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12 Things That Don’t Cause ADHD, Part 1


I was sent a link to an article this morning that had the dubious title, “12 Things Moms Do That Cause ADHD In Their Kids” and I wandered over to the site to see what those things possibly could be.

Now understand that I was expecting the worst. The title is sensational, and I assumed it was click-bait. I wasn’t wrong.

In fact, the reason I don’t share a link to it here is that I don’t wish to give them any more “clicks.” The reason they published this article was simply to drive hits, to sell ads.

The fact that this article is a disservice to everyone seems not to bother them at all.

So …

So, without telling you where this article is, I’m going to tell you the twelve things that they say cause ADHD, many of which absolutely do not cause ADHD. There are a couple of no-brainers in there, drinking alcohol while pregnant will definitely cause birth and development defects. But there are no citations in the article, and there is a strong opinion permeating it that points fingers at the mother.

So yes, they are lying.

And here is my list of 12 things that don’t cause ADHD

  1. The baby is born premature. The problem with this statement is one of false logic. The connection being stated is that low birth weight is causing ADHD, but in fact, there is no proof of that, only a connection. It might be that ADHD is causing low birth weight. Or, and this is a big one, whatever causes ADHD might also cause premature birth and low birth weight.
  2. Smoking during pregnancy. Yes. But no. Okay, don’t shoot me. Like alcohol, tobacco is not good for the development of the child. The article in question, however, says that the mother is just being selfish. In truth, since ADHD is heritable, mom has a strong likelihood of having ADHD, and therefore is more likely self medicating. I’m not condoning, I’m just making sure it is understood that ADHD is more likely to be an inherited thing.
    So I’m saying, don’t smoke. Don’t smoke before, during, or after pregnancy. But don’t go around saying that smoking causes ADHD.
  3. Drinking during pregnancy. Okay. Again, yes, but no. Don’t do it, but understand it. You won’t stop someone from drinking by telling them they’re selfish. Offer to help, don’t offer to judge.
    Again, understand that I do not condone drinking. Hellz, I’m an alcoholic who self medicated with the stuff for years, and heavily. If I could, I would find a way to make all alcohol the last thing in this world that anyone would want to use for any reason. But to tell people that alcohol will give their child ADHD is like saying that lighting your entire body on fire will damage your eyebrows.
  4. Poisoning the growing fetus without realizing. Yes, that was a heading in the article. I suppose poisoning knowingly is okay. The list here was toxins found in pesticides, but it also included fluoride in toothpaste. Now what a lot of people who like conspiracy theories aren’t aware of is that the fluoride in toothpaste and municipal water supplies has been scientifically proven to be safe. Additionally, there are no programs that I know of that recommend that pregnant women go out and personally spread DDT on their lawns.

That’s the first four. I don’t know about you, but I need a break.

The mind reels

I can’t imagine how people can write this stuff, the tone is condescending and the article is terribly written. I know, I’m making you want to read it just to see how bad it could be, right.

Wait ’til you read the next four things on Wednesday.

Just wait …

12 Things That Don’t Cause ADHD, Part 1

Kelly Babcock

I was born in the city of Toronto in 1959, but moved when I was in my fourth year of life. I was raised and educated in a rural setting, growing up in a manner I like to refer to as free range. I live in an area where my family history stretches back 6 or more generations. I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 50 and have been both struggling with the new reality and using my discoveries to make my life better. I write two blogs here at Psych Central, one about having ADHD and one that is a daily positive affirmation that acts as an example of finding the good in as much of my life as I possibly can.

Find out more about me on my website: writeofway.

email me at ADHD Man

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APA Reference
Babcock, K. (2017). 12 Things That Don’t Cause ADHD, Part 1. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 30, 2020, from


Last updated: 9 Aug 2017
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