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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Is my child just naughty?

    My doctor has recently diagnosed my little boy with ADD. Lately however many people say that my child is ‘naughty’ and ‘just needs discipline’ – is this correct?
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  • Serving the interests of children and young people with childhood language and related disorders View Profile

     
    No. This is a common misconception but research has concluded that whilst parenting and social factors can influence/exacerbate symptoms of ADD/ADHD, they are not causal factors. The National Resource Centre for AD/HD has a useful article about common myths regarding the disorder. See http://www.help4adhd.org/en/about/myths . If you need guidance about how to effectively manage your child’s behaviour speak to your paediatrican or GP.

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    I am Accredited Practising Dietitian with a passion for helping people who suffer from food intolerance. I have 25 years of experience in this area … View Profile

    Without knowing your full history it is impossible to answer this question.  There are tests available that help to diagnose ADD, which your doctor may have employed and therefore have good reason to diagnose this condition.  Alternatively, perhaps the doctor has diagnosed ADD on the strength of your description of his behaviour.  Since everyone is susceptible to bias, there are inherent problems in this method of diagnosis.  

    Perhaps you should seek several professional opinions before this label is applied to your child, because it will follow him throughout his life.

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