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Will my child inherit ADHD from me?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Medicine
No one can predict whether your child will inherit attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) from you. However, ADHD is a genetically inherited condition, and your child will be far more likely to be diagnosed with the condition than most people. On average, people in the United States face a 5% chance of being diagnosed with ADHD. However, children of parents with ADHD face a 30% chance of having the disorder.

If you notice your child struggling at home, at school, or in his or her personal life, consider the symptoms. Does your child have trouble paying attention? Is he often distracted or disorganized? Does he tend to act more impulsively than other children?

If you are concerned that your child may have ADHD, talk to your child's pediatrician. Early diagnosis and consistent treatment tend to offer the best prognosis for people with ADHD.
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

If you have ADHD or had it as a child, your child is more likely to have it than other children. But it’s not certain. No one has found a kingpin gene, but several genes related to ADHD can get passed from dear old Mom and Pop. And environment may bring out these genes, but we are still in the early phases of evaluating this. Just remember that it may have nothing to do with what kind of parent you are.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.