Does my child have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?
- A teacher said your child is having problems with behavior or learning at school
- You feel helpless and embarrassed when your child has tantrums in public
- Your child can’t focus on small tasks but can play video games for hours
- You know your child is different in some way from their peers or siblings
- Your son or daughter says they are trying, but they repeatedly feel they are not good enough
- Getting your child to do simple tasks, can be an enormous struggle
These might be signs that your child has problems with attention, focus, impulsivity and emotional regulation associated with ADHD.
What Does An Evaluation For ADHD Tell You?
Children in the U.S.
In 2011 the CDC reports that 11 percent of all children in the U.S. aged 4-17 had been diagnosed with ADHD
Boys and Girls
- Boys are nearly three times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD (13.2 percent) than are girls (5.6 percent).
- Girls with ADHD are 3 times more likely to be treated for a mood disorder before receiving their ADHD diagnosis.
- Up to 30% of children with ADHD have a co-existing anxiety disorder
- 50% of children who have ADHD also have sleep problems.
- Children with ADHD are up to 12 times more likely to have an Eating Disorder than their typical peers.
- 1 in 4 students with ADHD has other serious learning disabilities in one or more of these areas: oral expression, listening skills, reading comprehension, and math
- Teenagers with ADHD have 2 to 4 times as many traffic citations as their peers without ADHD.
- Substance abuse is 3 to 4 times greater than the national average for those with untreated ADHD.
- The average age of onset is 5 for severe ADHD, 7 for moderate symptoms, and 8 for mild symptoms.
- The rate of emotional development for children with ADHD is as much as 30% slower than it is for their children without the condition. For example, a 10 year old with ADHD operates at the maturity level of about a 7 year old; a 16-year-old beginning driver is using the decision making skills of an 11 or 12 year old.
- 40% of children who have ADHD have at least one parent who has ADHD.
- About 80 percent of children who need medication for ADHD still need it as teenagers.
You Should Know
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Once you’ve learned the basics, keep educating yourself by reading on this site and others, talking with other parents, connecting with professionals, and working with your child’s school.
When you take the time to understand ADHD you can talk with confidence about ADHD to anyone. Start at home. It’s important to be able to talk with your children and other family members about ADHD. When you are comfortable talking about it with them, your son or daughter can feel more confident about themselves and that can translate to better self-advocacy and self-awareness.
ADHD Parent Primer series
For more in-depth information check out our ADHD Parent Primer series
Top five articles other parents have asked for to manage ADHD symptons:
- Driver’s Education for the ADHD Teen
- Accommodate or Acclimate?
- Your Child’s Rights
- 10 Tips To Make The Most Of Your Child’s IEP
- Symptoms of ADHD
Other Reliable Resources
More information about ADHD can be found by visiting these sites:
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention
- American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
- Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA)
Some great places to connect with other parents of children with ADHD include these forums:
You can find more outstanding ADHD resources in the ADHD Parent Primer ebook series.
If you have questions, solutions, or a story you think other parents might benefit from hearing, you can be a guest on the Your ADHD Life podcast. Contact us here.