Parenting Information

Co-Morbidity Rates: Other Problems That May Come With ADHD

Diagnosing children and teens with ADHD can be a challenge. Very often the child or teen that comes to the office will have both a neurologically based Attention Deficit Disorder, as well as some other clinical condition that requires treatment. There are commonly two reasons for this:

First, because of a "fragile" brain. With the ADHD, some parts of the brain may be under-active, while other parts of the brain may be over-active. When the brain is already "out of balance," it is not uncommon to see neurologically based depressions, obsessive-compulsive disorders, learning disabilities, or even panic disorders.

Second, even if ADHD is the only neuologically based problem, constant failure at home, at school, and socially, can result in sadness, depression, anxiety, fear, worry, and giving up.

In children and teens diagnosed with ADHD we see these other problems:
· About 50% also have an Oppositional Defiant Disorder, or as teens a Conduct Disorder;
· About 30% have a Mood Disorder such as Depression;
· About 25% have problems with Anxiety, Worry, excessive fears, or Panic Disorders;
· About 25% have a specific Learning Disorder, making school even harder.
As a result of these kinds of problems, added on top of the problem of Attention Deficit Disorder, we get these results in the real world:
· Nearly 60% of students with ADHD will fail at least one grade in school;
· 30% of teens with ADHD will not graduate from High School;
· Only 5% of teens with ADHD will go on to graduate from college.

What is the solution? Children and teens with ADHD must receive appropriate diagnosis, treatment, and support. This is a disorder that CANNOT be ignored by parents, grandparents, teachers, pastors, or friends. ADHD is not just a matter of behavior around the dinner table. This is a situation that can impact a person's entire life.

Increase the odds of success by providing whatever level of treatment is necessary to bring about success. There are lots of treatment choices to choose from. Please don't put it off until "later." Learn what you can do right now by visiting the ADHD Information Library.

Douglas Cowan, Psy.D., is a family therapist who has been working with ADHD children and their families since 1986. He is the clinical director of the ADHD Information Library's family of seven web sites, including, helping over 350,000 parents and teachers learn more about ADHD each year. Dr. Cowan also serves on the Medical Advisory Board of VAXA International of Tampa, FL., is President of the Board of Directors for KAXL 88.3 FM in central California, and is President of Incorporated.

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