View Full Version : Husband and I both have ADHD... children


hopefulLiz
05-25-16, 03:24 PM
Hello,
So my husband (age 25) was diagnosed w/ ADHD as a young child. He has always held jobs, but has trouble paying attention and focusing and being driven with things. I (age 26) strongly believe that I have ADD, but was never diagnosed. I have all the symptoms and have trouble functioning, but am wary of meds which is why i haven't pushed the diagnosis, but might have to at some point. I also have a sister with relatively high functioning autism. Other than the fact that we are working through marital issues and both currently in a 12 step program working on ourselves, would you worry genetically about having children?? Like are they all doomed to have major developmental issues? I really long to be a mommy more than anything and he longs to be a daddy. I'm just learning to take care of myself, but we also don't want to wait too long as I have hormonal issues and my family isn't that fertile, so i worry about infertility greatly and find I obsess about having babies; it just doesn't feel like the right time yet. We might try to conceive next year (although we use natural birth control and had had lapses and nothing happened). Anyone else here have ADHD and their spouse does too and have had kids? Do your kids have worse issues than you both? If they functioned at our level, that wouldn't be the worst, but if it was double as bad, that would be upsetting. Maybe we'll be infertile and adopt. I'm honest worried about being functional enough to be responsible for a child, let alone a child with special needs (they would be very loved, i just hope i could).

Blessings!!

BellaVita
05-25-16, 05:59 PM
Hello and welcome to the forums! :)

I'm sorry to hear you have all that stress weighing on you.

Not being sure if your body is infertile or not is truly a scary and worrying thing. Along with the fact that you are suffering from mental difficulties and having trouble functioning I can't imagine how bad this is affecting you.

Since you think there's a strong possibility you could have ADHD I highly recommend googling for a psychiatrist who specializes in ADHD - and get evaluated. Medication might truly be a life-saver for you. It helps so many people and improves lives.

If you have the money available - would it also be possible for you to see a doctor about your infertility worries? That way you can be fully examined before TTC [trying to conceive] and help to ease your mind. And also that way you can know in advance if there's any condition you should be treating - and what steps to take when you DO start TTC if there are any possible issues. Also - if your body checks out fine then you can relax a bit and not feel so rushed to get pregnant.

Would I worry genetically about having children? I am autistic, have ADHD, anxiety and other things...my fiancÚ has ADHD. It is probably going to end up that we have autistic kids/ADHD kids and that is fine with us. Being the way we are we would be able to relate to them and provide help for them and resources - such as treatment for ADHD. I actually look forward to being understanding to my future kids' struggles and helping them out best I can - knowing little tricks and being extra sensitive to their needs - since they will probably have similar issues as me.

Kids with mental disabilities are not doomed. There is lots of help out there - therapy, medication options, school plans for those with disabilities. (There are some bad options out there too though like ABA therapy which is basically abuse) They can live happy lives just like anyone else - their lives would just be...different. And probably have more/different sets of challenges than a neurotypical.

I think it is important that you find treatment for yourself because if you do decide to have kids soon - it will greatly help with your functioning.

Best of luck!

acdc01
05-27-16, 08:32 AM
If you both have adhd, then your odds of having kids with adhd are high. If only one if you has adhd, then you still have a good chance that one of your kids will end up having adhd.

I'm not sure how heritable autism is or about your sisters specific situation like whether your mom was older when she had her so I don't know about that one.

Fuzzy12
05-27-16, 09:18 AM
I share a lot of your concerns. I have ADHD and a mood disorder and since I didn't want to take the risk of passing on any disorder, I'd pretty much made up my mind to adopt. My husband is perfectly normal but ADHD is highly inheritable. I'm not sure about autism though there could be some linked inheritance as well.

I did a lot of reading, which placed the inheritance probability for ADHD somewhere between 50-90% (depending on the paper I read, regardless it was insanely high) but what that figure exactly means I honestly don't remember. According to Russel Barkely, ADHD is more inheritable than your height...Genetic inheritance isn't that simple or straightforward though and environmental influences do make a big difference (though I wouldn't be able to tell you how much or if at all in the case of ADHD). It's lower for mood disorders. I tried getting the info from a lot of different psychiatrist but no one could give me an answer, not even the perinatal psychiatrist I saw. They all just said that I shouldn't think about it so much and should just go for it if I wanted to.

The perinatal psychiatrist did indicate though that I might struggle with adoption because of the disorders noted in my health records (in the sense that I might not be given a child to adopt). So after a long time of thinking (and finally panicking about time running out since I'm in my late 30ies) we decided to try conceiving.

I'm pregnant now and to be honest while I still worry hugely that our child might inherit any of my disorders, there is so much that can go wrong in pregnancy that compared to that ADHD seems comparatively benign (though I'm more worried about mood disorders to be honest). I still think it's very important to consider the risk and be aware that it exists and what that might mean for the child or for you but right now, I'm more worried about all kinds of other health complications. Apologies, I know that doesn't help you much to make a decision right now.

Regarding coping, I worry about that too. I think, you should definitely get evaluated and start treatment before you try to conceive or get pregnant. I stopped medication just before and I'm struggling. On meds, I might have been able to make better decisions to ensure a healthier pregnancy and a better outcome for my baby. I will never know. I do think, it's important though that you try and learn how to cope (with and without meds) as much as possible before you have a child as I can imagine that it will only get more difficult once the baby is here.

I'm not sure if any of this is helpful and I don't really have any answers for you, definitely not any reassuring ones. I'm still ambivalent about the whole issue and I do feel very guilty for taking this risk, for potentially condemning another human being to a life time of struggling just because of my own selfish desires.

There are probably things that you can do to mitigate a some risks (even if not necessarily the risk of inheriting ADHD) by being as healthy and stable as you can be before and during pregnancy, by being as informed as possible about everything and by trying to create an environment that is stable and healthy for a child.

Like Bella said, even if your child does have any disorders, you are likely to be better equipped to help and understand them and also hopefully, with time and with advances in our understanding of these disorders and how to treat them, our kids will have better chances as well.

sarahsweets
05-27-16, 10:12 AM
My husband is adhd and narcoleptic. I am adhd, bipolar II,GAD and other stuff.We got married at age 20, had our first kid at age 21. We have three kids,all adhd and other things. My son has anxiety although he acts like a brave one. My middle daughter has adhd but its mild and honestly I worry about the possibility of bipolar later in life. My youngest has adhd, anxiety and depression. She is 12. Last year she had to go inpatient and then IOP because of suicidal stuff. She is a different person with treatment.

We didnt know anything about passing our disorders on to our kid (21 years ago now). The internet has made understanding and learning much easier.
If I had known what I know now I still would have had kids. Kids are not some fragile little things in a china shop. The importance of good parenting and modeling what a healthy relationship goes a lot farther than just passing on certain genes. Im not saying you are ready right now for kids, but I am saying that the longer you wait and think about it, you will never feel ready.

acdc01
05-28-16, 07:25 AM
I've never heard anyone who wanted kids to begin with ever regret having them.even if their kids ended up struggling, at least they are alive. If you don't have the kid, you'll always wonder what if unless you can be happy adopting.

Just try to keep your environment a happy one. Comorbidz combined with adhd is way worse than just adhd on its own in my opinion.

mildadhd
05-28-16, 11:27 AM
My parents adopted because my father has type one diabetes. But I guess they never knew children who are adopted are much more likely to have a ADHD temperament, etc.


:D

Socaljaxs
05-28-16, 11:46 AM
My parents adopted because my father has type one diabetes. But I guess they never knew children who are adopted are much more likely to have a ADHD temperament, etc.

What are you talking,about? How are adopted children more likely to have ADHD temperament? I can understand some adopted children having some type of emotional trauma, especially if adopted due to being removed from a home, or being places in situations that scare them/abandon/ abused,/ neglected early in life. But what proof is there about ADHD?

My sister and I come from two ADHD parents. My father side also has autism.. I have ADHD my sister does not.neither of us,nor her children (Ones very young to,truly tell) have autism or ADHD symtoms(Yes both are young so not 100% sure). Adhd possibility wouldn't stop me from having children...

I have from my mother's side a genetic tissue disorder called ehler's-danlos syndrome, many of us(About half I would say) on my maternal side have this as well. Or some form of joint/back my changes of passing this to,my children are 50% that is something that I've considered as,a,possible,reason to not procreate.. I would hate to pass this to my children and hand them a life of chronic pain and suffering.. Haven't made a choice either way nor am I looking at this choice in my immediate future. But it for me is something I can see as a big part of the decision process

mildadhd
05-28-16, 12:45 PM
If adopted, the child is much more likely to have a ADHD temperament.

-Due to biological parents who have ADHD temperaments?

-Due to the consistent emotional distresses of the adoption?

-Due to both?

At least, I think it can only be due to both, if I consider the terms "epigenetic variants".

Which "variants" are expressed depends on individual numbers of inherited epigenetic variants and environmental circumstances that turn those variants "on" and "off".




m

Fuzzy12
05-28-16, 01:11 PM
I've never heard anyone who wanted kids to begin with ever regret having them.even if their kids ended up struggling, at least they are alive. If you don't have the kid, you'll always wonder what if unless you can be happy adopting.

Just try to keep your environment a happy one. Comorbidz combined with adhd is way worse than just adhd on its own in my opinion.

My parents adopted because my father has type one diabetes. But I guess they never knew children who are adopted are much more likely to have a ADHD temperament, etc.


:D

I guess most parents love their kids too much to regret having them in their life irrespective of what disorder they might have. I don't think it's really about not wanting to raise a child with adhd (or other disorders) but about not wanting to cause adhd in a child, ie being the reason of a child having adhd. I'm just not sure if it's fair on the child. If we'd adopted I wouldn't have minded adopting a child with adhd but I'm just not sure I can justify the risk of bringing a child into this world knowing she might have adhd or who knows what.

I am on a register and get regular updates of children available for adoption And yes, it does appear that behavioural problems, adhd and learning disorders are disproportionately high among kids up for adoption. Though maybe it just stood out to me. It would be interesting to see if there s a study that has found that adhd is more common among adopted kids.

Like acdc said ultimately I think what swayed me was the thought of having to live for the rest of my life wondering what-if...but yeah, pure selfishness really on my behalf.

mildadhd
05-28-16, 02:05 PM
I think it is natural for primary caregivers (or preparing to be primary caregivers) to ask themselves, "what-if".

I adopted my son years ago and I still have the "what-if's".

The what-if's do not go away.

What is bad, is when a child does not have a worrying primary caregiver.


:)

BellaVita
05-28-16, 02:11 PM
Maybe people will judge me for saying this but I look forward to having autistic kids/ADHD kids.

It will be especially nice to have other autistics in the family.

mildadhd
05-28-16, 02:14 PM
Maybe people will judge me for saying this but I look forward to having autistic kids/ADHD kids.

It will be especially nice to have other autistics in the family.

What-if your children do not have autism or ADHD?




m

mildadhd
05-28-16, 02:19 PM
Maybe people will judge me for saying this but I look forward to having autistic kids/ADHD kids.

It will be especially nice to have other autistics in the family.

You will have better odds if you adopt.




m

BellaVita
05-28-16, 02:19 PM
What-if your children do not have autism or ADHD?




m

Then they would not have autism or ADHD! :)

Nothing would change in how much I love or care for them.

BellaVita
05-28-16, 02:20 PM
You will have better odds if you adopt.




m

Well who knows, it's always a possibility. :)

acdc01
05-29-16, 09:08 AM
You will have better odds if you adopt.




m

Not sure i understood your response but adopting a child wouldn't have better odds of being adhd as both her and her husband have it. The published statistics are compared to the average parents and they aren't the average. I don't even think the odds are better in terms of autism though I'm not sure if environment and age of mother matters more than genetics on that.

The odds of other types of mental illnesses would be greater with adoption Than without.

I find adhd really cute in my niece. She speaks very quickly and nonstop all the time and is a bundle of energy. That said, I can only handle short periods with her before I need a break.

Fuzzy12
05-29-16, 12:53 PM
Not sure i understood your response but adopting a child wouldn't have better odds of being adhd as both her and her husband have it. The published statistics are compared to the average parents and they aren't the average. I don't even think the odds are better in terms of autism though I'm not sure if environment and age of mother matters more than genetics on that.

The odds of other types of mental illnesses would be greater with adoption Than without.

I find adhd really cute in my niece. She speaks very quickly and nonstop all the time and is a bundle of energy. That said, I can only handle short periods with her before I need a break.

Interestingly apparently there is a possibility that age of father can play a role in causing autism (and schizophrenia too).

I think, there are some other factors apart from genetics that might make it more likely to find adhd in adopted kids. (E.g. factors such as maternal smoking, drug abuse, etc. Didn't barkley mention that might cause adhd?).

In general, poor health (both physical and mental ) during pregnancy can cause all.kinds of problems with behaviour, learning and memory apparently. though that might be independent of adhd though I can imagine that there might be a correlation.

Cyllya
05-29-16, 02:54 PM
I don't think it's really about not wanting to raise a child with adhd (or other disorders) but about not wanting to cause adhd in a child, ie being the reason of a child having adhd. I'm just not sure if it's fair on the child. If we'd adopted I wouldn't have minded adopting a child with adhd but I'm just not sure I can justify the risk of bringing a child into this world knowing she might have adhd or who knows what.

Yeah.... I'm sympathetic to the idea that it's unethical to knowingly breed a child (or animal) that has a high likelihood of genetic problems, and I do think ADHD is horrible and want it to disappear from humanity... but at the same time, the idea that we're morally obligated to selectively breed people like us out of existence doesn't sit well with me.

I'm honest worried about being functional enough to be responsible for a child, let alone a child with special needs (they would be very loved, i just hope i could).

Yeah, I share this concern. I would like to have kids (probably just foster kids and be open to adopting them), but I'm actually too dysfunctional to live independently at all.

Despite having ADHD myself, I was actually a really easy kid for my parents. I actually think I could handle raising that kind of child, but most children aren't like that.

I think medication is usually a good idea, but if you're having a biological child, there can be risks from taking it while you're pregnant or nursing.

What are you talking,about? How are adopted children more likely to have ADHD temperament? I can understand some adopted children having some type of emotional trauma, especially if adopted due to being removed from a home, or being places in situations that scare them/abandon/ abused,/ neglected early in life. But what proof is there about ADHD?

Regardless of the reason for it, it seems to be true. (This page has some statistics (http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/11/30/adopted-children-by-the-numbers/?_r=0): "while 4 percent of the general population of children have been diagnosed with severe-to-moderate A.D.H.D., 14 percent of adopted children have;" It also mentions that the numbers are higher in children adopted from foster care, as opposed to international adoptions or private adoptions, but it doesn't give a breakdown. I saw a different article with a different set of numbers, but it was still higher for the adopted kids.)

As for the reason, the most likely hypothesis I know of is that various situations which lead to a child being placed for adoption are a bit more likely when the biological parents have undiagnosed and untreated ADHD (crime, poverty, unplanned pregnancy, etc.) and ADHD is genetically inheritable.

Also, there are some cases where a person has ADHD traits but it's nowhere near bad enough for a diagnosis (the case with a lot of us who were later diagnosed as adults when life got more complicated). I wonder if the additional stress of the whole abuse/neglect/foster situation might "activate" the ADHD in kids who otherwise would not be considered to have ADHD if they had lived in a normal safe environment.

Alternatively, it could be that kids in the foster care system are less likely to go undiagnosed for various reasons.

Fuzzy12
05-29-16, 08:26 PM
I don't think anyone is morally obligated to breed out anything but I do think that it's important that we are aware of what consequences our choices have. In this case the consequences will be borne mainly by the child. I don't want people with adhd to disappear because I think they aren't worthy of a place in society. I just don't want anyone to suffer with adhd symptoms especially not because of me.

mildadhd
05-29-16, 09:13 PM
Even if it was possible to breed out any know genetic predispositions that make ADHD temperament more likely, types of consistent abnormal emotional distresses during critical periods of early BrainMind development can still interfere with maturity of self-regulation, resulting in ADHD.

Like types of distresses can influence overall individual height.

Point being genetic predisposition is not required to interfere with maturity of self-regulation.


m

acdc01
05-30-16, 12:18 PM
Thanks for the stats cyllya. Well based on those numbers we are definitely more likely to have a child with adhd if we give birth to them instead of adopt. Our chances are well over 14% even if only one parent has adhd foe sure.

Better chances for other disorders with adoption though.

I myself don't really find adhd to be so terrible in and of itself that we shouldn't have kids. With a nurturing and hqppy environment and with knowledge and education early in life, I think adhd impacts can most often be managed to a reasonable amount.

mildadhd
05-31-16, 09:15 PM
If 4% of the general public have ADHD.

Even if we assume that all of them inherited a ADHD temperament from a biological parent.

Are the odds of the general public inheriting ADHD still 4%?






m

sarahsweets
06-01-16, 04:46 AM
I hadnt thought of it as selective breeding before....but omg thats creepy.

mildadhd
06-01-16, 10:11 PM
I hadnt thought of it as selective breeding before....but omg thats creepy.

Genetic fundamentalism.

But do not worry it would be impossible to get rid of hypersensitive people that way, because not all people who have ADHD have a genetic predisposition.








m

MaryRogers
06-09-16, 09:32 AM
I would suggest that if you are planning to start a family then you should also get diagnosed as early as possible, there are chances that you condition won't be that severe as you think.