Does a child outgrow adhd

Do Kids Outgrow ADHD? - Child Mind Institute

Attention deficit hyper activity disorder (ADHD) is often thought of as a childhood disorder. And it’s easy to see why. Many people with ADHD are diagnosed during their early years when the structure and demands of school start to be too much for them to manage.

And the best-known symptoms of ADHD — bouncing off the walls, balking at homework, straining to concentrate during class — all feel firmly rooted in childhood. So it’s understandable that many parents wonder (dare we say hope?) if kids will outgrow troublesome ADHD symptoms, shedding them like baby teeth and emerging into adulthood ADHD-free.

Will they?

A life-long difference

The short answer is no, says Stephanie Ruggiero, PsyD, a clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute.

“About two-thirds of children who have ADHD will continue to meet criteria for ADHD by the time they’re adults,” says Dr. Ruggiero. But, she says, that doesn’t mean the symptoms stay the same. “ADHD symptoms look different as children grow and demands change.” And with the right help kids can learn skills that help them manage symptoms and reduce the fallout as they grow up.

Knowing how to spot the changing signs of ADHD as kids grow can help.

In preschool and early elementary school ADHD can look like:

  • Fidgeting, trouble sitting down or staying still for long periods of time, appearing disruptive or “wild”
  • Trouble following directions or listening to parents, teachers, and others
  • Difficulty with transitions — for example, melting down when it’s time to leave the house or get dressed for school
  • Distracted, misses cues and questions. This can sometimes be mistaken for hearing trouble
  • Sensory issues — for example refusing to wear clothes that feel “uncomfortable”
  • Trouble regulating emotions — acting out or having a tantrum when they’re frustrated

During later elementary and early middle school years the symptoms can include:

  • Trouble starting or completing homework or other tasks
  • Messiness, lateness, and forgetfulness
  • Difficulty following directions with multiple steps
  • Acting out in class — interrupting or seeming overly talkative
  • Appearing dreamy and distracted or “spaced out”
  • Social struggles — trouble making and keeping friends
  • Difficult managing emotions. For example, getting angry or upset over small things, or seeming oversensitive

During high school and young adulthood symptoms may look like:

  • Restlessness and subtler fidgeting, like bouncing a foot or tapping a pen
  • Forgetfulness, disorganization, and trouble being on time
  • Trouble in school. For example, disciplinary issues, missing homework assignments, or skipping class
  • Difficulty making and keeping friends
  • Impulsive or risky behaviors, like experimenting with alcohol or drugs

ADHD can continue to cause problems during adulthood. Untreated, it can result in difficulties at work and in relationships, and run-ins with law enforcement. But, notes Dr. Ruggiero, support for kids can set them up to manage their symptoms as adults. “Understanding, intervention, medication, and persistence can make ADHD very manageable,” she says. 

Jeincy Duarte, PsyD, a clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute, agrees. “Early intervention can make a big difference,” she explains. “Since many children are diagnosed during the elementary school years there’s a lot we can do to help.” That said, she doesn’t want parents to panic if a child isn’t diagnosed until later on. “Teenagers and young adults can absolutely learn skills and make changes that will help them manage their symptoms.”

How to Help

School supports

Making sure kids have the support and accommodations they need during their school years is key, says Dr. Ruggiero. “Having the right support, like an IEP or a 504 plan, can help clear the way for learning.” Likewise, it’s important to help kids understand their ADHD and build confidence — for example, getting comfortable talking about their ADHD and advocating for what they need. “Kids who learn to advocate for themselves at school will be better self-advocates as they grow,” she adds.

“If kids have difficulties with social relationships, helping them build those skills can be a big help,” says Dr. Ruggiero. Working on social skills won’t just help children who are struggling now, she notes. “If you have difficulties with friends and teachers, you might also have difficulties with your employer, or in relationships later on.” So, she says, the goal is to help kids with ADHD identify social sticking points, and build social and interpersonal skills while the stakes are somewhat lower.

Help kids manage behavior

Kids with ADHD sometimes have trouble reining in big emotions, and they may act impulsively, without considering the consequences. Parents can help kids learn the skills they need to curb impulses, manage frustration, and feel more in control. For example, a child who often interrupts when friends are talking, or blows up when things don’t go their way, could work on building their self-regulation skills or start practicing mindfulness exercises to help them stay calm when big emotions hit. “Parents should be modeling the behaviors they want to see,” says Dr. Ruggiero. For example, making a show of taking a big breath and counting to twenty when you’re feeling frustrated.

Dr. Duarte adds that maintaining a clear, consistent routine at home is key for kids with ADHD. Routines help kids practice organizational skills, task initiation, and time management. For example, a post-school routine could look like:

  • Putting shoes, coat, etc, in the same spot every time they come home
  • Having a snack
  • Doing homework (in the same place, at the same time every day)
  • Using a checklist to pack what they’ll need for school the next day (Notebook? Check. Pens that work? Calculator for the test? Check.)
  • Chores and downtime
  • Bedtime, same time every night

Kids with ADHD thrive when they know what to expect, and keeping routines clear and manageable will help them build essential executive functioning skills that will serve them all their lives.

Support self-esteem

Finally, and vitally, parents should remember that having ADHD can take a major toll on kids’ self-esteem. As kids grow up the negative feedback the disorder causes can have a corrosive effect: I’m a failure. I’m stupid. I’m annoying.

Helping kids be kinder to themselves, particularly during the school years, is hugely important. Parents can help by being patient and praising efforts, even if the end result isn’t perfect. When they’re old enough, Kids with ADHD can also benefit from understanding how the disorder impacts them. Shedding light on why things are difficult can make it easier for kids to see their struggles as symptoms that can be managed, rather than personal failings.

Encourage kids to find hobbies, classes, teams, or clubs that make them happy, and where they feel competent and comfortable. Tune into what your child loves — sports? writing? gaming? — and look for activities that play to their strengths. Giving kids the chance to feel confident and proud can help combat negative self-talk and boost self-esteem.

Finally, let your child know that though having ADHD can be hard, it has nothing to do with how smart, or capable, or amazing they are. The list of famous and fabulous grown-ups with ADHD features musicians, artists, business leaders, scientists, and people who’ve changed the world. Kids may not grow out of ADHD, but that doesn’t mean they won’t grow into incredible, happy, inspiring adults.

5 things parents and teachers need to know about ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a childhood disorder that affects as many as one out of 10 children in the United States. Even though it’s fairly common, many misconceptions still persist. So here are five important things you should know if you are a parent or a teacher of a child with ADHD.

1. The hallmark symptoms of ADHD are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Most kids are inattentive, impulsive, and hyperactive at times. But for a diagnosis of ADHD, these symptoms must interfere significantly in multiple places, such as at school and at home. This is a childhood disorder, meaning the symptoms must be present before adolescence. The symptoms can start in preschool, but most kids aren’t diagnosed until later in childhood. The symptoms may change over time, with hyperactivity and impulsivity being more pronounced in young children, while high-schoolers and young adults often display more difficulty with attention. Many children (perhaps as many as half) will outgrow their symptoms but others do not, so ADHD can affect a person into adulthood.

2. There are different types of ADHD: predominantly hyperactive/impulsive presentation; predominantly inattentive presentation; combined presentation. Most children with ADHD have a combination of inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity and would be diagnosed with ADHD-combined presentation. Other children who struggle most with hyperactivity and impulsivity would get the diagnosis of ADHD-hyperactive/impulsive presentation. A third group has predominantly problems with attention. While you often will hear these children described as ADD (attention deficit disorder), the correct term is ADHD-predominantly inattentive presentation. Girls tend to have inattentive symptoms more than boys.

3. ADHD is a brain-based disorder. Kids can’t overcome symptoms of ADHD by “trying to concentrate harder” or by willing themselves to “pay attention.” Brain imaging studies have shown that people with ADHD have structurally different brains than people without ADHD. It also runs in families. Children whose parents have ADHD have a 40% to 60% chance of also having ADHD. Sometimes a child’s diagnosis can be the first clue that a parent may have ADHD.

4. The symptoms of ADHD can make school, family, and social relationships difficult. School requires attention and organizational skills, things that can be difficult for kids with ADHD. They may lose homework, have difficulty organizing their thoughts, and have problems thinking ahead and planning. In addition, it’s common for children with ADHD to also have learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, that make schoolwork even more challenging. While kids with ADHD don’t generally have a specific problem with social skills, difficulty with emotion regulation and impulsivity can interfere with personal relationships, and so it can be hard for them to keep and maintain friendships. It can also be hard for them to follow social rules, control their emotions, or say the appropriate thing. Finally, problems with organization, planning, and focusing on what’s being said to them can make many aspects of home life quite difficult. Relationships with parents and siblings can take a lot more work.

5. There are great treatments available for children with ADHD. There are a variety of research-backed therapies that can help relieve symptoms of ADHD. Some of the most effective approaches combine several therapies, for example:

  • Medication: Many parents are fearful of trying medication, but ADHD medications are some of the most well-studied across all areas of medicine. Stimulant medications (such as Ritalin, Adderall, or Concerta) are the most commonly prescribed. These drugs stimulate the parts of the brain that are understimulated. These parts of the brain are related to thinking and attention. The goals of these medications are to reduce hyperactivity/impulsivity and increase focus/attention.
  • Behavior therapy: Behavior therapy teaches the child to be aware of, monitor, and eventually modify disruptive behaviors. The therapist will teach social skills, such as waiting your turn, reading facial expressions, sharing, asking for help, and reacting appropriately when teased. Cognitive behavioral therapy emphasizes mindfulness, and teaches a child to be aware of her thoughts and emotions as a way of improving attention and focus.
  • Education and training: Knowing oneself, or one’s child, can help parents understand how ADHD and its symptoms affect the family unit. Parents and teachers can learn tools that can help the child learn new, pro-social, and positive behaviors. Adults can learn how to cope with inappropriate behaviors and encourage positive ones. This can help reduce ADHD symptoms.
  • ADHD coaching: A coach can help students with ADHD work toward goals, see change as a positive thing, improve productivity and functioning, and keep a student accountable. This is particularly useful for older kids.

Getting informed about ADHD is the first step in finding help. For more information, see and

What is ADHD and why the diagnosis is not a sentence

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder occurs in every tenth child. However, not all doctors can diagnose it. Without treatment, it progresses, worsening the quality of life. So how can you help ADHD patients?

What is ADHD

Attention deficit and/or hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurological-behavioral developmental disorder that occurs in childhood. Pathology has more than a dozen symptoms. The most common are the inability to concentrate for a long time, absent-mindedness, inattention, restlessness, irascibility, poor memory. From the side it seems that such a person seems to be “flying in the clouds”.

Doctors distinguish three subtypes of mental disorders.

  • The first - with a predominance of attention deficit. The person cannot concentrate, is distracted, forgetful.
  • The second is hyperactive and impulsive. When it is difficult to stay in one position for a long time and restrain emotional impulses.
  • Third - mixed. Combines the features of the first and second. Occurs most often.

The listed symptoms are attributed to character traits, accusing a person or oneself of laziness, procrastination and conflict. In fact, it is not the individual who is “guilty”, but his brain and nervous system. According to the International Classification of Diseases, ADHD is classified as a hyperkinetic disorder.

In Russia, the syndrome is not well understood. Not all specialists are aware of it and know the evaluation criteria. Many do not understand how to diagnose and treat a disease, Olga Demyanenko, a family and child psychologist of the highest category, told RBC. This leads to the fact that sometimes healthy children are given this diagnosis erroneously. And those who really suffer from ADHD do not get the help they need.

How to recognize ADHD in children

Some specialists can diagnose ADHD even in children under one year old. The main symptoms are severe excitability and hyperactivity. Babies often cry, scream, twitch their arms and legs, says Olga Demyanenko. In older children (4-5 years), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is more pronounced.

“The child is constantly on the move, it is difficult for him to sit still. And this is not connected with some kind of game - he needs movement in itself. He switches very quickly. He took one toy, played, then another. Also, he cannot keep his attention on something for a long time. He needs a switch, he gets tired quickly. Plus, it’s hard to calm down, he can’t fall asleep for a long time, ”says Demyanenko.

A child with ADHD finds it difficult to follow instructions and often does not even hear what is being said to him. Also, a small person cannot behave quietly and with restraint, even when there is no reason for concern. He talks loudly, laughs loudly, screams.

How common is ADHD

The disorder affects approximately 2-10% of children. Research data on this matter vary. In boys, pathology is diagnosed several times more often than in girls.

Some children outgrow this syndrome. That is, mental functions are restored as they grow older. But this is not always the case. In adulthood, the syndrome is present in 2-4% of people, French researchers report in their work. More than half of the people who were diagnosed with ADHD in childhood have symptoms of the disease that persist into adulthood, Anna Portnova, head of the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Moscow Research Institute of Psychiatry, a branch of the National Medical Research Center for Psychiatry and narcology named after V.P. Serbsky" of the Ministry of Health of Russia.

Adults show the same symptoms, including inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity, and emotional dysregulation. If left untreated, in adulthood ADHD is superimposed in 80% of cases by other psychiatric disorders - anxiety disorders, neurodevelopmental disorders associated with the use of psychoactive substances, sleep disorders, restless legs syndrome. It's hard for people like that. All spheres of life "suffer" from this disease.

The degree of influence of ADHD on a person depends on his personal characteristics. One will be able to adapt and live normally, the other will go downhill. According to a recent study, among youth and adult offenders in police custody, prisons, probation and forensic psychiatric institutions, about 25% suffer from ADHD. They are at a disadvantage in the system because their symptoms are not recognized or misunderstood. Instead of providing psychiatric care, disciplinary sanctions are applied to them, which does not help.

Causes of ADHD

The work of the brain in children with ADHD and in healthy children is different, scientists from the Northern (Arctic) Federal University named after. M.V. Lomonosov. With a mental disorder, the energy metabolism in the frontal sections of the brain changes. They are the key links in the regulation of behavior and emotions, and are also responsible for the function of programming and control. There is a decrease in metabolism and a decrease in the functional connections of the frontal regions with other brain structures. With ADHD, the left and right hemispheres do not “get along” well with each other, the connections between them are broken. “Imbalances in the relations of regulatory subcortical-stem structures” are noted.

Doctors have not yet determined the exact cause of these disorders. It is believed that a significant role is played by hereditary predisposition. Also, ADHD in a child may develop due to the fact that his mother smoked during pregnancy, drank alcohol or drugs. The disorder may occur due to complications in childbirth or chronic illnesses of the mother.

Scientists from the Rostov State Medical University conducted a study and found that the uncontrolled use of digital technologies in childhood increases the symptoms of ADHD. And also leads to increased aggression and irritability, isolation, inability to control emotions, increased feelings of anxiety, anxiety and fear.

How to treat ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder needs to be diagnosed by several specialists. This is a neurologist or neuropathologist, as well as a neuropsychologist or clinical psychologist and psychiatrist. Only after making sure that the diagnosis is correct, you need to take action.

Not only drugs are important for a child, but also the right psychological and pedagogical approach, warns Anna Portnova. According to her, a good teacher will put such a student on the first desk and will try to keep his attention. And the bad one will send him to the last one and will constantly make comments, thereby aggravating the child’s condition.

Cognitive behavioral therapy performed by a psychologist or psychiatrist is also effective in the diagnosis of ADHD.

There are drugs that improve brain function and activate attention function. But in Russia there are few registered. We simply do not have many drugs that have proven effectiveness, says Portnova. And this is a big problem.

Therapy with a psychologist is a more affordable option for correcting ADHD symptoms for Russians. And it is quite effective in most cases.

Still from the TV series The Good Doctor. Caption: The character on the show, Salen Morrison, has ADHD. She uses original methods for concentration: meditation, playing the ukulele, as well as many gadgets - fitness bracelets, tablets, etc.

How to live with ADHD as an adult

Attention deficit and/or hyperactivity disorder persists into adulthood. Experts say it is possible to adapt to this condition, even without the use of medication. A person with ADHD can be successful both in his personal life and in his profession. This can be achieved by controlling your habits, learning to recognize and use your strengths, and controlling your behavior.

Psychologists advise a person with ADHD to properly organize their workspace by removing unnecessary items from the table. For example, a stack of unnecessary papers or books. In order not to forget anything, you can make a to-do list every day. A great help for a person with this disorder can be a day planner, a calendar on a smartphone or computer. People with ADHD like to procrastinate. To avoid this, follow the principle: if a task can be completed in two minutes or less, do it now.

People with ADHD find it difficult to properly manage their time. To avoid this, psychologists advise using a watch. When you start doing work, write down the time and say it out loud. For each task, it is necessary to allocate a certain time period. This is easy to do using a timer or an alarm clock. Let it fire at regular intervals. This makes it harder to lose track of time, a common problem for people with ADHD.

Adults with Attention Deficit and/or Hyperactivity Disorder are often overly impulsive. They jump from one task to another. This may interfere with work. Experts recommend always starting with the most important task. The main mistake is to take on too much work. Break large projects or assignments into smaller, manageable steps.

A healthy lifestyle is the main assistant for people with ADHD. Good nutrition, plenty of sleep, and regular exercise can help you stay calm, minimize mood swings, and fight any symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Only 9% of Children Outgrow ADHD / Sudo Null IT News

Scientists in Canada, the United States and Brazil have found that only 9% of children outgrow Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) completely. The rest continue to experience symptoms of the disorder into adulthood.

ADHD is expressed in inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity of a child or adult. Children with this syndrome cannot concentrate on tasks that are not interesting to them, are often distracted, cannot sit still for a long time and restrain their impulsiveness. The exact causes of the disorder are unknown, but researchers suggest that it is associated with changes in the dopamine D4 receptor (DRD4), dopamine transporter (DAT1), and other genes associated with dopamine neurotransmission.

Boys are diagnosed with ADHD about three times more often than girls. According to average estimates, about 6-7% of children are affected by this syndrome, but the real data may differ. It is difficult to estimate the prevalence of the syndrome in different countries due to the difference in diagnostic systems.

A 2016 study found that approximately 40-50% of children do not outgrow the syndrome. Scientists from 16 institutions in the United States, Brazil and Canada decided to cross-check these data and track the change in the symptoms of the disorder as the child grows older.

The researchers recruited 558 children to track changes in the severity of ADHD symptoms. In total, the study took 16 years - from 8 to 25 years. The authors examined subjects at 2, 3, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, and 16 years after the initial diagnosis of the condition. They also relied on feedback from parents and teachers who spend most of their time with their children.

The authors found that about 30% of children go into complete remission at some point. However, 60% of them relapsed sooner or later. As a result, only 9.1% of the sample showed complete recovery. In 10.8% of children, ADHD syndromes did not change in any way with the course of the study; in 63.8%, they alternated between periods of remission and relapse.

Study chart showing complete recovery (green line), stable symptom severity (red line), partial remission (orange line), and percentage of patients with variable status (blue line).

Those who recovered had either a stable partial remission (15.6%) or fluctuations, waxing and waning of ADHD symptoms (63.8%) from childhood to adolescence over the course of their illness. The researchers note that most cases of recovery occurred already in adulthood. In addition, remission was most often partial rather than complete, and alternated with relapses. The authors argue that this phenomenon was the rule rather than the exception. Overall, the results show that about 90% of children will continue to live with ADHD into adulthood.

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