Things you should never say to someone with ADHD
Not everyone understands the complexity of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and its impact on everyday life. People may have misconceptions about it and say things that may be hurtful to those living with ADHD. Some may call ADHD a myth or fraud, a made up disorder which is over-diagnosed and over-medicated. Others may consider ADHD as a benign condition that can be managed with good parenting and think it will disappear as the child grows up.
If you want to be supportive and compassionate of the family living with ADHD, these are some things that you shouldn’t say to them:
1. ADHD isn’t real. Why don’t we just let kids be kids?
This is one of the biggest misconceptions people have. When they look at kids with ADHD, they think they’re just being kids. People think that hyperactivity is normal in children and it is wrongly labeled as ADHD. However, this isn’t true and kids with ADHD need proper diagnosis and treatment.
2. Everybody has a little ADHD. It isn’t a big deal.
You may have friends who claim to have an “ADD moment” or a little bit of ADHD.What they don’t know is that it isn’t an occasional problem and the symptoms of ADHD are so intense that they may significantly impair day-to-day life.
3. ADHD is too quickly and frequently diagnosed.
People think that we are too quick to judge and diagnose children who are simply active and energetic and think they have ADHD. The truth is, they don’t see the child’s behavior going out of control on certain occasions which causes parents to seek medical diagnosis and help in the first place.
4. If only you would try a little harder to get better.
Sometimes people think that if a child with ADHD tries harder, he/she could lead a more successful life. They think such people are just lazy and perceive them negatively. It must be remembered that people with ADHD show dramatic fluctuations in their performance, which must be puzzling for people who don’t understand such impairments.
5. ADHD is caused by poor parenting
Several parents of children with ADHD have to deal with such types of judgements from others. It isn’t true that poor parenting or lack of discipline at home leads to ADHD. Children with ADHD can be much more challenging to parents and may cause them to question their own parenting skills. With so many misconceptions around ADHD, it must be remembered that it is caused by genetics.
Some of the above statements can be especially harmful as they may prevent parents of ADHD children from seeking treatment. Without the right diagnosis, interventions and support, they may continue to struggle. Therefore, it is important to exercise caution when speaking to someone with ADHD.