I’m no expert in ADHD, but isn’t it kind of obvious that parents aren’t the cause of their child’s diagnosis? Sure, bad parenting can exacerbate any issue, but to blame them for their child’s ADHD is just insane. Though it seems there are people out there who truly believe that ADHD is caused by lousy parenting. This according to a survey by Parents magazine and New York’s Child Mind Institute. They contacted 1,000 parents to get their views on ADHD and found that nearly a third of participants see it as a result of “insufficient or absent parenting rather than a true medical condition.” Wow!
Again, I’m not an expert, but this just seems so…wrong. I guess it’s because so many mothers and fathers I know personally who have a child with ADHD are some of the most wonderful parents around. In fact, they seem to have more patience than your average mom or dad simply because of the challenges involved. And so the thought of someone blaming them for their child’s diagnosis is not only absurd but also offensive. It highlights yet another way parents seem to place judgement on each other these days and, well, it’s sad.
There were some other interesting findings as well. Like the fact a majority of people surveyed (72 percent) said that doctors and parents are too quick to put kids on medication for ADHD rather than looking for other solutions. And 63 percent of parents said too many children are being diagnosed with ADHD when they just have behavioral issues (45 percent felt it’s because they’re teachers can’t handle them). Thirteen percent said ADHD should not be treated as a medical condition, but rather as a behavioral issue that can be corrected with discipline.
Meanwhile, almost all parents surveyed (96 percent) would want their child’s pediatrician to tell them if he or she thought their child should be evaluated for a psychiatric or learning disorder (83 percent said they’d want to hear the same from their child’s teacher).
“Stigma, lack of awareness and fear around mental health care prevent many parents and teachers from getting kids the support they need,”said physician and Child Mind Institute president Harold Koplewicz.