"It must be a behavioural problem - they'll surely outgrow it".
This according to child psychiatrist Dr Ursula Kediemetse is the frequent response she get's from black parents when treating their children.
But it couldn't be further from the truth.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) affects all ages and sectors of the population equally, say experts in the field – and myths and misconceptions to the contrary are a barrier to diagnosis.
Diagnostic biases in the US show almost 12% diagnosis in white children, while only 6-8% for Latino and African American children respectively. And almost 75% of adults with ADHD remain undiagnosed, as it’s still believed to be a childhood condition – even though experts now agree it’s a neurodevelopmental condition that persists into adulthood. This reality is mirrored locally, as psychiatrists see race and age-related ADHD stigma in action.
Child psychiatrist Dr Ursula Kediemetse (Kedi) says there’s a poor understanding of neurodevelopmental disorders, and a specific misconception exists that ADHD doesn’t affect black children. Dr Kedi has encountered black families in which parents are surprised their child might have ADHD – or even refuse to accept it.