Growing Into ADHD

by Andrea Wackerle

ADHD is a Real Medical Condition

One of the most common myths surrounding ADHD is that it simply isn’t real. From here, people assume that it is something children will simply grow out of as they get older. While some research does suggest that about third of kids “grow out” of their ADHD,  maybe it is possible that the symptoms evolve over time. ADHD is fact a brain-based disorders that affects between 3-7 percent of school aged children and about 4 percent of adults. While there is still no definitive cause for ADHD, much research suggests a strong genetic connection.

You can read more about the research and potential causes of ADHD over at the National Institute of Mental of Health.

Adults Living with ADHD

If you have ADHD as a child, you will still have ADHD as an adult. It may present itself in different ways, but it is not something that goes away altogether with age. Adults living with ADHD have likely learned strategies throughout their adolescent lives on managing their ADHD. This can make symptoms seem less intense and less impactful on everyday life. Adults living with ADHD may have also learned how to turn their ADHD characteristics into strengths, which is one of the main thing we try to teach students and campers here at SOAR. By pursuing a field that you are truly interested in, it may be easier for you to focus and be successful in a specific career path. Your ADHD may have given you an entrepreneurial spirit. You are adventurous, creative, ready to jump in, and eager to solve problems. These are all qualities that employers look for and that people admire.

Growing Into ADHD

Instead of thinking your child will grow out of their ADHD, we encourage you to help them grow into it. By only seeing ADHD through the disability lense, it will forever be a burden and obstacle to overcome instead of an opportunity. With age, your child will mature and learn to manage the behaviors that seem to be holding them back now. While it is important to still offer opportunities and resources to help your child in areas they may be struggling with now–time management, organization, frustration, impulsivity, social skills, and more–we promise that your child’s future as a successful adult is very BRIGHT!

We leave you with some inspiration:

We recently heard from one of our SOAR alum who first attended SOAR 10 years ago. He described himself then as a “socially awkward, impulsive and plain out of control teen.” At the time, his parents doubted that he would be able to complete high school, but they decided to give SOAR a try. He goes on to say, “While at SOAR, I learned a host of skills and strategies to overcome my ‘disabilities’. My counselors were truly mentors that I could look up to. They were patient and worked with me, instilling a new sense of confidence in me. The experiences I had at SOAR helped me turn my ‘disabilities’ into ‘abilities’.”

This alum went on to pursue his love of nature in an academic setting, achieving Bachelors and Masters levels degrees, and is currently pursuing a Doctoral Degree.