ADHD is most often
children between ages 6 and 12. After a child starts
school, the symptoms of ADHD become more noticeable. During this period, ADHD
can disrupt many aspects of a child's life. Learning and academic performance,
adjusting to change, sleeping, and getting along with others are all potential
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Symptoms of ADHD usually remain the same through
early adolescence. Approximately 60% to 85% of children with ADHD continue to
have symptoms into
the teen years.4 Children with ADHD are often
described as less mature than their peers and may lag behind in reaching
milestones typical for the age group.
But some symptoms typically
improve or become less obvious. For example, someone who had very disruptive
hyperactive behavior during elementary school may only fidget or feel restless
in high school.
Teens with ADHD have more problems when they are
driving cars. They get more speeding tickets and have serious car accidents
more often. They should be monitored closely by a licensed adult when they are
learning to drive.
ADHD can last into adulthood and include difficulty focusing, organizing, and
finishing tasks. But adults often are able to adjust in the workplace better
than they did in the classroom as children.
Many adults do not
realize that they have ADHD until their children are diagnosed and they begin
to recognize their own symptoms. Some adults with ADHD learn to manage their
lives and find careers in which they can use their strengths-intellectual
curiosity and creativity-to their advantage. But many adults have difficulties
at home and work. As a group, adults with ADHD have higher divorce rates, are
more likely to smoke, and have more substance abuse problems than adults
who do not have ADHD. Also compared with their peers, fewer enter college and
fewer graduate. Treatment with medicine, counseling, and behavioral therapies
can be helpful.
Effects on family
Raising a child who has ADHD can
be a challenge. Parents must consistently monitor their child and respond to
problem behavior appropriately. If other issues are causing stress within a
family (such as divorce, violence, or drug or alcohol abuse), it may be even
more difficult to deal with a child who has ADHD.
Treatment for ADHD can help
control symptoms, allowing a child to grow and develop normally. Treatment also
can decrease the frustration, discouragement, and failure that many people with
ADHD experience throughout their lives.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
March 01, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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