The ADHD Smarter Parenting’s Podcast

Ep #17: Confirmation bias and ADHD diagnosis

July 16, 2019

Confirmation bias is our tendency to cherry-pick information that confirms our existing beliefs or ideas. Everyone has confirmation bias as everyone has different life experiences that shape how they view the world. It is why two different people can look at the same situation and draw two different conclusions.

It is easy to experience confirmation bias with an ADHD diagnosis. What we mean is that we will highlight any behavior that we believe confirms ADHD symptoms, while ignoring those things that don’t fit into our belief. It’s human nature to seek out those things that confirm our beliefs.

Because of this, we recommend starting with a pediatrician instead of going straight to a specialist as a specialist may see an ADHD diagnosis because they are looking for an ADHD diagnosis. A pediatrician sees a lot of different children behavior and is able to rule out behaviors and diagnosis instead of ruling in a diagnosis.

Confirmation bias can be dangerous once you have an ADHD diagnosis as it’s easy to view the world through the diagnosis. Especially if you believe the diagnosis means your child won’t be able to be successful.

When parenting kids with ADHD, it’s important to step back and look at what you believe so you can challenge it. Challenging beliefs allows you to look at situations from a mind-frame of how can I help or how can I be resourceful in helping my child. One of the reasons people go to therapy is that one of the purposes of therapy is to help us challenge our thinking and our confirmation bias.

Challenging our confirmation bias is something that we need to do continually as our kids grow and change--and so do we. When we challenge our confirmation bias, we can improve. Helping our children grow and change is one of our duties as parents.

Parenting a child with ADHD is possible when we challenge our confirmation bias of what an ADHD diagnosis means.

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