Whether you have recently been diagnosed with ADHD, have been living with ADHD for many years, or suspect you have undiagnosed ADHD, a question almost all parents ask is: “Will my children have ADHD, too?”
The answer to this question depends on several factors. The most significant cause of ADHD is genes, which means that ADHD does run in families. Even if no one in your extended family has officially been diagnosed with ADHD, you might notice family members with characteristics and traits that resemble ADHD.
Despite this solid genetic link, if you have ADHD, it doesn’t automatically mean your child will, too. This is because a combination of genes and environmental factors determines whether a child develops ADHD. They can inherit ADHD genes without them being activated.
Research suggests that around 40% of children diagnosed with ADHD have at least one parent who also has symptoms of the condition.
While you might feel powerless over your genes, there are still some things that you can do to help your child, including watching for early signs and acting as a role model. This article discusses proactive approaches you can take to help your child if they inherit ADHD.
If your child starts to display signs or symptoms of ADHD, seek professional help. Getting an early diagnosis and the appropriate treatment will be invaluable to your child; it will help minimise their struggles and aid their success. It is also important to tell your child’s paediatrician about a family history of ADHD.
If your child does inherit ADHD, it might manifest in a very different way from your ADHD. For example, if you have hyperactive-impulsive ADHD and your child has inattentive ADHD, your behaviour and challenges will differ even though you both have ADHD.
Also, ADHD often looks different depending on the sex of your child. If your son has hyperactive-impulsive ADHD, they could be physically active, while your daughter might be hyper-talkative and verbally impulsive.
Finally, even if you are of the same sex as your child and have the same ADHD presentations, you can still have different ADHD behaviours and challenges. However, knowing that these differences exist can increase your awareness and help you detect ADHD symptoms in your child early.
ADHD is not the same for everyone with the condition, so it is essential to recognise that your child may be different and face unique struggles.
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