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How does ADHD change with age?

Roughly one-third of children with ADHD will grow out of their symptoms as they move into adulthood, while the remaining two-thirds will continue to have some symptoms.
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How does ADHD change with age?

28/04/2023
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How does ADHD change as you age?

Roughly one-third of children with ADHD will grow out of their symptoms as they move into adulthood, while the remaining two-thirds will continue to have some symptoms.

As you age, you may find that your symptoms become less severe, and you may be better able to manage them. 

You may also find that you have more control over your impulses and are better able to focus your attention. 

There are ways to manage your ADHD throughout your life. Living with ADHD doesn’t have to be a struggle as you age. Here are some tips to help you manage your symptoms during different periods of your life:

Children

As children with ADHD grow, they can develop better-coping mechanisms to manage their symptoms. Benefitting from medication and behavioural therapies. 

Hyperactivity is the most obvious sign of ADHD but some children with ADHD may be hyperactive and impulsive but can still pay attention. This is known as Predominantly Hyperactive ADHD. 

Some appear inattentive but don’t have impulsive or hyperactive traits – known as Predominantly Inattentive ADHD.

Thirdly some can be inattentive, impulsive and hyperactive which is known as Combined ADHD.

Tips to manage ADHD symptoms in children

Talk to your GP– Be sure to keep up with your medical appointments and ask the professionals for tips on managing symptoms. 

Seek support from friends, family, or a therapist who can help you manage your child’s symptoms and provide emotional support. You may also want to consider joining a support group for people with ADHD or look into parental groups on social media. 

Exercise – Exercise is a great way to release stress and help boost focus and concentration. Try to get at least 30 minutes of moderate activity every day. Dancing is a great energy burner, a martial arts class could help with focus or a family hike outdoors. Find something that your child loves doing for a greater chance of success.

Download our FREE resource ‘Helping children with ADHD to thrive’ HERE

Teenagers 

As children grow into teenagers, hyperactive and impulsive behaviours tend to decrease. 

Yet, some teenagers still struggle with restlessness, fidgeting, and impulsiveness. This becomes more noticeable in situations they find boring or unstimulating. 

Teenagers with ADHD can struggle with attention. Completing school work or other tasks that need focus. They may also have difficulty organising tasks which can lead to procrastination.

However, many go on to live healthy and balanced lifestyles and excel at their studies, despite the challenges that ADHD presents. 

Tips to manage ADHD symptoms in teenagers

Create a routine – It’s crucial for teenagers with ADHD to know what to expect and also what is expected of them. Try to stick to the same bedtime and wake-up time every day, as well as consistent mealtimes and study/work times. 

Take breaks – Breaks are important to help with long tasks and provide respite from mental stimulation. Take a few minutes to step away from what you’re doing to give your mind a rest. One strategy that can help is to study in short spurts. It will offer your teenager the chance to expend extra energy and enhance his/her concentration once they return.

Download our FREE resource ‘Practical tips and techniques for students with ADHD’ HERE

Adults  

It is estimated that 4.1% of adults have ADHD compared with 10.5% of children. Adults can experience the same core symptoms as children and teenagers but they are often expressed in different ways.

Adults tend to struggle more with organisation and time management whereas children tend to be more hyperactive and struggle with impulse control. 

Generally, adults with ADHD experience long-standing issues with paying attention, concentration and zoning out.

With the correct treatment, adults with ADHD can go on to lead successful lives by managing symptoms. Adults with ADHD can have heightened creativity and energy. This can be a huge asset and a positive attribute in some job roles. 

Your ADHD may affect relationships in the workplace and at home but understanding the symptoms you have and having measures in place to manage them can help.

Tips to manage ADHD symptoms in adults

Use reminders and alarms: To help you stay on track with tasks and appointments you can use an app or a physical planner. This will keep you on track with your schedule, to-do lists, and important dates. Set reminders for important events on your phone or have a visual planner on a wall at home. 

Organisation -Try to keep your workspace tidy and organise tasks into smaller chunks. This can help you stay focused and on track.  

Breaking down large tasks into smaller, more manageable steps can make them less overwhelming and easier to tackle. If it helps, use a timer to keep yourself on track.

Remove distractions. Putting your phone out of sight for 15 minutes while you’re working on something can help you stay focused. Put it out of sight rather than leaving it on the side next to you. 

Self-care – It’s important to prioritise self-care, such as getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and regularly exercising. These activities can help improve your health and reduce symptoms of ADHD. 

Download our FREE resource ‘Evidence-based treatments for adult ADHD’ HERE

ADHD Support at The ADHD Centre 

Don’t be afraid to ask for help or talk to a doctor if you feel overwhelmed. Remember, you are never alone.

At The ADHD Centre, we specialise in supporting people living with ADHD and their loved ones. Our team of highly experienced clinicians is on hand to provide expert insight, advice, support, and guidance on ADHD and how to best manage and embrace some of the challenges.

Book an ADHD assessment for an adult or a child HERE  

For more information on how we could help you: 

Call 0800 061 4276

Email enquiries@adhdcentre.co.uk 

Follow us on social media. You can find us on Facebook or Instagram 

FURTHER READING

The 9 Symptoms of ADHD in Children: Understanding Inattention, Hyperactivity, and Impulsivity

Apps To Help You Negate ADHD Symptoms in Adults And Be Productive

Free resources

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