A Mississippi doctor is trying to dispel myths about a common medical condition that affects 7 out of 10 school-aged children.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD, is an chronic medical condition that often goes undiagnosed in school aged children according to Dr. Ronald Kent. He's with the Hattiesburg Clinic Connections. Kent says the symptoms range from trouble focusing, being easily distracted to struggling with waiting or taking turns. Hyperactivity is also a symptom for some. Kent says myths like the child will never amount to anything, the behavior problems are because of poor parenting, or ADHD affects only boys are myths.
"We now know that a whole lot of the girls that are affected by ADHD are not hyperactive and impulsive so they don't look like the typical child that we used to think had ADHD and of course that's more common in boys," said Kent.
Katie Townsend, the mother of three-school aged children, says her 10 year old has ADHD along with two learning disorders. She says her son is intelligent, but his brain works differently. Townsend says before he was evaluated, he had some outburst in class, wouldn't follow the teacher's directions when first asked and had trouble focusing.
"We heard a lot of 'oh he's just being a boy, you know he's just being a boy and that's just what boys do. They're busy and they get distracted easily.' We heard that a lot and I felt like we heard it too much," said Townsend.
Townsend says her son is now on medications that help him focus and he's doing well. Dr. Kent with the Hattiesburg Clinic Connections says medicines. exercise, proper diet and rest are important to control the disorder. October is ADHD Awareness Month. Kent will discuss the issue at a conference October 19, in Hattiesburg.
Anyone interested in learning more about ADHD and other behavioral or mental health disorders can attend the 14th Annual ADHD and Related Concerns Conference, October 19-20 at Temple Baptist Church in Hattiesburg. For more details call: (601) 266-6777 or visit http://www.hattiesburgclinic.com/adhd-related-concerns-conference