ADHD Statistics

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These are the ADHD statistics that every teacher and parent should know. Learn the signs of attention disorders and what you can do to help these students - and maybe even your own child.

Research has proven that this disorder is real. It is a neurological condition that often has a genetic link.

Students who show ADHD symptoms in the classroom need teachers who recognize it and aren't afraid to talk to parents. We have to be able to discuss the research and what it means with parents - their child's future well-being depends on it.

ADHD Statistics

Signs of ADHD and ADD

If you have students who have AD/HD or you suspect a child might have this disability, is it really critical for them to get help? Will it negatively impact their lives?  Perhaps...the statistics say it is likely. 

Students who have attention disorders may display a variety of characteristics. The are often described as:

  • not thinking before the act
  • having difficulty following complex directions
  • unable to wait
  • having difficulty maintaining attention to tasks that are not interesting to them
  • unable to comply with a schedule
  • frequently losing things 

And what about at home?  Life can be a bit of a mess.  The strung out emotions, anger from nowhere...families know their child needs help.  There is no shame in it, but it still is a blow to the parental ego.  

Now that I have been on both sides of the table, I always try to remember how it all felt when I talk to parents about their children.  

What Educators Need to Know

These are some great statistics about the impact of ADHD that teachers should know and could share with families they are working with.

They aren't meant to scare or force families to take their kids to the doctor (last resort, in my opinion).  It's just the reality, however everybody as a team chooses to deal with it.

Out of every 100 people with AD/HD:

25% of students with AD/HD have other serious learning issues in core skills areas
Nearly half of all AD/HD students experience difficulty with listening comprehension
35% of students with AD/HD drop out of school
30% of these students have failed or had to repeat a year of school
65% of children with AD/HD also have classroom discipline problems
90% of children with AD/HD underperform in school
60% have very serious handwriting difficulties (often is misdiagnosed as a form of dyslexia)
Boys are diagnosed 3 times more than girls
52% will abuse drugs and alcohol
50% of prison inmates have been found to have AD/HD
50% of AD/HD children experience sleeping problems
30% have poor organizational skills
Left undiagnosed and untreated, only 5% of these students will complete a four year college.

Is There Good News About ADHD Statistics?

With early intervention, nearly 50% of these students will learn to make adaptations and choices that ensure success. It is also noted by many studies that early intervention (ages 3-5) reduces the need for ADHD drugs.

A significant decrease in aggressive behavior (17%) and a positive increase (21%) in social skills were noted in a recent issue of School Psychology Review. This is in addition to improved academic success and overall increased perception of self-worth.

These statistics dramatically improve when behavior therapy is used in conjunction with a qualified treatment program for ADHD.

My son became a whole different person when he began using some medication.  We also improved his fish oil intake, began using melatonin (kids with attention disorders are genenerally deficient in melatonin) and also increased his protein to stabilize his blood sugars.

Throughout his elementary years he was able to learn coping, study and social skills.  Once he entered middle school, he went off the medicine and did just fine.  

Cured of ADHD?  Of course not.  But he had learned how to manage life now and yes, maturity did help with many of the other issues.  But if we had done nothing...I hate to think what may have happened.

Sources Cited
ADD by the Numbers: a summary of the research by Russell Barkley, Ph.D. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Reeve, Ronald E. The academic impact of ADD. Attention summer 1994. (retrieved May 27, 2012)

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