ADHD: Dispelling Myths and Sharing Useful Tools

ADHD is more than you believe it is…

Once a hot topic, children with ADHD are being left behind again. I hear comments all the time like: “It’s only ADHD”, “It’s just a lack of focus”, and “ADHD isn’t a big issue”.

All those statements are incorrect and dangerous for little ones trying to understand why their homework takes ten times longer to get done than their “normal” friends or why they struggle to get anything done when others are around and there’s not perfect silence/white noise.

One of the biggest issues with ADHD is the feeling of being a failure. I struggled to hear half of the words my teachers said, instead hearing each and every small sniffle, pen click, or whisper. I was constantly trying my best, yet a teacher would see my eyes off in the distance and call upon me with: “What did I just say?”  Although I was sometimes lucky, often I was unable to answer, and embarrassment would be added to feelings of inadequacy.

ADHD is a struggle, and making the decision to medicate is never easy and should always be done with a mental health professional that is familiar with the medications and ADHD.

Let us dispel a few myths.

    1.    ADHD is not a total lack of focus, but instead a hyper-focus (usually on something interesting to the individual). I explained this much like I would a processor for a computer. If one program is utilizing all of the memory and processing power, a secondary program will not function well. That does not mean that the main program is running poorly, or there is a problem with the processing unit.
    2.    ADHD has nothing to do with lack of brainpower and is typically inversely related.  Typically, those with ADHD are also higher on the intellectual spectrum.
    3.    We do not understand much of ADHD and why the medications work. We understand the method of action of the medication, but only theories on why they help.
    4.    ADHD is challenging, but if it is understood, it can be a strength.

If you or a family member is dealing with ADHD, I would like to share some useful tools that have helped me navigate.

    1.    For studying: earphones that are closed and over-ear are great. Having music without words is key; soundtracks, classical music, jazz, etc.  The words pull the attention and will distract while studying.
    2.    Another key, if you do not have earphones, would be to go to a place that has too many conversations to keep track of.  Think of white noise.  A library is surprisingly challenging, because the only sounds are quiet, drawing attention immediately away from what should be focused on.
    3.    For communication: A gentle touch and eye contact are paramount for successful communication. Whether you are a parent, friend, partner, if you need to be heard, utilize a gentle touch of the shoulder and wait for eye contact before communicating something important.
    4.    When someone with ADHD does not hear you, it does not mean that you do not matter to them or that you are not a priority. It is simply a matter of how we process information and the world around us.
    5.    If you have ADHD and you do not hear someone, it’s okay to say: “I’m sorry, I did not hear you. Would you mind repeating that? (Much better than pretending you heard)

Lastly, make sure to look for activities where are you can hyper-focus. Jobs like computer programming, architecture, or one on one jobs are ideal. The most important part is to remember that your uniqueness can always become your strength. ☺️

~Kirk Patrick Miller ✨
@Chaos2Cured (IG/Twitter/CH)

Mr. Kirk Patrick Miller is a professional speaker, mental health advocate, and radio personality. His book “Chaos to Cured” and his contact information can be found at

———————— Disclaimer ———————
Mr. Kirk Patrick Miller is not licensed to practice medicine. His opinions are not meant or intended as mental health advice or guidance of any kind. Should you need help, please reach out to a mental health professional. If it’s an emergency, please call 911. (Suicide hotline: 1-800-273-8255)

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