Be Safe from Diabetes: Diabetes and ADHD

A study found that children whose mothers received a diabetes diagnosis during pregnancy are twice as likely as their peers to have ADHD by age six.

The experts say their findings don't prove that gestational diabetes directly causes ADHD, but it does send a message to mothers and doctors that gestational diabetes may pose hidden dangers to a child well after birth.

Doctors say that children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder show signs at an early age, but the good news for parents is that you may be able to identify ADHD early on.

"What we're looking at now is that most ADHD shows up around the age of four or five, but we're finding out that there is a subgroup of kids that don't develop symptoms until around age 11 to 13," Cleveland Clinic's Dr. Joe Austerman said. "But mostly that's inattention."

Austerman said kids with ADHD are also much more impulsive than typical children. He said the signs may become more apparent when a child starts school, because this will be the first time they are required to direct their attention to something they may not be entirely interested in doing.

"If you say, 'Man, my kid seems a little more wild than the other kids,' or they seem not to be listening to the teacher, that's when you say let me get them to a doctor to evaluate this a little more fully," Austerman said.

Experts say medication is typically very effective in treating the disorder, but they add that kids should also be taught coping skills to use in the classroom.


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