Skip to content

    ADHD in Children Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    ADHD and Your Child's Future Career

    By Eric Metcalf, MPH
    WebMD Feature
    Reviewed by Patricia Quinn, MD

    All types of workers come to Michele Novotni’s office for help with their job concerns: musicians, teachers, truck drivers, TV reporters, salespeople, and even an opera singer. They all have something in common: ADHD.

    Novotni, a psychologist and coach who focuses on ADHD, advises them on how to manage their symptoms at work.

    If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD and you're wondering how it will affect their career potential, the possibilities may be broader than you think.

    Children with ADHD can grow up to succeed in a variety of careers, Novotni says. You can start them on that path now.

    Their First Job

    ADHD often includes impulsive behaviors, trouble focusing, and in some people, hyperactivity.

    If those symptoms aren't managed well, they may lead to workplace problems even in a young person's first few jobs as a teen, says Frances Prevatt, PhD, coauthor of Succeeding With Adult ADHD.

    For example, bosses tend to complain when teens can’t stay organized or finish tasks.

    ADHD treatment, including therapy and medications, if needed, may help them focus.

    It's important for kids to practice habits that help them succeed in school now, Prevatt says. Those habits include:

    Focus on their strengths. Kids with ADHD often dwell on the things they have trouble doing, Novotni says. So encourage your child to spend time on things she does well: Perhaps she's good at art or math. Later, when she’s choosing a career path, the hobbies and activities she enjoys might point her toward a job or field that suits her.

    Emphasize organization. From an early age, help your child find tools and habits that he can use later in the workplace, such as:

    • Organizers and checklists
    • Text messages and computer reminders, once he’s old enough to use a cell phone and computer
    • Meditation to help him sit still in quiet surroundings
    • Waiting for pauses in conversations instead of interrupting others

    Seek help. Novotni encourages her clients to recruit help, like hiring an assistant for a few hours at a time to handle boring tasks. Make sure your child knows that finding help is a smart move, not a sign of weakness. This may include:

    • Working with a tutor
    • Going to the school’s writing center or using other resources
    • Having sessions with an ADHD coach

    Today on WebMD

    doctor writing on clipboard
    ARTICLE
    mother with child
    ASSESSMENT
     
    disciplining a boy
    ARTICLE
    daughter with her unhappy parents
    ARTICLE
     
    preschool age girl sitting at desk
    ARTICLE
    Child with adhd
    SLIDESHOW
     
    father helping son with homework
    QUIZ
    girl being left out
    ARTICLE