Ask the Experts

Q: My Spouse Doesn’t ‘Believe’ In Our Son’s ADHD

Your spouse says he “doesn’t believe in ADHD,” which means he thinks your child’s behavior, social, and academic problems can be solved by punishing, yelling, and/or ignoring. None of these tactics achieve anything, except a slow dissolution of the parent-child relationship. Here is what you can do about it.

Listen to “The Social Lives of Boys with ADHD”

Q: “My 9-year-old son is diagnosed with ADHD. My husband doesn’t believe in ADHD. He thinks Dylan’s blowing up, arguing, etc. are a choice. He will say, ‘Dylan doesn’t act that way around me.’ The reality is that, when my husband is home, Dylan tries to get his attention until he eventually gets annoyed and snaps at Dylan. This dynamic is heartbreaking to watch. I have asked my husband to read articles; I share information with him, but he’s just not open to learning about ADHD. I see the pain in Dylan that his father’s reactivity causes him. Hoping you can make a video to explain ADHD to Dylan’s Dad.”

A: “Let me speak directly to your spouse here: If you continue being reactive to Dylan and see his behaviors as a character flaw, that will impact your relationship with him for years to come… ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that has been researched comprehensively. If you don’t believe in ADHD, you are denying science. This is not debatable; ADHD exists. The best thing you can do for Dylan, who is obviously desperate for your attention and approval, is this…”


Ryan Wexelblatt, LCSW is the facilitator of the ADHD Dude Facebook Group and YouTube channel. Ryan specializes in working with males (ages 5-22) who present with ADHD, anxiety with ADHD, and learning differences; he is the one professional in the United States who specializes in teaching social cognitive skills to boys from a male perspective.

Submit your questions about ADHD in boys here!