Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) (cont.)

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What is the prognosis for individuals with ADHD?

Research supports the clinical observation that as many as 50% of children with ADHD will have symptoms persist into adulthood. One caveat needs to be mentioned -- many studies previously conducted focused on a patient population of males who were evaluated or treated by psychiatrists/psychologists or in clinics specially developed for such a patient population. Generalizing these results as applicable to the entire patient population with ADHD may not be appropriate. Fortunately, new studies are being conducted to address this issue. The following are current areas of concern.

  1. Education: Follow-up studies of children with ADHD growing into adolescence showed impairment of academic success. A few studies into adulthood have demonstrated persistence of these findings. Completion of expected schooling, lower achievement scores, and failure of courses are areas of concern.
  2. Employment: The rate of adult employment of those with and without a diagnosis of ADHD did not vary; however, those with ADHD did have occupations with a lower "job status."
  3. Socialization issues: As noted above, a significant subset of children with ADHD has an accompanying disruptive behavior disorder (ODD and CD). In studies that followed children with ADHD into adulthood, between 12%-23% have socialization problems (vs. 2%-3% of the general population).
  4. Substance abuse: The medical literature investigating whether those with ADHD have a higher likelihood for such high-risk behaviors is controversial. The largest study to date supports other smaller studies that indicate ADHD patients who consistently take their medication have twice the likelihood not to utilize drugs or excessive alcohol.
  5. Driving: Teens with ADHD are two to four times more likely to have motor-vehicle accidents or have their license suspended than peers without such a diagnosis. Impulsivity and inattention again seem to be limited when at-risk teens consistently take their recommended medication.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/2/2012

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - Tests and Diagnosis Question: How was your attention deficit hyperactivity disorder diagnosed?
ADHD in Children - Symptoms Question: Please describe the symptoms of your child's ADHD. When did they first appear?
ADHD in Children - Behavioral Treatments Question: Describe the ADHD behavioral treatments that have been effective for your child or the child you care for.
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