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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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?

  5. My daughter has ADHD and she lives in a two parent household that includes a mom and a dad. I guess she’s the exception. This school puschologist offered his theory but it is not based on any credible research.

  6. Is this man on crack? My son was born with this condition. As a newborn he never slept no more than 2-3hours. He never took babysteps. On his first birthday he stood up and took off running. And his daddy was my husband and right there in the delivery room when he was born.

  7. He’s right. The breakdown of the Black family has had been felt in ways that never existed in my parents generation, when for the most part, Black couples stayed together but now that era is gone forever.

    1. My spouse and I have been married 20 years. My son has ADHD. I disagree with the theory listed here. My son fishes, hunts and works with his dad. My son is very mechanical minded & learned it from his dad. He’s very curious and learned it from me. ADHD is actually hereditary. My daughter also has it. My nephew has it and both his parents are school teachers. Both my In laws are retired school teachers of 30/25 years. My spouse & I are both college grads and I have MS. I am gifted & my spouse has ADHD. ADHD doesn’t hinder my sons learning but it slows him down to focus on what’s being taught otherwise he’s over analyzed, took apart, dissected & is in left field on something else. OAN it does effect my daughters learning. Without medication she only hears 47% of what’s said in a room & with medicine it still only improves to 85%. Even white noise is a distraction. Many fail to realize ADHD isn’t just bout bad behavior & hyperactivity. Both of my kids are model positive behavior kids on or off their meds. They never bother anyone & receive principal awards & citizenship awards. My son a predominant A student my daughter a C+ student but we’ve learned & dealt with it and worked with it for 17/14 years. People don’t outgrow ADHD either. It’s the reason for wrecks, divorce, bankruptcy, unwanted pregnancy just to name a few. ADHD is very real!!!

  8. Having a father in the home doesn’t necessarily cure ADHD. Many times ADHD is inherited from the father. It absolute bullcrap to think that a father at home would cure ADHD.

  9. It is true that in some cases it may just be behavioral issues and not ADHD, however the generalization here is a bit offensive. Each case if different and should be assessed by a professional.

    1. Too Easy for the mother to remove him from his children’s lives. “I’m afraid of him” and that’s it. A restraining order and he is homeless and you have the audacity to blame the man as usual. With everything under the Sun termed as violence against woman with expanded definitions of violence, every man who is in relationship with a woman is an “abuser” who can be kicked out anyway according the “her” whims. We know your tricks and typical male bashing characters. It may make you feel good to eliminate huge number of fathers from their kids lives with impunity for profit all the while blaming men which is so politically correct but we can see through that.

  10. I’m pretty sure the majority of kids being diagnosed with ADHD are affluent white kids from two-parent households. I work in education on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

  11. What a load of absolute crap,he calls himself a so called psychologist !!!!!!!!
    He is an insult to all the people who have spent many years,trying to help people with this condition !!!!!!!

    1. Did you know that babies require physical touch in order to develop normally, or even survive? So how hard is it to believe that the lack of someone who is your paternal or maternal caretaker being void in a child’s life could lead to ADHD? He didn’t insult anyone, he’s getting to root cause of the issue.

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