Family History of ADHD: Here’s What to Know

According to the CDC, there is a significant difference in ADHD diagnoses when the sexes are compared; 13% of boys have this diagnosis compared to 6% of girls. Research shows ADHD can be a genetic issue, and although it is not passed on to everyone in a family, it can increase the likelihood of having the disorder. Living with ADHD is typically more manageable once a diagnosis has been made and a course of treatment has been established. Tackling the issue head-on can make treatment more effective. If there is a family history of ADHD in your genetic line, here is what you need to know.

The Genetic Realities of ADHD

ADHD can be genetic, but there are cases where it’s not. This means that if one or both of your parents have the condition, it’s not guaranteed that you will too. Additionally, ADHD does not always affect all siblings. ADHD is often discovered through difficulties a child experiences at school. Working with a trained psychologist to determine if diagnostic testing is necessary is a practical first step.

Once a diagnosis is reached, it causes many people to look back into their family histories. Often, it becomes apparent that many relatives likely had undiagnosed ADHD. Fortunately, more people who suspect that they may have ADHD are seeking a diagnosis along with professional treatment. Having your child tested for ADHD allows you to create a framework for them where they will be able to lead a more vibrant and fulfilling life.

Effectively Parenting a Child with ADHD

Interestingly, many parents don’t learn of their own ADHD until they take their children in for professional testing. When a parent and child are working through a diagnosis at the same time, it can make the situation more fraught. Conversely, it can also help the parent be more effective in helping their child. Effective parenting often requires professional help, whether through regular sessions with a psychologist, medication, or group therapy.

As awareness and understanding of ADHD grows, an increasing number of families are facing the challenges of the diagnosis. Working closely with an experienced and knowledgeable family psychologist is the first step for many. With proper treatment,  people with ADHD can live full and productive lives. If you believe that ADHD may be affecting your family, now is the time to call us at Elements Psychological Services, LLC.