ADHD: October is ADHD Awareness Month

    September 29, 2013
    Erika Watts
    Comments are off for this post.

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) affects millions of children and adults. While many people are familiar with the term ADHD, there are many misconceptions tied to this learning disability. Several ADHD groups hope to educate people on these misconceptions during October, which is ADHD Awareness Month.

It’s not uncommon to hear people scoff at ADHD and call it an excuse for poor parenting. Even though ADHD is recognized by “nearly every mainstream medical, psychological, and educational organization in the United States…[and] these organizations also concluded that children and adults with ADHD benefit from appropriate treatment,” some people remain convinced that ADHD isn’t a real disorder. They assert that ADHD is simply bad parenting and lack of discipline:

Because of the misconceptions surrounding ADHD and the fact that the numbers of children and adults with ADHD are increasing, several ADHD groups have joined together to make October ADHD Awareness month. These groups include ACO, ADDA, CHADD and ADDitude. The ADHD Awareness Month Coalition has put together a list of a few things everyone should know about the disorder, including:

ADHD is a non-discriminatory disorder affecting people of every age, gender, IQ, religious and socio-economic background. In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the percentage of children in the United States who have ever been diagnosed with ADHD is now 9.5%. Boys are diagnosed two to three times as often as girls.

In order for a diagnosis of ADHD to be considered, the person must exhibit a large number of symptoms…for a minimum of six months.

Up to 30% of children and 25-40% of adults with ADHD have a co-existing anxiety disorder. Experts claim that up to 70% of those with ADHD will be treated for depression at some point in their lives.

When the ADHD is undiagnosed and untreated, ADHD contributes to problems succeeding in school and successfully graduating.

ADHD is NOT caused by moral failure, poor parenting, family problems, poor teachers or schools, too much TV, food allergies, or excess sugar. Instead, research shows that ADHD is both highly genetic (with the majority of ADHD cases having a genetic component), and a brain-based disorder (with the symptoms of ADHD linked to many specific brain areas).

Do you have ADHD or know someone who does? Share your experience below.

For any parents, teachers or other caregivers who suspect a child in their care may have ADHD, the NIH has put together a list of symptoms. It’s important to note that the presence of a few of these symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean the child has ADHD, but consulting the child’s pediatrician for an evaluation would be a good ideas.

ADHD Symptoms:

Symptoms of inattention:

Struggle to follow instructions
Be easily distracted, miss details, forget things
Become bored with a task after only a few minutes, unless they are doing something enjoyable
Have trouble completing or turning in homework assignments, often losing things
Not seem to listen when spoken to
Daydream, become easily confused

Symptoms of hyperactivity:

Fidget and squirm in their seats
Talk nonstop
Dash around, touching or playing with anything and everything in sight
Have trouble sitting still
Be constantly in motion
Have difficulty doing quiet tasks or activities.


Image via ADHDAwarenessMonth

  • concerned parent

    my son was diagnosed with having add, adhd,and is on the the autism spectrum. I have a problem with people commenting saying it’s bad parenting. How would you know unless your raising a child with these disabilities? My son for the most part is very well behaved. Now i’ve met some children that you all like to call quote on quote normal, and there absolute terrors and they don’t have add, adhd,or are on the spectrum their just plain unruly and bad. So i guess a lot of you parents with quote on quote normal children are doing the bad parenting and not the other way around…….. walk a few miles in our shoes and maybe just maybe you won’t be so quick to judge someone else’s situation…..have a blessed day!

  • auto

    my son has adhd-i and diagnosed late. its not bad parenting when the child is frustrated and grades plummet. adhd-i kids don’t understand a lot of things in the beginning and constantly need tutoring to keep up with their peers. they are not bad kids, they lack the focus academically mostly. he’s extremely talented in art. you have to look at what the child likes to do, he’s not a typical baseball, football kid and its ok with me. he goes to classroomantics.com video game camp over the summer tap into your childs talents and it helps them academically.

  • Carol Farrell

    My husband and I are recent retired teachers with graduate degrees and 40 years in the teaching field. HOW DARE, people walk in the shoes and judge the parents with children with disabilities? Yes, these days there are many “diagnosis du jour” in education that often cloud the children with children with different disabilities. From our teaching careers, you SHOULD never judge the parenting by the problems of the children. We’ve taught wonderful, highly functioning children of both dysfunctional families and troubled children from the most functional families. You can’t generalize. Unless, you walk in the shoes of a parent of a child with disabilities, you don’t know what you are talking about. Be grateful and feel blessed for a healthy child that is highly functional.

  • Salsabil

    Hi, I also suffer from severe inattentiveness. I want to get myself tested. I live in New York. Can anyone help me with this. I would appreciate that. Thank you.

    • Stacey

      I am an Educational Therapist that works with people who suffer from attention deficit and there is help out there for you! We have an association, The Association of Educational Therapists (aetonline.org), and you can search for an educational therapist near you whom you can call. Once on the website, go the “For Parents” section to search for ed. therapists in your area. Attention deficit is something that is very real (has nothing to do with bad parenting), and can be helped. Please reach out to someone.

  • Another concerned parent

    I have no words for the comments. I am appalled. I have a 23 year old who worked hard for her grades, both have been afforded top educations at private schools. My oldest graduated from high school then went on to graduate on the Dean’ list at a top private college. I have an almost 13 year old who has severe ADHD and an IQ of 145. She plays the piano, reads and writes music, and can play any song by ear. She doesn’t have to study hard, the grades come easy to her. However, she needs accommodations because of the ADHD. She cannot focus. My techniques for parenting her were the same that they were for my older successful daughter. I have had to modify my techniques but ADHD has nothing to do with bad parenting. I can assure you of that.

    I have three brothers who had ADHD, only two were diagnosed because back in the day, it was considered a behavioral problem. I also have a 37 year old sister (ADD) and a 72 year old father (ADD) who were also recently diagnosed. None of the adults will take medication out of stubbornness.

    I can tell you that it seems worse in girls probably because it is not as frequent as in boys and girls are expected to act a certain way and boys are known to be more rambunctious. Depression and anxiety are questionable right now for my daughter and no parent wants to hear those words when associated with their children. It is scary.

    While I believe ADHD is primarily genetic, I also believe it is related to the modified food products we eat. This problem wasn’t as prevalent in prior generations and if it was, it wasn’t documented. This is what leads me to believe it is related to the things we eat. Think about it, nearly all food is treated with something these days. I believe parents are consuming and passing it on to their children whether they have it or not.

    The stereotypes are unfair and yes, sometimes the diagnoses are overused and slapped on kids that do have other behavioral problems. No parent of a child with ADHD WANTS to medicate their child but ADHD is a real disease. Would you withhold insulin from a diabetic? Don’t judge until you have walked in the shoes of a child with ADHD or a parent with a child who legitimately has ADHD.

  • beancrisp

    FACT: ADHD does not exist.

  • http://yahoo Brenda

    My son is 11yrs old. diagnosed at 8 thru school and pediatrician. went thru several meds. I couldn’t stand the effects, some zombie him others changed my precious son’s personality . To me he was a normal little boy. Fine had trouble staying on task and focusing . So did I at that age ! Then he started blurting out like a hiccup sound. I tried to discipline him thinking it was just a habit .He cried after several weeks and said how sorry he was but he couldn’t help it ! ON Intuniv now for 3yrs, Completely the same wonderful child ! Except still can’t focus or stay on task in school. Tried to take him off Meds. during summer .He started his ticking again. Now i’m home schooling him and thinking about weaning him off of Meds.He is so intelligent on subjects that interest him.

    • poop

      The tick could be a form of tourettes.

  • Carol Bogart

    Gotta love the guy who posted the image of the belt — advocating child abuse as the ‘treatment’ for ADHD. Child Protective Services should pay his home a visit.