How common is it for children to outgrow ADHD

FAQs published on July 3, 2012 in ADHD
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Anthony L. Rostain, MD
Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Director, Adult ADHD Treatment and
Research Program
Penn Behavioral Health, University of Pennsylvania Health System
Director, Developmental Neuropsychiatry Program
Behavioral Health Center, The Children’s Hospital
of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

I am commonly asked this question: Will my child outgrow his ADHD? In other words, how common is it for children to outgrow ADHD?

The truth is that the majority of children will grow up to still have ADHD symptoms. We estimate about two-thirds are going to have trouble in adulthood, maybe slightly higher percentage during adolescence, say three-quarters. The difficulty is that we cannot tell from the child’s symptoms alone whether or not they have the type of ADHD that will get better with age or not. Usually family history, whether parents have the disorder or other relatives is a good indicator as to whether or not the child will continue to have problems when they grow up.

Last modified: December 14, 2012
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