School Psychologist Renames ADHD ‘Ain’t No Daddy at Home Disorder’

ADHDClinical doctor and school psychologist, Dr. Umar Johnson, explains why many African-American young males are being medicated for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).  The Author of Psycho-Academic Holocaust: The Special Education & ADHD Wars Against Black Boys said there has been in increase in the misdiagnosis of ADHD in the Black community when the true problem lies in the fact so many Black and Latino youth diagnosed with the disorder are void of a male presence in the home. Why is this an issue? Mothers traditionally provide the nurture and love, while fathers tend to provide structure and discipline.

In the United States, African-American boys are diagnosed with the disorder at a much higher rate than any other class of students. Studies show that within the African-American community of children there is a 70 percent increase within the last few years. The remedy for these kids is not medication, instead, it is a viable male presence in their lives. Johnson said there are more female teachers than male and when the boy who is filled with testosterone cannot sit still in a classroom for as long as the average girl, who is dealing with estrogen, they are marginalized and stigmatized with a disorder. He added:

As a diagnosis the disorder was introduced in 1980 and was called ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). In 1987, the ‘H’ for hyperactivity was added to ADHD. Once it became ADHD, it opened up a black hole that allowed for nearly every child to be diagnosed and ultimately prescribed medication.  Prior to 1987, it was simply attention deficit disorder — once the word hyper was included, this opened up the opportunity for medication.

Johnson is considered a national expert on the effect learning disabilities has on Black children. He has worked diligently to assist parents and schools with modifying challenging behaviors which can ultimately lead to African-American children being misdiagnosed and labeled with a disorder. As a Certified School Psychologist Johnson lectures across the globe and practices privately throughout Pennsylvania.

According to Johnson, the criteria for ADHD is difficulty paying attention, misplacing things necessary to complete work, having excess energy and blurting out answers in class. This is not a disorder, it is normal male childhood behavior. When the school system is dominated with a female presence, these boys are expected to neglect normal male behavior; when they do not, they are stigmatized for acting like a boy and guardians are advised to have the child medicated.


The problem Johnson has with this theory is he does not believe ADHD is an actual learning disability. As a result of this, the school psychologist has renamed ADHD “Ain’t no Daddy at Home Disorder.” Johnson, who is also a former school principal, said the issue is a lot of these boys are relegated to a life without a father in the home, which means the masculine energy which traditionally provides consequences and establishes the necessary boundaries for a young male is also not present. Nearly 85 percent of boys diagnosed with ADHD do not have their father in their life.

Johnson said it is no coincident that hyper was added to ADD in 1987, which is the same decade America started a mass incarceration of African-American and Latino males. Men were being locked up for selling crack which resulted in their sons being diagnosed with ADHD and given crack but called it Ritalin, Concerta or Metamina so they can sit still long enough to be “miseducated.” According to Johnson, the drug enforcement agency categorizes Ritalin as a schedule two drug, which puts it in the same class as opium and cocaine.

The former school principal is issuing a warning to parents that one of the ways schools deal with perceived “bad behavior” is to diagnose and medicate students for ADHD. When this happens, parents should seek a certified professional to properly assess the child. Johnson said for many African-American and Latino boys it is not as much about mental health as it is about the collapse of the family structure that unjustly leaves the mother with the daunting responsibility of turning a boy into a man. As such, the school psychologist has renamed ADHD “Ain’t No Daddy at Home Disorder.”

by Cherese Jackson (Virginia)


The Breakfast Club: Dr. Umar Johnson Discusses Heavy Cultural Social Issues
NewsOne News: ADHD Wars Against Black Boys
Psycho-Academic Holocaust: The Special Education & ADHD Wars Against Black Boys,

Photo Credits:

Top Image Courtesy of Edgar Cervantes – Flickr License
Inside Image Courtesy of ADHD Center – Flickr License
Featured Image Courtesy of Edgar Cervantes – Flickr License

19 Responses to "School Psychologist Renames ADHD ‘Ain’t No Daddy at Home Disorder’"

  1. saraannwrites   December 27, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    If you read the article carefully, he said that a percentage has been misdiagnosed. He’s not alleviating the fact that ADD, and ADHD, is not a real issue, he’s addressing the sudden surge of this disorder which affects kids in households who’s dads are not present. As an educator I think people are quick to listen to doctors who only profit from this and say hey this is my child lets drug him as opposed to looking into alternatives and waiting out the process to see if it’s effective.

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  3. Yvette   September 30, 2015 at 8:37 am

    This is playing into the old ‘women raise daughters and nurture/baby sons’ rhetoric. While many overreact to normal boyish behavior and want to label them with something/get them no meds asap, please don’t diminish the legitimate issues of hundreds of thousands of children.

  4. Colin R. Wright, Ph.D.   September 28, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    I too am a clinical psychologist, and I have subspecialized in diagnosing ADD/ADHD for over 25 years. While the absence of parental presence and guidance can have an enormous affect upon childhood behavior ADD with or without excess impulsivity is a neurological phenomenon, although there are significant psychological spin offs from it. Unfortunately it is often misdiagnosed, and the schools have had a tendecny to pressure parents to medicate kids who have difficulty fixing and maintaining focus and for some being able to curb impulsivity. With the advent of technoiogies that allow function brain imaging there is a wealth of information of how ADD is a consequence of improper amplitudes generated in the prefrontal lobes. So we have objective ways to diagnose ADD
    that differ from the “Ain’t no daddy at home” hypothesis (although, again, that does have consequences for some). Also overlooked is that there is an upside to ADD so it ‘ain”t’ all bad.

  5. Court   September 27, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    Not only do I disagree but I live this with two out of five children. What is the basis of this theory? For many parents struggling with this there are two parents present and we too have to deal with this issue so where do we fall?


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