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How is IQ related to ADHD?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
IQ has about as much to do with ADHD as a lamp and a fish. Some kids with ADHD, just like those without it, score very high on IQ tests, others score on the average side, and still others score below average. Sometimes, kids with high IQs aren’t diagnosed with ADHD even when they exhibit symptoms since teachers may think they are bright but lazy, unmotivated, or just plain bored.
Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Medicine
According to the National Resource Center on ADHD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is not associated with low IQ scores. Overall, people with ADHD represent the entire spectrum of IQs. Some people with ADHD have very high IQs, many have average IQs, and some have very low IQs.

However, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry says that children with ADHD who have low IQ scores tend to fare worse than other children in the long run. Since prompt diagnosis and treatment of ADHD results in the most favorable outcomes, refer your child to a pediatrician or child psychiatrist if you are concerned that they have ADHD. This may be especially beneficial if your child may have a lower than average IQ.

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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.