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More about ADHD

This article continues from "What is ADHD?" and provides more information about ADHD including statistics, effects of ADHD, and treatment of ADHD. Get information and facts on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Facts About ADHD

About 2,000,000 children (3-5%) in the US are affected by ADHD, and this number includes 2-3 times as many boys as girls. In some cases, another disorder is also present. About 20-30% of children with ADHD also have a specific learning disability, with dyslexia being common. A large number of children with ADHD, mostly boys, and as much as 33-50%, have Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), which means they are defiant and disobedient. Between 20 and 40% of children with ADHD may develop conduct disorder (CD), which is more serious and involved antisocial behavior. Several other conditions are also seen connected with ADHD, but less frequently.

Research shows that genes have a lot to do with ADHD. In one study, 84% of adults with ADHD who had children, had at least one child with ADHD. Overall, 57% of the children of ADHD adults in that study had ADHD.

In addition, environmental factors, specifically cigarettes and alcohol, have been implicated, and although the link is not conclusive at this time, refraining from using either during pregnancy is a good idea. While studies have been undertaken to examine the link between food additives and sugar with ADHD, it is found that dietary restrictions help only 5% of children with ADHD, mostly those with food allergies.

This data should help dispel the myth that ADHD is solely the result of poor child rearing or simply a cover-up for a child who refuses to behave.

Effects of ADHD

Even when not associated with a specific learning disability, ADHD can make learning difficult. The inability to focus can affect a child’s schoolwork and to do well in a variety of activities. Social relationships may also be affected. In both cases, a child’s self-esteem can suffer and depression and anxiety can ensue. On the other hand, people who, by whatever means, come to terms with their condition, may emerge as adults who can successfully pursue career and relationship goals, and lead happy lives.

Treatment of ADHD

ADHD has been treated by behavioral training, medication, a combination of those two, or simply by addressing questions that arise during routine trips to the doctor. A recent study by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) that compared medication treatment, behavioral treatment, combined medication and behavioral treatment, and routine medical care with no behavioral intervention or medication, found that the combination and medication were both better for the child than behavioral treatment alone and routine medical care. In some areas, the combined treatment proved superior.

A current study is specifically examining treatment in preschool children.

More about ADHD Sources:

  • National Institute of Mental Health: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Pdf: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and NIMH Research on Treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): The Multimodal Treatment Study - Questions and Answers [Online]
  • American Academy of Pediatrics: ADHD - Making the Diagnosis [Online]
  • Genetics of Childhood Disorders: XIX. ADHD, Part 4: Is ADHD Genetically Heterogeneous? by Stephen V. Faraone, Ph.D. Journl of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry [Online]
  • Center for Disease Control: Symptoms of ADHD [Online]
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