According to a recent study on children diagnosed with ADHD (attention-deficit, hyperactivity disorder), the prospects for their lives are indeed worse than other children. That’s scary. Approximately 3 to 7 percent of school-age children have or are diagnosed ADHD. The study followed 135 white males who had been considered hyperactive by teachers in the 1970’s and looked at where they are in life now and found that they had lower education and income on average, and higher rates of divorce, substance abuse, and incarceration.
While the results of the hyperactive group were not as rosy as the comparison group in the study, the good news is that for kids diagnosed ADHD today, less than half can be expected to have any kind of lasting problems. And as we find better ways to treat and manage this condition prospects improve.
I really like what Dr. Bob Myers, an ADHD expert has to say on the subject (hat tip to Empowering Parents.com):
“It’s true that ADHD left untreated leads to a higher likelihood of depression and substance abuse later in life,” says Myers. ”But ADHD appropriately treated leads to a higher likelihood of success in life because it can help a child properly channel his increased sensitivity, creativity and high energy.”
Dr. Myers encourages parents not to be afraid of the diagnosis. “I believe we need to accept it as the first step in turning a difficult situation around to a positive direction. Helping your child with ADHD succeed requires a team approach that often needs to continue over many years. That team includes your family, health professionals, teachers — and, of course, your child.”
Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want great prospects for their children.