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(Goodshoot/Stock photo | Thinkstock)
(Goodshoot/Stock photo | Thinkstock)

Nearly a third of people think ADHD is caused by poor parenting: survey Add to ...

If your son or daughter has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, more than a third of parents around you may believe it has more to do with your parenting ability than with a true medical problem, according to a recent survey.

Parents Magazine and New York’s Child Mind Institute, a treatment centre for children with mental health, conducted an online survey of 1,000 parents’ attitudes around ADHD. They found that a majority of parents who participated thought kids were being misdiagnosed and put on medication too quickly by doctors.

Forty-five per cent of these parents felt “like normal children are being labeled as mentally ill or having learning disorders simply because their teachers can't handle them,” according to Parents.

In addition to the 32 per cent of parents who dismissed ADHD as the result of “insufficient or absent parenting,” about six per cent of parents said that psychiatric or learning disorders are more common in single parent families. And 13 per cent thought ADHD “should not be treated as a medical condition, but rather as a behavioural issue that can be corrected with discipline.”

Paradoxically, almost all parents surveyed (96 per cent) would want their own pediatrician to alert them to potential psychiatric or learning problems in their children.

Harold Koplewicz, a physician and the president of the Child Mind Institute, portrayed many of the survey findings as impediments to treatment. (The Child Mind Institute does not accept funding from the pharmaceutical industry, according to a press release about the survey.)

"Stigma, lack of awareness, and fear around mental health care prevent many parents and teachers from getting kids the support they need," Dr. Koplewicz said in a statement on the Parents’ site.

It’s a complicated issue surely to come up this week as the Mental Health Commission of Canada releases its national blueprint to combat mental illness on Tuesday.

In a preview of the recommendations, the Canadian Press reported that everyone from governments and healthcare providers to philanthropists will be asked to step up.

“With more than 100 recommendations, the strategy will demand that they, and Canadians in general, set aside their preconceived notions of mental illness and face the fact that almost every family will be touched by mental health problems at some point,” reported CP.

Parents, do you think parenting has anything to do with a child’s with ADHD diagnosis? Would you seek treatment if you saw worrying signs?

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