The BBC has commissioned a new study that examines the health and well-being of children in a new UK government plan to tackle childhood ADHD.
The report found that, while ADHD is not a “universal disorder” that affects all children, there are clear differences between the most commonly diagnosed children and those with milder forms of the disorder.
“This study was conducted in a very large, representative population of children from a large, diverse area of the UK,” the report says.
“The report shows that the most common diagnosis of ADHD is milder symptoms, which may include a delay in learning, difficulty concentrating and a lack of interest in things that are expected to be ‘normal’.” The study also found that the average number of hours spent in school a week varied significantly across the children in the study.
“There are no children who have a ‘normal’ childhood and there are very few who have the most severe form of ADHD,” Dr Jennifer McQuillan, who led the research, told the BBC.
“So we know that there are significant differences in the characteristics of children who are diagnosed with ADHD and the average amount of time they spend in school, but this is not because of any differences in their brains.”
It is also unclear why children who were diagnosed with mild symptoms were less likely to attend school.
However, the report does indicate that the symptoms of ADHD do not usually lead to significant problems in school attendance.
“It is clear that ADHD is a relatively mild form of the condition,” Dr McQuillsan said.
“Children who are more severe will often have learning difficulties, difficulties with social interaction and will have trouble with language skills.
These children are often more at risk for learning difficulties in the future.”
In fact, the research found that in the youngest age group of children, ADHD symptoms were significantly more common than in the older age group.
“Our study shows that even for children who appear to have the mildest form of this disorder, they have very different outcomes compared to those with more severe forms,” Dr McKillan said in a statement.
“While some of the children diagnosed with less severe forms may have difficulties in school or are more at-risk for learning difficulty, the majority of children diagnosed in the younger age group had little or no problems with learning, social or academic difficulties.”
These findings support the conclusion that children diagnosed under milder ADHD symptoms have a higher risk of developing other cognitive and learning problems later in life, and that these are likely to be more common in those children who experience symptoms of milder than severe ADHD.
The study’s lead author, Dr Jennifer McFarlane, is the Associate Director of the Centre for the Epidemiology of Children’s Health at University College London. “
In this study, we found that children with mild ADHD symptoms had lower levels of health and wellbeing than children who did not have ADHD symptoms,” Dr McFarlane said.
The study’s lead author, Dr Jennifer McFarlane, is the Associate Director of the Centre for the Epidemiology of Children’s Health at University College London.
“Although we cannot say whether the children who had ADHD symptoms or not are more likely to develop the cognitive or learning problems that are linked to ADHD, we do know that they have lower levels in the general population,” Dr McClarty said.
She said the findings showed that ADHD could be associated with a range of health problems that could lead to poorer health outcomes for the child.
“We also know that some children with more mild symptoms may have more difficulties in learning or in language development, which is likely to have a negative impact on cognitive development later in childhood,” Dr McCarty said in the statement.
The researchers also noted that children who also have ADHD also tend to have more behavioural problems in later life, which has been linked to lower mental health in later adulthood.
“These findings indicate that ADHD can affect health and educational outcomes in children in later childhood,” the researchers concluded.