Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition which affects a child’s impulsivity and ability to pay attention. Parents often believe that these symptoms are caused by a lack of discipline, too much TV or a chaotic family life. In fact, research has shown that the condition is largely a genetic disorder. However, environmental factors may play also play a role.
Here are some common myths and facts about possible causes of ADHD:
- Smoking and drinking during pregnancy: Although fetal exposure to alcohol and tobacco has been linked with ADHD, it cannot cause the disorder. Smoking and drinking during pregnancy may increase the chances of a fetus developing fetal alcohol effects or fetal alcohol syndrome, each with features similar to the symptoms of ADHD.
- Blame it on the sugar: Parents often blame symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity on sugar. Although sugar raises our energy levels and can cause hyperactivity, studies have not been able to confirm if sugar can cause ADHD symptoms.
- Too much TV: Another common myth about ADHD is that it can be caused by watching too much TV or playing video games. According to studies, ADHD cannot be caused by watching too much TV.
- Bad parenting: Parents often confuse hyperactive, rebellious and bad behavior with ADHD. They also often blame themselves for their child’s behavior and falsely believe that their child’s ADHD is something they caused. According to the National Resource Center of ADHD, there is no evidence that parent styles contribute to ADHD.
- Pesticides: Although researchers do suggest that there may be a possible connection between pesticides and ADHD, there is no proof that pesticides can cause ADHD. They may be able to increase the chances of a child having ADHD, but can’t be held responsible for causing the disorder.
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