Adults diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) say that having ADHD significantly impacts their ability to focus at work, as well as their responsibilities at home and their relationships. These findings were according to a national survey including more than 1,000 adults across the United States diagnosed with the condition.
ADHD is thought to affect about nine million adults in the United States, and research on the life span of the condition notes the disorder can impair academic, social and occupational functioning, and is often associated with academic underachievement, conduct problems, underemployment, motor vehicle safety and difficulties with personal relationships.
It is a universal condition with a strong biological and hereditary predisposition that presents itself similarly across the world. Research confirms that Latino/Hispanic children with the disorder present a neurocognitive, educational, social and clinical impairment profile similar to that reported among Anglo American children with the disorder. However, in spite of this similarity, the cultural background of a child has been shown to significantly influence the expression of ADHD, the meaning given to these behaviors, the level of tolerance toward them and the disposition to seek treatment.
Understanding the influence of culture is especially relevant for Latino/Hispanic individuals with ADHD, since there is evidence that they are not properly identified and treated.
Latinos differ considerably in their proficiency of the English language. Understanding language barriers is essential to avoiding serious diagnostic and assessment errors in using ADHD rating scales, questionnaires and other tests in English.
Parents of Latino/Hispanic children with ADHD that lack English proficiency and literacy can have difficulty participating in activities such as attending parent-teacher conferences, helping with homework, seeking services for their child and participating in other orientation and educational activities.
Adult ADHD Survey Findings
In a study conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of McNeil Pediatrics™, some of the key survey findings included a variety of participant perspectives, including:
- Most adults with ADHD agree that having the condition strongly affects their performance in multiple areas of their lives, including:
—Their responsibilities at home (65 percent)
—Their relationships with family and friends (57 percent)
—Their ability to succeed at work (56 percent of those employed)
—Up to half (50 percent) of those employed worry ADHD symptoms affect opportunities for promotion, and the majority feel they have to work harder (65 percent) and/or longer (47 percent) than their co-workers to accomplish similar work.
- Three-quarters of respondents said their ADHD symptoms strongly affect their ability to stay on task at work (75 percent), while others listed challenges such as:
—Concentrating on what others were saying (70 percent)
—Wrapping up projects (61 percent)
—Following through on tasks (61 percent)
—Sitting still in meetings (60 percent)
—Organizing projects (59 percent)
Just as their needs differ, adults with ADHD report divergent goals in managing ADHD symptoms. In selecting their top three goals for managing the condition, half cited being able to finish projects and tasks (51 percent), and getting their household more organized (51 percent). Other goals included:
- Feeling less irritable and upset (38 percent)
- Getting personal finances more organized (28 percent)
- Improving personal relationships (26 percent)
- Feeling calmer and to feel less need to always be moving (22 percent)
- Getting along better with others in social situations (20 percent)
- Gaining control of their ADHD symptoms (36 percent) and feeling satisfied with their ability to handle stress (58 percent)
- Not feeling like a failure because their symptoms are not under control (54 percent)
- Not getting depressed thinking about how hard ADHD is to deal with (37 percent)
Adults with ADHD who participated in the survey also reported utilizing a variety of techniques to help manage their symptoms. Four out of five have used visual reminders, such as post-it notes, to help manage their ADHD symptoms. Those in the survey also reported:
- Taking prescription medication (82 percent)
- Listening to music (75 percent)
- Using a planner or organizer (71 percent)
- Exercising (69 percent)
Sources: add.org; adapted and reprinted from Attention Magazine, published by CHADD, the National Resource on ADHD, help4adhd.org