Texas Children's Hospital help children overcome ADHD obstacles

Thursday, March 17, 2016
Risk of untreated ADHD
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If ADHD goes untreated, there are risks.

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- It's often a diagnosis that some parents don't want to talk about, let alone address.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD in children.

Experts say the sooner a child is diagnosed and treated, the better outcome and opportunities they'll have later in life.

"He gets distracted very easily, and he can't sit and be focused on one thing. He's got to be focused on 50 things," said parent, Kristina Cain.

Cain's son, Adam, was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 5-years old and her daughter, Mackenzie, was also diagnosed at a young age. Her daughter had issues focusing on tasks, and it reflected in her grades.

Kristina said, "Even her school in first grade, they wouldn't test her. And she wound up repeating the first grade because of it. It's not like he's just some wild kid and he doesn't like to listen and he won't sit or she won't sit, because they're just problem children. And it's not, they just ultimately cannot help it."

Dr. Adiaha Spinks-Franklin, who specializes in Developmental Pediatrics said, "Children who have ADHD tend to struggle more in school. They have higher risk of learning disabilities and other learning problems. They may have problems being able to manage their behaviors. They get in trouble more in school."

If ADHD is left untreated, it could affect individuals later in life.

Dr. Franklin said, "An increased risk of dropping out of school. They have an increased risk of having poor job performance, and a higher risk of getting fired. In fact adults with ADHD get fired at 3 times the rate compared to those without ADHD."

Depending on the patient, ADHD can be treated with medication and therapy. Both Adam and Mackenzie have been going to Dr. Franklin for quite some time and the results have been positive.

"When they were both diagnosed, they were making D's and F's. Now they're making A's and B's," said Kristina.

Today, Adam has a message for others who may have children living with the disorder as well.

He said, "Having ADHD doesn't bother me too much. Even though I get off task a lot of times. It doesn't affect me too much. I hope my words encourage other people to keep moving forward."

Kristina told us, "To all the parents out there, take that step in helping your child. Because it's only going to benefit your child in the long run"