Researchers at Tulane University have studied results collected from over 10,000 children born between 2005 and 2009 for signs of ADHD. The researchers looked at 40 different factors known before or during birth and identified 14 factors that predicted the presence of ADHD in a child. Researchers are hopeful that identifying these factors will allow educators, doctors and mental health workers to intervene earlier and produce better outcomes.

Factors Predicting ADHD

• Male
• Maternal smoking
• Maternal drug use
• Urinary tract infection during pregnancy
• Maternal medication use
• Anemia during pregnancy
• Maternal non-cannibals drug use
• Delivery complications
• Severe nausea during pregnancy
• Young maternal age
• Young paternal age
• Pregnancy complications
• Black
• Hispanic race
• Low-income home

Researchers also found that children of Asian descent or who were part of a multiple birth, such as twins, were less likely to develop ADHD.

Diagnosing ADHD

No specific test diagnoses ADHD, but psychiatrists look for some signs. Generally, they will not diagnose a child with ADHD unless attention problems have lasted more than 6 months and in at least two different settings, such as home and school. Symptoms must start before the child is 12. Diagnosing ADHD is often a process of ruling out other conditions. Only children experiencing problems in learning or social settings should be diagnosed.

Early Intervention for ADHD

Numerous studies show that children with ADHD enjoy a better quality of life when treatment begins early. This training often involves training the child’s parents on how to manage behaviors. Young children experience more side effects from ADHD medications than older children and adults, so it should be held off as long as possible. Children often thrive with a routine and an organized place to keep their stuff.

If you suspect that your child may have ADHD, then reach out to ABC. We would love to connect with you, see if your child needs to be diagnosed and if needed assist with changes in your parenting style to further benefit your child.

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