Explaining ADHD to Doubters


"How can you prove to others that your ADHD behaviors and symptoms are not your choice but rather the cause of ADHD?"


If your behaviors of concern are ADHD-related due to impulsivity, hyperactivity and/or inattention, it is important to educate the people you are concerned about regarding ADHD. Many people still have misconceptions and, as a result, attribute ADHD-related behaviors to character flaws. I love the title of the book, So You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?! (Scribner 2006), because those are often the tags attached to ADHD behavior for those who lack an understanding.

Begin by having a discussion with people regarding ADHD and what impact that has on your life, so they can begin to understand your behaviors through new eyes. Sometimes, people can better understand ADHD by reading a brief (1-2 page) article. Some ADHD Web sites have a nice selection of short articles. A number of these Web sites are linked to ADDitude's Web site under "Resources."

Finally there are numerous books on both child and adult ADHD, which are helpful in gaining a better understanding of the disorder. The ADD Warehouse carries a very comprehensive listing of books for both child and adult ADHD. As with any prejudice, information and education are often the beginning of healing and opening up the pathways for communication.

Dr. Michele Novotni is an internationally recognized expert in the field of ADHD. She is the former president and CEO of the national Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA), an inspiring speaker, best selling author, psychologist, coach and parent of a young adult with AD/HD. She is the author of Adult AD/HD and What Does Everybody Else Know That I Don't?.

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