Studies show that 30 percent of children who were adopted are affected by ADHD. Children who were adopted have a higher likelihood of an ADHD diagnosis, which can be two to three times greater than their peers without ADHD. This increased risk can be caused by malnutrition at infancy, prematurity, prenatal alcohol exposure, and/or lack of proper stimulation during younger years.
There is a lot of education out there on helping parents navigate parenting a child who has been diagnosed with ADHD. Some great resources include:
Focusing on how best to support your child is really important when it comes to their school success, keeping them safe, and giving them the best chances to succeed.
When working with pre-teens and teens who have been diagnosed with ADHD we have realized that sometimes, as with all areas of identity, there are some struggles in seeing the greatness in things such as their diagnoses. Working harder than some of their peer group to get good grades in school, focusing on a test, or navigating social interactions can be exhausting. What sometimes gets missed is what your child is good at because of their diagnosis. So in this article we want to give parents or those with the diagnosis of ADHD a moment to say ‘Here are some things you are good at’, even though you may have a different style of learning.
· Hyperfocus: Many scientists, writers, and artists with ADHD have had very successful careers, in large part because of their ability to focus on what they are doing for hours on end.
· Problem Solving: With so many thoughts going on at the same time, unique solutions to tricky situations can sometimes come easier to those that have to learn how to adapt on a regular basis. Out of the box thinking is part of daily life for those that have been diagnosed with ADHD, which makes problem solving no longer a hard skill but one that has become natural.
· Imagination & Creativity: For children who have been diagnosed with ADHD, imagination and creativity come much more naturally. Living in a world where so many spontaneous things are happening creates an automatic pathway to new discoveries and new ideas.
· Compassion: Being different than your peers can be hard sometimes. Having people not understand what is going on inside your thoughts can feel lonely. So when another peer goes through hard things it can be easier for a child diagnosed with ADHD to have compassion and acceptance, since they can understand what it is like to be different.
· Perseverance: Your child may always have to work twice as hard as their neurotypical peers. With that being said your child is doing it and you should celebrate that!! They have to wake up every day knowing they might have to adjust, and to be creative on ways to work inside a world that is developed for children who do not have the diagnosis of ADHD. Remind them they are superstars by overcoming and pushing forward!
· Multitasking: Even though studies have shown that multitasking can be ineffective, many who have been diagnosed with ADHD thrive, and are more productive, when doing more than one thing at once. That even means noticing things that others may not, as they are aware of multiple things that are going on in the room at one time. Allow them, when appropriate, to harness that strength and celebrate when it helps them succeed.
We know that life might be a little hard because your child has been diagnosed with ADHD. They might have to be more creative in doing tasks that can come easy for their peer group. On those hard days, sit with them in their sadness or anger. Let them feel those emotions and express them freely. Then on days when they are ready or it is appropriate, help your child also to celebrate what they are extra good at. Changing your child’s diagnoses are) not possible but changing the stigma around it is.