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1. Girls don’t get ADHD. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that in many states, boys are diagnosed twice as often as boys. Girls often do not ‘act out’ or rebel as much as boys, so the squeaky wheel, i.e. boys, often get the diagnosis. ADHD does affect girls likely as much as boys.

2. Getting good grades means I don’t have ADHD. Many ADHD students are bright and make good grades. However, other areas of their lives are affected including social skills, organization, and finishing tasks.

3. Only hyperactive kids have ADHD. ADHD is now a generic term for 3 types of attention problems. The American Psychiatric Association categorizes ADHD into three subtypes: inattentive, hyperactive-impulsive, and combined hyperactivity and inattention. So, kids with inattentive ADHD tend to be easily distracted but don’t display hyperactivity.

4. Most kids will outgrow ADHD. Long term studies have shown that most children do not outgrow ADHD. Some do outgrow it, but they are in the minority.

5. ADHD children and adults cannot pay attention. Absolutely false. Although your child may play video games for hours, they still can have ADHD. Give them something that truly interests them, and they will ‘hyperfocus’ on it for hours. Give them a typical classroom environment and they are often bored. Bottom line: they can pay attention — sometimes better than the average person. However, to do this, the stimulus must be something they are truly interested in or something highly visually stimulating. They lose attention quickly to less stimulating things.

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