According to US government experts, the number of American children with ADHD has been steadily rising, meaning that it’s now more important than ever for the disorder to be recognized and treated. Untreated ADHD can cause serious problems for children, such as falling behind in school, difficulty making friends and having conflicts with parents. Children with untreated ADHD have more emergency room visits, and are more likely to have self-inflicted injuries. And teens with untreated ADHD are more likely to take such risks as drinking and driving, and have twice as many traffic crashes as those who receive treatment.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that the number of American children between the ages of 4 and 17 diagnosed with ADHD rose from about 8 percent in 2003 to 11 percent in 2011. The disorder typically appears between the ages of 3 and 6, and can continue through the teen years and into adulthood. Parents who think that a child has ADHD should consult their family doctor or pediatrician.
There are two types of medications approved by the FDA to treat children with ADHD: stimulants and non-stimulants. Behavioral therapy can also benefit children with ADHD; parents should therefore contact their child’s school and community support groups for information and advice on how they should cope with a child’s ADHD-related behavior.
However, children aren’t the only ones who are dealing with ADHD, as adults can have the disorder too. The FDA has estimated that about 4 percent of American adults have ADHD. In adults, the disorder can cause such problems as poor time-management skills, restlessness and a difficulty with multitasking and activities that require sustained concentration.