Survey Results: Many Adults Are Skeptical of ADHD Diagnoses
In an effort to learn more about parents’ attitudes and knowledge about children’s mental health issues, Parents magazine teamed up with the Child Mind Institute to conduct an online survey with more than 1,000 parents. The findings show that misconceptions about key issues related to learning disorders and ADHD continue to persist, and in fact, there is a great deal of skepticism about ADHD in general.
Below are highlights from the survey results posted on the Parents Web Site:
- 63% of parents said… Too many children are being diagnosed with ADHD when they just have behavioral issues.
- 72% of parents said… Doctors and parents are too quick to put kids on medication for ADHD rather than looking for other solutions.
- 52% of parents said… Starting kids on medication so young in life is dangerous.
- 50% of parents said… Many doctors downplay the risks associated with putting kids on medication to treat ADHD and depression.
- 45% of parents said… Normal children are being labeled as mentally ill or having learning disorders simply because their teachers can’t handle them.
- 45% of parents said… Kids with learning disorders tend to have other behavioral issues that hamper their learning.
- 32% of parents said… ADHD is sometimes more a result of insufficient or absent parenting rather than a true medical condition.
- 16% of parents said… Kids who take medication now are more prone to drug or alcohol addiction later in life.
- 13% of parents said… ADHD should not be treated as a medical condition, but rather as a behavioral issue that can be corrected with discipline.
- 10% of parents said… Extended time on standardized tests gives children with learning disorders an unfair advantage.
- 6% of parents said… Psychiatric or learning disorders are more common in single parent families.
As disheartening as these results may be for parents of children with learning difficulties and ADHD, they’re not likely to be surprising. Those involved in the daily struggle to help their children thrive and succeed are all too familiar with the attitudes of adults and even educators who believe that “energetic” is a synonym for attention deficits, medicating children is unnecessary for anything other than physical ailments, and poor parenting is the cause of ADHD.
Help set your friends and colleagues straight by forwarding some or all of the articles below to those who may harbor the misconceptions represented in the survey findings: