Understanding ADHD

What ADHD is Not

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ADHD is not a myth.

It is a medically recognized neurobehavioral disorder that can be managed.

ADHD is not a condition that affects only children. Teens and adults can have ADHD, too.

An estimated 11% (6.4 million) of US school-aged children have been diagnosed with ADHD in their lifetime.* Additionally, an estimated 4.4% of adults have ADHD in the US. When applied to the full US adult population aged 18 and over, approximately 10.5 million adults are estimated to have ADHD in the US.

*Based on the 2011/12 National Survey of Children’s Health, in which parents were asked if a health care practitioner had ever told them their child had ADD or ADHD

Based on the National Comorbidity Survey Replication of 3199 adults aged 18 to 44 years conducted from 2001 to 2003

ADHD is not about intelligence or motivation.

However, schoolwork and social interactions can be challenging when it is hard to pay attention, stay organized, and behave appropriately.

Symptoms of ADHD can affect a person at school or work, but ADHD is not classified as a learning disorder.

ADHD is not caused by bad parenting or bad teachers.

ADHD is not just an "excuse."

ADHD is a medically recognized disorder, and the symptoms cause real challenges at work, at school, and/or in social settings.

A person does not have ADHD simply because he or she becomes distracted or engages in impulsive behavior.

Although most people are distracted or impulsive once in a while, this does not mean they have ADHD. Only a health care professional can accurately diagnose ADHD.

Click here to learn which health care professionals are qualified to diagnose ADHD.