12 years. www.additudemag.com
Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) is a national, family based organization concerned with ADHD and related disorders. CHADD hosts over 200 local chapters and community support groups. CHADD is active in Washington, D.C., mental health and disability public policy coalitions, and is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to operate the National Resource Center on AD/HD (NRC). www.chadd.org and www.help4adhd.org