Can ADD and ADHD Be Outgrown?

Image courtesy of adamr /

Image courtesy of adamr /

This is one of the most common questions and most misunderstood topics in relation to ADD and ADHD; the idea that ADD/ADHD is a childhood disorder is about as relevant to this disorder as the use of leaches is to medicine (OK, there are some practical uses, but you get my point). Anyone that tells you or believes that this is a childhood disorder is way out of line and totally misinformed.

I usually try not to take too much of a stance on my blog, but this subject hits home with me both personally and professionally. As an adult that is dealing with his own ADHD, it impacts my life every single day. And for the adults that think that he or she has outgrown ADD/ADHD, it is a real shame. Of course, with the gender gap in identified cases of ADD/ADHD (75% male 25% female), this becomes such a huge issue for women that are struggling with ADD/ADHD and don’t even realize it is a concern. It is probably because some misinformed person told her that it is only a childhood disorder effecting boys.

I am seeing more adults in my practice. Some are performing well but others still aren’t able to take the next step in his or her life or are struggling. It is a shame that this has to be the case, but the reality of the situation is his or her pathway to information is wrong. To put this in perspective, I had one fairly-well respected professional tell me that ADHD was a form of mental retardation and children will grow out of it around 18 years of age. And this wasn’t some black-and-white movie strip in health class, this was within the last year. Just imagine how many people she’s impacted over the years and this misinformation has trickled through her clients to others.

Just to recap,

ADD/ADHD cannot be outgrown. It is not a childhood disorder. It does not impact boys more than girls. It is not mental retardation. 

So why are there people that perform better as he or she gets older? Ah, great question…and I will discuss it in my next piece.

For more information on my ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning coaching, please visit To learn more information about some of the other services I provide, please visit and I can be found on Twitter at ADHDEFCoach. You can also find me on Facebook and Tumblr. My good friend and fellow ADD/ADHD Coach Tara McGillicuddy invites me as a regular guest on ADD/ADHD Support Talk Radio. Tara does many wonderful things and you should check out her website here. Feel free to email me at or call 773.888.ADHD (2343) with any additional questions.


  1. […] and that lifelong intervention strategies are important. This ties into an earlier piece I wrote (Can ADD and ADHD Be Outgrown?). The more research and data that is available on the topic, the better intervention strategies for […]

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