Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD is usually associated with children, but it can affect people at any age. More than 1.6 million adults in the UK are currently taking medication for ADHD, which is double the number taking them ten years ago. Although many adults do still need this medication, the way that ADHD affects people can vary with age and many can stop taking their medication as they grow older.
ADHD isn’t usually diagnosed in infants or young children. It can be very difficult to tell the difference between normal tantrums or sleep problems and the early signs of ADHD. However, children who go on to be diagnosed with the condition may have shown the following symptoms when they were younger:
All of these can be normal for toddlers and preschoolers, but children who are later diagnosed with ADHD may have been particularly difficult.
ADHD is most often diagnosed before the age of 10 and it often happens thanks to a well trained teacher. Although all children can show some of these behaviours at times, they can be more severe and persistent in children with ADHD:
As children grow older, their experiences of living with ADHD can change. During the teenage years:
Although many people grow out of their ADHD, other will continue to experience symptoms or will only be diagnosed with ADHD as adults: