A study in the British Medical Journal, Lancet, has reported for the first time, direct evidence of a genetic link with ADHD. Another study published in the medical journal, Pediatrics, has suggested that increased exposure to pesticides may also be linked to ADHD. Other causes may include premature birth, complications during childbirth such as hypoxia (lack of oxygen), and prolonged exposure to anesthesia at early ages.
The study on the genetic link with ADHD, even more so, makes it increasingly clear that ADHD is not caused by bad parenting or high sugar diets. There has been too much misunderstanding about the causes of ADHD with the child and the parents being unfairly stigmatised. Misconceptions such as if the parents did a better job of parenting or if the child tried harded and wasn't lazy, then the child would not have ADHD. These are all misconceptions that only do harm to the child's self esteem as well as the parents' self esteem.
It needs to be understood that ADHD or ADD is a neurophysiologic disorder, not a result of parenting. Neuroimaging tests such as quantitative EEG brain mapping have shown that children with ADHD or ADD have abnormal brain wave patterns in the areas of the brain that control concentration, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. When the brain wave patterns are improved through brain map guided neurofeedback treatment, so are the symptoms.
The most important point is that early intervention for the child's ADHD or ADD is likely to produce the best clinical outcome. Parenting a child with ADD or ADHD is a much more challenging child rearing experience than parenting a child without ADHD or ADD. Normal parenting methods frequently are not adequate as the parents are likely to experience increased frustrations with normal parenting methods not having the impact that they desire.
The child is more vulnerable to developing low self esteem as they feel they are not as smart as their peers, or that it will never get better for them academically,or why try hard if it doesn't make a difference. If they are impulsive, then they will trigger a lot of disapproval from adults and may get rejected by peers.
Neurologically, the ADHD or ADD child's concentration or attentional system is underfunctioning so they are unable to successfully meet their academic and even sometimes day to day challenges. When their self esteem suffers, the parent's self esteem may also suffer. Again, the earliest intervention can produce the best clinical outcome and prevent psychological problems as they get older.