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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How common is ADD among children?

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  • 1


    Serving the interests of children and young people with childhood language and related disorders View Profile

    The estimated prevalence rates in school aged children is around 0.1% - 2% of school aged children and it is more commonly diagnosed in males. It is difficult to obtain accurate information about diagnosis rates as there can be inaccurate diagnoses of ADD/ADHD as well as diagnoses of other disorders such as speech and langauge disorder where the primary impairment is actually attention based.

  • Dr Tim Edwards-Hart

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    Dr Tim Edwards-Hart is a clinical psychologist working with adults, young adults and adolescents (age 15+). He has expertise assessing and managing ADHD, anxiety, and … View Profile

    ADHD is estimated to affect about 6-8% of children. Recent research has shown that, when ADHD is carefully diagnosed, this level has remained stable for at least the last 30 years and is the same across nationalities. It is diagnosed more frequently in boys, although this is thought to be because boys more often have the hyperactive/impulsive type of ADHD, and hence are more easily identified. Girls are more likely to have the inattentive type (the kind without the hyperactive behaviours) and so their challenges are often not identified and they don't get diagnosed.

    It used to be thought that children “grew out” of ADHD during their teenage years. We now know that this is not the case. While some children do seem to grow out of ADHD, the majority continue to struggle with symptoms into adulthood. About 3-5% of adults are thought to have ADHD and, unlike with children, women are just as likely to be diagnosed as men.

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