When it comes to ADHD, myths and misinformation are abound, but ADHD facts are often ignored. Our readers shared some of the thoughtless, foot-in-mouth comments they've heard from strangers, teachers, doctors, and family members about ADHD. Brace yourself for the onslaught of insensitivity.
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ADHD Symptoms Are "Just a Tantrum"
"My mom stayed with my family for a few days. Every time my son flipped out, she would say: 'Well that just seems like a temper tantrum to me.' I may have agreed with her if these meltdowns didn't happen every day!"
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ADHD Is a Character Flaw
"Growing up, my parents had me believe that it was a defect in my character, and not inattention, that kept me from developing good study skills. It took recognizing ADHD in my own children before I could begin to let go of the guilt!"
"When my son was in 4th grade, his teacher became fed up with what she described as his 'bad behavior and disrespect for the rules.' She went on to say that we were a 'family of troublemakers.' Shouldn't a teacher know better?"
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Kids with ADHD Are "Just a Little Hyperactive"
"'Oh, she’s just a little hyper.' Well, that’s an understatement."
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Parenting Classes Will Fix ADHD
"Before my oldest was diagnosed with ADHD, a pediatrician actually suggested that I take parenting classes. It took moving to a different state and switching to a new pediatrician before my son was properly diagnosed with ADHD."
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ADHD Is Fixed with Spanking
"I went to pick up my son's ADHD medication one day at the pharmacy and the pharmacist said, 'You know you would save a lot of money if you just spanked him instead.' I was shocked!"
"Someone once told me that signing my son up for a sport would solve his behavior problems. 'He just needs to be tired out,' she said."
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ADHD Is Just Bad Parenting
"'I'd never let my kid do that.' I’m assuming your kid doesn't have ADHD."
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ADHD Is Just Wildness
"'What is going on with that child?! Why can't the parents just rein him in?' If only it were that simple."
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ADHD Is a Phase
"'She will outgrow it.' Ever heard of adult attention deficit disorder? Sigh."
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Kids with ADHD Are Socially Maladjusted
"I was dubbed 'socially maladjusted' by my kindergarten teacher, but in truth, I was just bored because I wasn't learning anything new."
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ADHD Is Just a Lack of Motivation
"Growing up I was called 'lazy and unmotivated' and was told that I just needed to apply myself."
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ADHD Medication Is Shameful
"Then there are those who say 'Oh my goodness, you give her those drugs? Aren't you afraid of what they're doing to her?' Umm… no. I'm more afraid of what my daughter will do if she’s not on her medication!"
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ADHD Accommodations Offer an Unfair Advantage
"'504 Plans and IEPs give ADHD kids an unfair advantage.' Oh right, because having ADHD is such a walk in the park."
"'You’re not living up to your full potential. If only you would apply yourself ...' We've all heard this one."
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ADHD Is Just Stupidity
"I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was in kindergarten. My first grade teacher said 'Well, she is just stupid and can't learn.' Today I hold four bachelor’s degrees and a master’s degree and I plan on getting a Ph.D. — guess I proved her wrong!"
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Smart People Don't Have ADHD
"'Smart people don't have disabilities and people with disabilities aren't smart.' This is obviously untrue. Ever heard of Einstein? Yep, he had ADHD."
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Everyone Has a Little ADHD
"It’s a pet peeve of mine when a person without ADHD jokes around by saying 'I am so ADHD today' whenever they get distracted. It is this type of joke that makes people dismiss ADHD as a serious disorder."
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ADHD Is Caused by Divorce
"I was once told that I behaved the way I did because I was a product of a 'broken home.'"
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ADHD Kids Are Just Irresponsible
"'Irresponsible' is a word I constantly heard growing up. I felt like it was my middle name."
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ADHD Is Caused By Too Much TV
"I had a psychology professor tell me that ADHD was caused by bad parenting and too much TV! I was seeing red for days! Breaks my heart to think someone would actually say that."