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ADHD Awareness Month: 31 Myths in 31 Days — Debunked!

ADDitude's take on ADHD Awareness Month.

This ADHD Awareness Month, ADDitude is debunking 31 myths in 31 days. Help us get the truth out about ADHD by sharing these common misconceptions about attention deficit with friends, family, teachers, co-workers, and others!

Get 31 ADHD Myths & Truths
One for each day of ADHD Awareness Month!

October 1:

Oh, attention deficit is real, all right...but how do you help people understand?

Here's a place to start: www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/873.html.

Thanks for helping to spread the word during ADHD Awareness Month.

October 2:

No, it's not just kids, and women have it, too — attention deficit affects people of all ages and both sexes.


Help spread the truth about ADHD. Read, learn, and share!

October 3:

There's more to attention deficit than disruptive behavior — in fact, many ADHDers don't display it at all. So if ADHD isn't a behavior disorder...what is it?


Find out. Spread the word. Change some minds for the better!

October 4:

"You call it ADHD, I call it bad parenting."

We've heard all kinds of theories about parenting skills and ADHD — don't let ignorance get you down. You're working hard to be the best parent you can be, and we salute you for it!


October 5:

"You can't have ADHD! You're not hyper."

People think of ADHDers as the loud, impulsive, active ones. But many of us struggle with ADHD inattentive type, a quieter variant that causes difficulty concentrating, getting organized, and following through on tasks — and we need help and recognition, too.


October 6:

"He's just being a kid! He'll outgrow it." Will kids with attention deficit need lifelong treatment? Possibly: Two-thirds of children diagnosed with ADHD will continue to grapple with the condition into adulthood.

Find out more about "outgrowing" attention deficit — read, learn, and share to dispel ADHD myths.


October 7:

The term may be new, but the phenomenon is not — many of us diagnosed with ADHD now would have once been called lazy, stupid, or incapable of learning, or diagnosed with a "Defect of Moral Control"!

By spreading the facts, you're helping that change continue, so please keep up the sharing.


October 8:

The flip side of ADHD distractibility is hyperfocus. It's the ability to focus intently on tasks that are stimulating and rewarding — and it can be a real superpower when it's harnessed appropriately.

Find out more: www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/612.html.

October 9:

Parents of kids with ADHD often agonize over whether to medicate their children — it's not a decision made lightly. Lots of us resort to meds only after other approaches fail.

How ADDitude readers respond when confronted by this myth: www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/9797.html.

October 10:

School accommodations for kids with ADHD or learning disabilities don't elevate these kids beyond their peers — they level the playing field so that every kid has an equal chance to succeed.

Students who need specialized services are entitled to them by law. Find out about ADHD and education rights: www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/4020.html.

October 11:

"No biggie," eh? Wrong — from school to work to relationships, people with ADHD may face significant challenges all through life.

Readers share what that feels like: www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/9774.html.

Understanding and support go a long way — so thanks to our friends and family who get that it IS a big deal.

October 12:

People with attention deficit DO try hard — as one ADHDer puts it, "You have no idea how hard I try!" Here's to all of you with ADHD who work every day to succeed, excel, and thrive!

How readers respond to the "Just try harder!" myth: www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/8113.html.

October 13:

While medication can enhance focus, it doesn't give ADHDers superpowers — it simply brings people with attention deficit closer to the levels neurotypical people enjoy.

Learn the facts about ADHD medication: www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/718.html.

October 14:

This one really hurts. When people with ADHD experience difficulties in school, it can mask their true intelligence. But with the right kind of support to develop their strengths, ADHDers can shine along with the brightest.


October 15:

Everyone's forgetful or distracted sometimes — but with ADHD, it's not just the occasional misplaced set of keys. For people with attention deficit, symptoms have a pronounced negative impact on your day-to-day life.

A good way to counter this myth? Suggest a self-test: www.additudemag.com/adhd-guide/self-tests.html.

October 16:

Researchers have had a long time to study the effects of medication — there are no major safety concerns. In fact, NOT treating attention deficit is riskier: people with ADHD who don’t take medication have a significant increase in auto accidents, drug abuse, unplanned pregnancy, and job loss.

Learn the facts: www.additudemag.com/adhdblogs/4/8950.html.

October 17:

Not only do superstars like Michael Phelps prove the myth wrong, everyday people with ADHD do, too. With the right kind of support, there's no stopping us.

Check out these high achievers — and how their parents helped them go for the gold: www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/1998.html.

October 18:

You know ADHD can affect your life — but did you know it's serious enough to be classified as a disability?

ADHD is a disability included in the Americans with Disabilities Act, and under IDEA (the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) ADHD is specified as a condition that could make a child eligible for special education services.

Learn more about ADHD and the law: www.additudemag.com/adhd-web/article/674.html.

October 19:

People might not think so if they knew how embarrassing ADHD-related mistakes can be. Here's just one example: www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/9869.html.

People with attention deficit don't enjoy the fallout from their symptoms — quite the opposite, wouldn't you say?

October 20:

There's no quick fix for ADHD, since medication doesn't improve self-esteem, time management, organization, or social skills. When it comes to building skills to cope with attention deficit, behavior therapy is key — and part of the most effective approach to treating ADHD.

Learn more about this non-drug therapy that's been proven to work: www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/651.html.

Are you using this approach as you raise an ADHDer?

October 21:

It's not just a problem in classrooms — by diagnostic definition, the symptoms of ADHD occur in more than one setting. When a child ONLY acts out in school, the experts advise to look for another cause: www.additudemag.com/adhdblogs/11/9386.html.

Where does ADHD cause the biggest disruption in your life?

October 22:

Does television cause ADHD? Nope: "Plenty of kids who watch little or no TV are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, and an abundance of evidence points to a genetic connection."

Find out what the research says: www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/826.html.

Have people suggested your child has ADHD because he watches too much TV?

October 23:

In fact, many people find diagnosis in adulthood to be liberating: "I finally understand why I am the way I am!" And they can finally get help to begin managing symptoms.

Read one woman's story: www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/947.html.

Were you diagnosed as an adult? Do you wish you'd been evaluated sooner?

October 24:

The appropriate dosage of ADHD meds varies based not on weight but on metabolism. How quickly our bodies "burn" through the meds is highly individual, requiring a customized prescription.

Learn about "burn rate" here: www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/8693.html.

Have you had to try different dosages of your ADHD meds?

October 25:

"Emotional disruptions are the most impairing aspects of the condition at any age." In fact, people with attention deficit report themselves nearly unable to bear the feeling that they've failed.

Read about it: www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/10121.html.

How does ADHD affect your emotions, friends?

October 26:

It's not unusual for children with attention deficit to lag behind in social and emotional development. Kids with ADHD often take longer to learn to read social cues, control their impulses, and...well, grow up!

Learn more: www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/2538.html.