To this day, there is no clear answer to this question. We know that ADHD has a strong neurobiological basis. Neurobiological is a big word that refers to the nervous system. The nervous system is the system of cells, tissues, and organs that regulate the body’s responses to internal and external stimuli. That’s your brain, spinal cord, nerves, ganglia, and parts of the receptor and effector organs. I don’t want to scare you away with big words so just know this: scientists know that ADHD is based in your nervous system.
The exact cause of ADHD is still unknown but most roads lead to heredity. As with most other disorders it is almost certain there are multiple factors in this equation. But is it broadly (not completely) accepted that heredity usually is the leading factor.
There are instances where heredity does not seem to be a factor. In these cases difficulties during pregnancy, prenatal exposure to alcohol and tobacco, premature delivery, significantly low birth weight, excessively high body lead levels, and postnatal injury to the prefrontal regions of the brain have all been found to contribute to the risk for ADHD to varying degrees.
While heredity and all the other factors have been found to play a role in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders, the chances of having ADHD as a result of one of the factors above is not assured. Even if all of these things occur, there is still a chance that ADHD will not occur. It is obviously recommended; however, not to smoke or drink during pregnancy.
Confronting the myths
There are plenty of those who like to make amateur observations. This applies to ADHD as there are many people who believe ADHD is either a fraud, or is caused by bad parenting, social environment, sugar intake, food additives, too much TV, or even poverty.
Research on ADHD simply does not point to any of these things. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders may be serious if diagnosed, however, displaying some signs of the disorder does not automatically mean that your child has ADHD. While all of the things above may lead to other problems, they simply will not spawn medically diagnosed ADHD in your child.
In these situations, it is important for parents to learn more about their child’s condition and explore potential non-prescription solutions like discipline, diet and limited time with non-productive activities. Creating a weekly schedule, or plan, for your child may help him/her to stay focused on specific activities like home work, house-work or sports.