Impact Of ADHD at Work And School,
and Prevalence of Associated Conditions
Revealed in New Survey
ADHD Awareness Coalition urges people to “Get the Facts”
PHILADELPHIA, October 12, 2011—New survey results
reveal that Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) impacts
aspects of work and school for adults and children living with the
condition. The survey also shows that many people with ADHD have been
diagnosed with, or suspect presence of, other health conditions
including anxiety, depression and sleep disorders. ADHD, which affects
more than 13 million Americans, is a genetic, neurobiological disorder
that results in challenges with attention, hyperactivity and
impulsivity. The ADHD Awareness Coalition conducted the survey with the
goal of increasing awareness and understanding of the disorder during
ADHD Awareness Week, observed on October 16-22. They add that people
with ADHD can live fulfilling lives with proper management of ADHD
symptoms. Facts about ADHD, survey details and other related information
is available at www.ADHDAwarenessWeek.org.
and take action to manage ADHD symptoms
“The theme for ADHD Awareness Week this year is ‘Get the Facts,’ because our goal is to ensure that every person in America understands that ADHD is a real brain disorder with real consequences,” said Ruth Hughes, CEO of Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD), a member of the ADHD Awareness Coalition. “We know that undiagnosed and/or untreated ADHD can have a tremendous negative impact on individuals with the disorder, as well as their families, friends and colleagues. The purpose of ADHD Awareness Week has always been to help the public and policy makers understand that the key to improving the lives of those individuals is education and awareness.”
Workplace and School ImpactThe survey covered many areas of life impacted by ADHD including employment among adults and satisfaction with school in children, as reported by parents.
More than half (60 percent) of adults with ADHD surveyed said they had lost or changed a job and attributed the job loss to their ADHD symptoms. More than 36 percent reported having 4 or more jobs in the past 10 years, and 6.5 percent responded they have had 10 or more jobs within the past 10 years. According to the ADHD Awareness Coalition, finding the right career and asking for some minor accommodations on the job can be the keys to achieving success in the workplace.
Of parents with a child or children with ADHD, 44 percent reported their child to be dissatisfied with their school life, with responses ranging from extremely dissatisfied to slightly dissatisfied, and 41 percent reported dissatisfaction with their social life using the same range of dissatisfaction. After receiving appropriate treatment and classroom supports, most children with ADHD are able to pay attention and improve their school performance, according to members of the ADHD Awareness Coalition.
Associated ConditionsThe survey also explored the incidence of co-occurring conditions and found that parents of children with ADHD reported additional diagnoses such as anxiety (29 percent), depression (19 percent) and sleep disorders (14 percent). Parents of children with ADHD who have not been diagnosed with a co-occurring condition reported they suspect their child may have anxiety (35 percent), depression (15 percent) or a sleep disorder (38 percent).
Of the adults with ADHD surveyed, 28 percent reported also being diagnosed with a sleep disorder and an additional 43 percent believe they may have a sleep disorder as reported in survey responses. Surrounding yourself with people who understand that ADHD is a real disability and finding the right treatment plan can help an individual manage the day-to-day challenges that come with an ADHD diagnosis, in addition to associated conditions affecting many adults and children with ADHD.
According to the ADHD Awareness Coalition, with appropriate treatment, children are able to succeed and overcome obstacles from ADHD and associated conditions. As they feel less frustrated by their ADHD symptoms and become more confident in their ability to succeed at home and at school, most of these children gradually overcome sadness, anxiety, or other emotional problems they may have been experiencing.
The survey also indicated that many adults and children use exercise as a mechanism to manage symptoms, with more than 40 percent of adults and children currently engaging in exercise and 50 percent of adults and 39 percent of children reporting they have used exercise at some point to manage symptoms.
“In addition to exercise, there are many options for managing ADHD. A total treatment plan may include a combination of medical treatment, behavior modification and/or coaching to dramatically improve the quality of life for children and adults living with ADHD. Developing a personal treatment plan helps individuals manage their symptoms and succeed at work and school and sustain meaningful relationships with family,” said Sarah D. Wright, of the ADHD Coaches Organization (ACO), a member of the ADHD Awareness Coalition.
More information about ADHD Awareness Week, the supporting organizations, and treatment and strategy options for managing ADHD, is available at www.ADHDAwarenessWeek.org.
Read my ADHD relate blog posts here.