A surprising number of kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) carry at least some of those symptoms into adulthood, and need treatment.
According to Karin Seydel, educational psychologist, two to four percent of adults are affected.
It was believed until recent years that children outgrew ADHD in adolescence. This is because ADHD usually manifests differently in adults.
“Children and teens with ADHD typically exhibit hyperactivity, impulsiveness and poor concentration. Hyperactivity often diminishes during the teen years and the disorder is therefore often misdiagnosed,” she says.
Adults with ADHD reportedly hang onto impulsive traits and a need for immediate gratification. They may suffer from chronic underachievement, poor confidence and a feeling of being overwhelmed.
Early identification and treatment increase the likelihood of positive long-term outcomes. “If the disorder goes undiagnosed, untreated or is treated inadequately during adulthood, adults may have difficulties at work and in relationships, as well as emotional difficulties,” she says.
Most experts who study ADHD agree, however, that more specific methods are needed to spot the disorder in adults.