Being a parent to a child with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can be challenging. Although these children tend to be bright and creative, they also cope with multiple difficulties in everyday life.
What is it like to be a parent to a child with ADHD and what are the pitfalls these parents are facing? Here are some important facts about ADHD that every parent should be aware of:
- ADHD is a neuro-developmental deficit, which often appears in childhood Common symptoms of ADHD are concentration problems, restlessness, disorganization, and impatience. These deficiencies usually lead to behavioral problems and negatively affect the child’s ability to function properly in academic and social settings.
- Children with untreated ADHD are often stigmatized as ‘problematic children’.
- Since ADHD diagnosis is a complex, multi-factorial task, it requires professional skills and measurements (e.g., medical examination, interviews, and neuropsychological assessment).
- Young boys are almost three times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than young girls. During their lifetime, 12.9% of boys and only 4.9% of girls will be diagnosed with ADHD.
- The average age of receiving ADHD diagnosis is 7 years old.
- Symptoms of ADHD typically appear for the first time between the ages of 3 and 6 years.
- Twenty- one percent (21%) of the adolescents with ADHD skip school on regular basis.
- Thirty-five percent (35%) of the children diagnosed with ADHD will eventually drop out of school.
- Forty- five percent (45%) of children diagnosed with ADHD have been suspended.
- Thirty percent (30%) of the children suffering from ADHD have failed or had to repeat a grade in school.
- ADHD affects children of all races.
- Fifty to eighty percent (50-80%) of children diagnosed with ADHD will meet ADHD criteria in adolescence.
- The majority of those with ADHD experience serious problems with school performance, with as many as 30-50% having been retained in their school grade at least once, and 25-36% never completing high school.
- On average, there are 1 to 3 children who have ADHD in every classroom of 30 students.
- Sixty-five percent (65%) of the children with ADHD have problems with defiance, disobedience, and other problems with authority figures, including verbal hostility and temper tantrums.
Accurate and early diagnosis is critical especially for children. Proper diagnosis is the first step towards an effective treatment and may have an important impact on the child’s future development.