Common ADHD Questions

Understanding ADHD

What is ADHD?
Is there a cure for ADHD?
How do I know my child has ADHD and not something else?
How can ADHD symptoms change as my child gets older?
Will my child eventually grow out of ADHD?

Working with my child's doctor

Any tips to help me remember my questions for the doctor?

Working with my child

What are some tips for talking to my child about ADHD?
When is the right time to start involving my child in treatment decisions?

Looking for support

What help may be available for my child in school?
What are some things to consider before seeking help for my child in school?
How can I work with my child’s school?
What are some tips for talking with my child’s teachers about my child’s ADHD?
What does an ADHD coach do, and where can I look for one?
Where can I connect with other parents who have kids with ADHD?



Understanding ADHD

What is ADHD?

ADHD is a treatable medical condition characterized by the symptoms of hyperactivity, inattention, and/or impulsivity that are more frequent and severe than is typically seen in one’s peers. Only a trained health care professional can diagnose ADHD.

Learn more about ADHD

Is there a cure for ADHD?

Medications do not cure ADHD. Rather, they may help people with ADHD control the hyperactive/impulsive and inattentive symptoms of ADHD. Medicine may not be right for everyone and may be used as part of a total treatment plan for ADHD that may include counseling and other therapies.

Learn more about Vyvanse

How do I know my child has ADHD and not something else?

Only a trained health care professional can accurately diagnose ADHD. If you are concerned your child may have ADHD, make an appointment with your child’s doctor.

Prepare for the appointment with our ADHD Symptom Checklist.

How can ADHD symptoms change as my child gets older?

What your child experiences might change and what you observe might change as well.

For details, check out ADHD and Kids.

Will my child eventually grow out of ADHD?

There is no way to predict if your child may outgrown ADHD. Based on parents' reports, as many as 50% of children with ADHD may continue to have ADHD as adults.

Keep talking with your child’s doctor and track your child’s progress with this ADHD Symptom Checklist.



Working with My Child's Doctor

Any tips to help me remember my questions for the doctor?

Try writing down your questions ahead of time. Raise your questions as soon as the doctor enters the room. If you’ve already left the appointment, call back. Don’t let a moment of embarrassment keep you from getting the important information you need for your child.

Get suggested questions to ask your doctor about ADHD and Vyvanse.

Working with My Child

What are some tips for talking to my child about ADHD?

  • ADHD is not your child’s fault — it is a neurodevelopmental disorder.
  • ADHD is treatable and the doctor is there to help.
  • We don’t know exactly what causes ADHD.
  • ADHD may impact your child at home, at school, and in social settings.

When is the right time to start involving my child in treatment decisions?

It depends on your child's age, maturity, and other factors. Generally speaking, as children get older they can handle more information and make more responsible decisions. Providing information about ADHD and treatment plan options that may include medication can help your child feel involved in these important health care decisions. Ask how your child is feeling. Treat your child as part of the solution.




Looking for Support

What help may be available for my child in school?

If you decide to pursue help for your child in school, you have some options to explore.

  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act provides for accommodations such as providing students with ADHD clear and simple directions for homework and in-class assignments, a quiet place to work, or access to a computer in school for written work.
  • The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) provides for an Individualized Education Program, also known as an IEP.
  • An IEP is a written agreement between parents and the school. It spells out specific goals based on your child’s current level of performance and provides a list of services that will be granted as discussed by the parent and school.

If you are considering looking for help in school for your child, check out our guide for parents called 6 Steps to Navigating the School System.

What are some things to consider before seeking help for my child in school?

Before pursuing special learning arrangements for your child, keep these points in mind:

  • Consider if your child with ADHD would be embarrassed when accommodations are made in class. You may wish to keep any agreements about changes between your child and his or her teachers.
  • Consider if your child with ADHD would be upset with accommodations that may set your child apart from his or her peers. You may want to avoid implementing major new strategies until absolutely necessary.
  • It’s important to remain positive. It can be challenging to get in place support services for your child with ADHD.

How can I work with my child's school?

  • Meet with your child’s teachers to share your concerns and explore accommodation options.
  • Ask your child’s teachers to write down the learning or behavioral concerns your child has and have them share that list with you.
  • Request a written evaluation of your child. Make sure to do it in writing. Date the request and keep a copy for your records.
  • Take an active role in preparing your child’s educational plan.
  • Follow up each meeting with your child’s school with a letter documenting what took place, and then note any issues and keep copies on file.
  • Check with the school or find a local support group to answer questions and to help you advocate for your child.

What are some tips for talking with my child's teachers?

For tips and guidance on speaking with your child’s teacher about ADHD teaching strategies, check out our Teacher Discussion Guide.

Where can I look for an ADHD coach for my child?

ADHD coaches are trained in specific techniques to help people with ADHD set goals for creating new behavior patterns. Coaches may charge a fee or provide fee-based services to help with practical issues like getting organized and managing time. Ask your doctor for help finding an ADHD coach. You can also visit one of these ADHD coaching sites for more information:

Where can I connect with other parents who have kids with ADHD?

Ask the doctor for information about support groups for parents of kids with ADHD. Or contact an ADHD support and advocacy organization to see what services they may have available. Here are some to check out:

Going to see your child’s doctor?

Get an ADHD Doctor
Discussion Guide
 
 

Looking to help your child with school?

Check out our
Parents’ School Kit