View Full Version : Can Children Outgrow ADHD?


TheGreatKing
04-04-16, 11:48 AM
hi everyone,
I came across this article and wanted to post it here.Just something interesting to read :)



Can Children Outgrow ADHD?
Parents of children with attention deficit disorder often wonder if their kids will stay on ADHD drugs for life. A medical expert explains.


I recently diagnosed eight-year-old Aidan with attention deficit disorder (ADHD). When I met with his parents to explain the disorder, each time I described a symptom, his mother exclaimed, “That’s me!” or “I’ve been like that all my life, too.” At the end of the appointment, she asked me if she should be evaluated, as well.

As an adult, Aidan’s mother had jumped from job to job, and had difficulty meeting household demands. As a child, she had struggled through school, often getting into trouble and getting poor grades. After a thorough evaluation of her chronic and pervasive history of hyperactivity, distractibility, and other symptoms of ADHD, she was diagnosed by a psychiatrist who works with adults.

Aidan and his mother both started on ADHD medication. Aidan’s grades and behavior improved. His mom reported being more relaxed and efficient at work and at home. On a follow-up visit, she remarked, “If only I had been on medication as a child. I could have finished college, I could....” Then she paused: “Oh, my gosh, does this mean that Aidan will take medication for the rest of his life?”

Good question. The best answer I could give was, “Possibly.” Why can’t I be more specific? Didn’t she deserve a clearer answer? Until the early 1990s, the medical community considered the condition a “childhood disorder.” Believing that children outgrew ADHD, physicians routinely took them off medication before high school. In many cases, however, the teens struggled socially and academically, making it clear that ADHD symptoms had not gone away. And, as greater efforts were made to educate parents about ADHD, more and more of them, like Aidan’s mother, began to recognize their own ADHD symptoms.

Clinically, we have seen that some individuals do show enough improvement after puberty that they no longer need medication. But the American Academy of Family Physicians reports that two-thirds of children with ADHD continue to grapple with the condition throughout adulthood.


How do I determine whether a particular child still needs medication? I advise taking children and adolescents off medication once a year. If the symptoms of hyperactivity, inattention, and/or impulsivity are no longer noticeable, they stay off. Should these behaviors return, medication should be restarted. This process teaches adolescents about the challenges ADHD presents in their lives, and how to determine themselves whether medication is needed in school, at home, with friends, and so on. Medication should be used whenever symptoms interfere with the demands and expectations of a specific task or activity. It is not necessarily needed all day, every day.

For example, a college student may learn that she benefits from an eight-hour capsule to cover morning and afternoon classes, but can be off medication while she relaxes, exercises, or socializes later in the day. On evenings when she needs to study, she can take a four-hour tablet at about 6 p.m. An adult may find that he needs medication at work but not at home, or for some social functions, but not others.

Will your child need medication for the rest of his life? Possibly. You can find out one year at a time. And, if medication is needed, you can teach him to use it for specific times and situations. In the future, I hope that fewer adults will tell me, “If only I had been on medication as a child....”

ginniebean
04-04-16, 01:23 PM
Yes it is possible. Adhd is a developmental delay, some will experience a growth in that delay that puts them outside of the clinical definition of adhd.

Problem is, stress and life circumstances can shunt this same individual back into the clinical target area again in the future.

It's more complicated than this but I don't have the time right now. I'll try and get back another time to explain in more depth. Sorry!

TheGreatKing
04-04-16, 02:59 PM
Yes it is possible. Adhd is a developmental delay, some will experience a growth in that delay that puts them outside of the clinical definition of adhd.

Problem is, stress and life circumstances can shunt this same individual back into the clinical target area again in the future.

It's more complicated than this but I don't have the time right now. I'll try and get back another time to explain in more depth. Sorry!

Thanks ginnie
Yes I am always wondering about this subject, I am guessing that is the reason some people decide to get of the meds after turning into adults.
For me it's day to day, week to week. Today I am not fully all there for example.
But ginnie I am looking forwards for your explanation on this :)
Some days are more manageable then others is what I meant to say he he
I have heard about a lot of adhders that are super successful, I don't want to make a huge assumption like this but here it goes, I am guessing that they have mild symptoms or atleast found what works for them to climb the success ladder but I might be wrong he he
That's my 2 cents :p

Lunacie
04-04-16, 03:20 PM
Some who have good support systems and good teachers may develop coping strategies that allow them to function well in a niche that fits well.

But as Ginnie says, loss of support system or stressful events or ending up in the wrong line of work can make the symptoms impairing again.

Cyllya
05-01-16, 11:03 PM
A lot of people, even professionals unfortunately, think that ADHD only really causes these two problems:
1) You're really rambunctious and you have behavior problems with parents and other childhood authority figures.
2) It makes schoolwork hard.
(Trouble doing a job or having behavior problems in adulthood are just considered some coincidental moral failing.)

So I think a lot of the "adults don't have ADHD" belief comes from the fact that those two things are just plain non-applicable to adults. (Unless you're in college, but I think fewer people went to college in the past.) It'd be like having lactose intolerance and then moving to a country where nobody consumes dairy.

Personally, even if I had zero grown-up responsibilities, I'd still have ADHD-related trouble because it interferes with my hobbies. However, I notice a lot of ADHD people say it doesn't interfere with their hobbies.

Greyhound1
05-01-16, 11:32 PM
Simply put....some can and do and others do not and have it for a lifetime.

aeon
05-01-16, 11:37 PM
Personally, even if I had zero grown-up responsibilities, I'd still have ADHD-related trouble because it interferes with my hobbies. However, I notice a lot of ADHD people say it doesn't interfere with their hobbies.

ADHD has so completely ****** with any hobby I have had. Maybe more than any other part of my life.


Aargh,
Ian

Fuzzy12
05-02-16, 03:58 AM
A lot of people, even professionals unfortunately, think that ADHD only really causes these two problems:
1) You're really rambunctious and you have behavior problems with parents and other childhood authority figures.
2) It makes schoolwork hard.
(Trouble doing a job or having behavior problems in adulthood are just considered some coincidental moral failing.)

So I think a lot of the "adults don't have ADHD" belief comes from the fact that those two things are just plain non-applicable to adults. (Unless you're in college, but I think fewer people went to college in the past.) It'd be like having lactose intolerance and then moving to a country where nobody consumes dairy.

Personally, even if I had zero grown-up responsibilities, I'd still have ADHD-related trouble because it interferes with my hobbies. However, I notice a lot of ADHD people say it doesn't interfere with their hobbies.

It interferes big time with my hobbies too maybe even more than work because the pressure and stress are missing. Playing the piano on or off meds is a completely different experience and there isn't a single other hobby or interest I've managed to stick to. Even the piano I only play sporadically because it's frustrating without meds.

I've realised how much I like learning after I've started taking meds only and how much more fulfilled it makes my life. And that it's something that can keep me going and hanging on.

The other area for me is emotional regulation. When i was taking meds I finally realised that I need them on the weekend as well and especially in social settings because otherwise I was an over sensitive highly volatile mess ready to explode at any time.

I don't understand why people still believe it only affects school and work. It affects and messes up everything that makes life worth living.

sarahsweets
05-02-16, 04:08 AM
I dont think you can outgrow it but I think it can get less impairing as you get older. My youngest seems to have developed some rigid coping skills and it doesnt seem to affect her like it did when she was younger. In my case, as I got older and had more responsibilities, the adhd seems to have gotten worse. Also, my bipolar was running rampant when I was a teen so the adhd sort of fell to the back burner. Once I hit my 20's though it became severe and impairing.

SB_UK
05-02-16, 07:10 AM
Yes it is possible. Adhd is a developmental delay, some will experience a growth in that delay that puts them outside of the clinical definition of adhd.

Problem is, stress and life circumstances can shunt this same individual back into the clinical target area again in the future.

It's more complicated than this but I don't have the time right now. I'll try and get back another time to explain in more depth. Sorry!


^^^

is right.

Just to add - running a dev delay constantly miht mean permanent damage which can't be recovered from - ie would you suffer chronic stresss being taught at a level 4 yrs above your state of readiness.

would you learn anything ?

Perhaps - worst case scenario - an ADDer who fails everything might be able to overcome the stress of education in a 'routine' job - though those are stressful too - having talked to a friend who now feels he's too old at 35 (and he's fit!) to work in McDonalds.

-*-

GB's comments are spot on.

SB_UK
05-02-16, 07:11 AM
ADHD has so completely ****** with any hobby I have had. Maybe more than any other part of my life.


Aargh,
Ian

Yes - I've had stress related inflammation - killed every hobby - even made posting here painful - currently back in spasm.

SB_UK
05-02-16, 07:21 AM
It interferes big time with my hobbies too maybe even more than work because the pressure and stress are missing. Playing the piano on or off meds is a completely different experience and there isn't a single other hobby or interest I've managed to stick to. Even the piano I only play sporadically because it's frustrating without meds.

I've realised how much I like learning after I've started taking meds only and how much more fulfilled it makes my life. And that it's something that can keep me going and hanging on.

The other area for me is emotional regulation. When i was taking meds I finally realised that I need them on the weekend as well and especially in social settings because otherwise I was an over sensitive highly volatile mess ready to explode at any time.

I don't understand why people still believe it only affects school and work. It affects and messes up everything that makes life worth living.

You're right - exactly so - until the meds stop working - which must happen in some cases - as they no longer work for me.
Everything's fun on dexedrine.

Though the image of a housewife in the 50s on dex cleaning her house with vigour - perhaps - makes us question whether we're looking at motivation without desire.

Should anybody be enthusiastic about cleaning ?
Of course necessary but enthusiastic ?

SB_UK
05-02-16, 07:25 AM
A lot of people, even professionals unfortunately, think that ADHD only really causes these two problems:
1) You're really rambunctious and you have behavior problems with parents and other childhood authority figures.
2) It makes schoolwork hard.
(Trouble doing a job or having behavior problems in adulthood are just considered some coincidental moral failing.)

So I think a lot of the "adults don't have ADHD" belief comes from the fact that those two things are just plain non-applicable to adults. (Unless you're in college, but I think fewer people went to college in the past.) It'd be like having lactose intolerance and then moving to a country where nobody consumes dairy.

Personally, even if I had zero grown-up responsibilities, I'd still have ADHD-related trouble because it interferes with my hobbies. However, I notice a lot of ADHD people say it doesn't interfere with their hobbies.

Thing though about hobbies - is that isn't it normal to grow tired of everything and want to experience something new ?

Was having this conversation at the weekend.

Stages

1 Hate not knowing how to
2 Learn how to
3 Bored doing
goto 1

Fuzzy12
05-02-16, 07:38 AM
You're right - exactly so - until the meds stop working - which must happen in some cases - as they no longer work for me.
Everything's fun on dexedrine.

Though the image of a housewife in the 50s on dex cleaning her house with vigour - perhaps - makes us question whether we're looking at motivation without desire.

Should anybody be enthusiastic about cleaning ?
Of course necessary but enthusiastic ?

The problem off meds for me isn't really a lack of enthusiasm. I learnt to play the piano when I was unmedicated and I loved it. I loved it when I could lose myself in playing and in the music. However to get to that stage takes regular practice and regular practice isn't always fun especially when I make mistakes purely due to.losing focus. It's super frustrating and makes me stop practising.

My practice sessions medicated were less frustrating because I could deal with making mistakes and I also.made less mistakes because I could focus better. This meant that I could play at the level where I could lose myself in playing (sorry this sounds stupid but I don't know how to describe it) more often.

It's similar with cleaning. Wouldn't say cleaning is fun but it's tolerable with meds and medicated or unmedicated I love living in a clean neat house. That gives me a lot of satisfaction and peace of mind. Just to get to that stage I need to go through slightly less pleasant stages.

You know..work towards long term goals. Long term goals are immensely satisfying and worth putting the effort into achieving them but with adhd that's difficult irrespective of how much you value your long term goals.

Fuzzy12
05-02-16, 07:45 AM
Thing though about hobbies - is that isn't it normal to grow tired of everything and want to experience something new ?

Was having this conversation at the weekend.

Stages

1 Hate not knowing how to
2 Learn how to
3 Bored doing
goto 1

If you give up 5 min into a new hobby you haven't really experienced it though, isn't it?

I feel as if I'm living a half ***** half hearted life. I know what it's like to fully experience things because I have but to get to that stage can at times take time. I've tried learning other instruments but always lost interest after a few months (or earlier). I do wish though that I could play the flute or the violin.

Same with other intereSts and learning. There are so many things simple eat to learn. There are so many things I want to know and I'm scared that I'm running out of time to even just learn a fraction of them. And I am running out of time by playing silly online puzzles every day for hours rather than doing something that actually.makes me happy.

Also, because I'm so inefficient, procrastinate and can't focus on things like work I run out of time to do the things I am truly passionate about..that im passionate about even unmedicated. Or other stuff...I haven't played the piano in weeks because I haven't got round to clipping my finger nails.

(Sorry king if I'm hijacking your thread or talking off topic. Ny point is really that adhd robs us of so much more than just being able to be successful in conventional areas like work or school and even if you learn to deal with those your life might still not be great.)

Little Missy
05-02-16, 07:49 AM
I know people who clean enthusiastically without meds. I am always in awe of them but I have no desire to become like them. I do not clean enthusiastically ever. I am an extremely tidy person but I'm no scrubber. Hey, we all have our fortes.

I have no idea if children outgrow ADHD.

SB_UK
05-02-16, 09:00 AM
The problem off meds for me isn't really a lack of enthusiasm. I learnt to play the piano when I was unmedicated and I loved it. I loved it when I could lose myself in playing and in the music. However to get to that stage takes regular practice and regular practice isn't always fun especially when I make mistakes purely due to.losing focus. It's super frustrating and makes me stop practising.

My practice sessions medicated were less frustrating because I could deal with making mistakes and I also.made less mistakes because I could focus better. This meant that I could play at the level where I could lose myself in playing (sorry this sounds stupid but I don't know how to describe it) more often.

It's similar with cleaning. Wouldn't say cleaning is fun but it's tolerable with meds and medicated or unmedicated I love living in a clean neat house. That gives me a lot of satisfaction and peace of mind. Just to get to that stage I need to go through slightly less pleasant stages.

You know..work towards long term goals. Long term goals are immensely satisfying and worth putting the effort into achieving them but with adhd that's difficult irrespective of how much you value your long term goals.

What if ADHD gives us the keys to happiness without having to 'earn' them by becoming a specialist in anything - being keen to be a specialist at everything but only reaching a reasonable level at each - might be part of the condition.

When the mystery's gone - I need to move on.

The global overview feels more important.

I think cerebellar automatising is a key part of ADHD.
That's doing something without thinking.

And echoes back to your comment about the learning being tedious.

With instruments so many of us play on autopilot.

Hate the learning bit, love it when the fingers play by themselves.

-*-

Cerebellar automatising - I believe is a method of describing 'learnt' enacting itself out.

http://www.addforums.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1743724&postcount=4

SB_UK
05-02-16, 09:07 AM
The link in the link above no longer gives us free access to the paper.

They also reasoned that the cerebellum contributes to the automatisation of learned behaviors
This ^^^ is enough.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerebellar_theory_of_dyslexia

-*-

I live in auto-pilot - in a dream.

As do ADDers.

And I don't really want to come out of it.

-*-

I think we're simply required to know only a certain amount of a certain type of information before our mind collapses.

No further info required.

In current society - you're considered highly if you're great at something.

But as soon as I get any good at something - I feel empty.
Wondering where the satisfaction is ?
There isn't any.


-*-

ADDers can achieve.

http://www.additudemag.com/slideshow/67/slide-1.html

Though when we do there's emptiness.

-*-

Guess maturation delay ie cortical (sensory / motor) delay (documented) - delayed disrupted cerebellar connectivity - the entire 'learning' scheme is thrown out in ADDers.

ginniebean
05-02-16, 01:24 PM
It's kind of a wierd thing to discuss because the neurolgical difference has no name. The name adhd signifies a condition caused by impaired neurological functioning. Different brain structures and of course varying levels of social support can increase the disabling nature of the condition.

The underlying differences behind adhd are always present, but may not always be impairing enough to meet criteria for a diagnosis of adhd.

I have good days and bad days but never have i had a day where my symptoms haven't been impairing. Some people who have these differences but in a less severe form may have periods in their life where the symptoms of the underlying condition do not present significant enough impairment to reach the diagnostic label of adhd, they experience a sort of remission. These same people who "outgrew" adhd can because of environmental circumstances or aging reach levels impairing enough to reach clinical levels again.

Calling it "growing out of" is misleading and confusing when remission is a more accurate word.

SB_UK
05-02-16, 02:12 PM
It's kind of a wierd thing to discuss because the neurolgical difference has no name. The name adhd signifies a condition caused by impaired neurological functioning. Different brain structures and of course varying levels of social support can increase the disabling nature of the condition.

The underlying differences behind adhd are always present, but may not always be impairing enough to meet criteria for a diagnosis of adhd.

I have good days and bad days but never have i had a day where my symptoms haven't been impairing. Some people who have these differences but in a less severe form may have periods in their life where the symptoms of the underlying condition do not present significant enough impairment to reach the diagnostic label of adhd, they experience a sort of remission. These same people who "outgrew" adhd can because of environmental circumstances or aging reach levels impairing enough to reach clinical levels again.

Calling it "growing out of" is misleading and confusing when remission is a more accurate word.

Exactly - remission not growing out.

I'd effectively eliminate the disorder component of ADHD if I were allowed to be silent in the sun, ideally with a dog - all day ... ... ... living the dream.
But there's this societal bully that insists that we 'pay' for something that could easily be free.

Silence, sun and dogs cost little more than a garden.

Stevuke79
05-02-16, 02:21 PM
My understanding is that by definition you don't outgrow adhd. You can however learn to cope better and perhaps not need meds long term.

But a delay is a delay.

SB_UK
05-02-16, 02:30 PM
I think that it's more the delay not being allowed to catch up.
Given a flexible schooling system we'd get there.
A pre-schooler cannot attend University.

It's hard for a constantly 'failing' ADDer to embrace learning.

Though 'learning' (broadsense) extends far beyond academia - but then again - perhaps the delay fires up in any form of learning.

I'm looking at a speech delayed, balance delayed, maturity delayed ADDer right now.

ginniebean
05-02-16, 03:04 PM
Exactly - remission not growing out.

I'd effectively eliminate the disorder component of ADHD if I were allowed to be silent in the sun, ideally with a dog - all day ... ... ... living the dream.
But there's this societal bully that insists that we 'pay' for something that could easily be free.

Silence, sun and dogs cost little more than a garden.

and kitties!

Lunacie
05-02-16, 03:04 PM
I think that it's more the delay not being allowed to catch up.
Given a flexible schooling system we'd get there.
A pre-schooler cannot attend University.

It's hard for a constantly 'failing' ADDer to embrace learning.

Though 'learning' (broadsense) extends far beyond academia - but then again - perhaps the delay fires up in any form of learning.

I'm looking at a speech delayed, balance delayed, maturity delayed ADDer right now.

There is more to the delay and impairments of ADHD than going to school.

Is it possible for us to "learn" to pay bills on time or develop a memory that can remember where we parked the car or that we need to move the laundry from the washer to the dryer?

SB_UK
05-03-16, 07:11 AM
There is more to the delay and impairments of ADHD than going to school.

Is it possible for us to "learn" to pay bills on time or develop a memory that can remember where we parked the car or that we need to move the laundry from the washer to the dryer?

I've imagined a world where we don't have bills, don't have a car and don't remove laundry from a dryer.

It's all do-able.

Maybe that where we should take our inability.

Into elimination, automation, 'Internet of things' etc ... ...

SB_UK
05-03-16, 07:16 AM
and kitties!

cats n dogs (https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSVvM0aMRN1s5hhkxnlduOyIjeMUPJ0e CeAZp0bexdR2yoLKVpw)

Little Missy
05-03-16, 07:21 AM
There is more to the delay and impairments of ADHD than going to school.

Is it possible for us to "learn" to pay bills on time or develop a memory that can remember where we parked the car or that we need to move the laundry from the washer to the dryer?

Yes! I pay all of my bills together on the same day. Always. I have to.

But the rest...

acdc01
05-04-16, 09:36 AM
The underlying differences behind adhd are always present, but may not always be impairing enough to meet criteria for a diagnosis of adhd.
.

Is this true, is the underlying neurological difference always there or do some kids have delayed development and then that area got developed?

acdc01
05-04-16, 09:47 AM
It interferes big time with my hobbies too maybe even more than work because the pressure and stress are missing.

It interferes with my hobbies too. I think if I couldn't get myself to be interested in something else, then it would be very frustrating for me.

But fortunately, I become interested in new and multiple things often. The best times were actually when I was young and I would like one hobby intensly, say basketball and playing it every free second I had then became bored of it so I'd switch to loving ping pong to the extreme, and then something else until I was interested again in basketball.

I actually loved that about me cause I was always feeling an intense high cause I would hyperfocus on the hobby and even though I ultimately quit, I always found another hobby before I quit so I was always feeling high.

It's harder as an adult though cause all kids switched interest quickly so I would have friends to make that switch with me. Now, I don't have many friends to begin with and adults don't seem to switch interests as often as me. So I either have to find hobbies I do solo or go through the chore of meeting new people over and over again (which I have difficulties bringing myself to do).

BellaVita
05-04-16, 10:32 AM
I WISH I could outgrow ADHD.

I guess one way it has changed a bit for me over the years is that I don't procrastinate as much, thanks to crippling anxiety that exists and doesn't allow me to rest until I get the task done, even if I have to take the next day's spoons (or the next weeks worth) to do it.

And I guess one good thing I sort of "outgrew" is I feel my emotional/maturity development has grown leaps and bounds over the last few years. Doesn't mean I suddenly have great emotional regulation though.