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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Child was diagnosed with ADHD and oppositional defiant disorder. But now doesn't show signs. Can it be outgrown?

Does a child who was diagnosed with adhd and oppositional defiant disorder outgrow it? My son was diagnosed in grade 3 and now is going into grade 9. Old pediatrician diagnosed but new pediatrician who has seen my son no more than 4 times says he isnt because he doesnt show signs. He has been on medication since grade 3. Would that not mean the medication is working?
Sat, 13 Jul 2013
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Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) is usually prominent in younger children. It is typically diagnosed before the age of 7 years. Children have two out of three major symptoms:
1) Inattention - inability to pay attention even to tasks they enjoy and understand;
2) Hyperactivity - constant hyperactivity, as if "driven by motor"; &
3) Impulsivity - acting suddenly without any forethought or concern for the consequences (acting without prior thinking).

You have been giving which medication for his disorder?
In any case it is good that the medication is working.

As for the second part of your query: Whether children outgrow ADHD?
Yes. The symptoms of ADHD tend to reduce gradually as the child grows up. By the time he becomes an adult, hyperactivity is less prominent. Impulsivity & inattention may continue to be present even as an adult.

If your child has been on stimulant medications for six years now and if your current Pediatrician notes no signs and symptoms of ADHD, it would be worth trying to taper and discontinue the medications and see. He could have well outgrown his disorder by now.

You must consult a specialist in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry for this. In case any fresh problems arise during the taper, he will be able to taper it.
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Recent questions on Oppositional defiant disorder


Child was diagnosed with ADHD and oppositional defiant disorder. But now doesn't show signs. Can it be outgrown?

Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) is usually prominent in younger children. It is typically diagnosed before the age of 7 years. Children have two out of three major symptoms: 1) Inattention - inability to pay attention even to tasks they enjoy and understand; 2) Hyperactivity - constant hyperactivity, as if driven by motor ; & 3) Impulsivity - acting suddenly without any forethought or concern for the consequences (acting without prior thinking). You have been giving which medication for his disorder? In any case it is good that the medication is working. As for the second part of your query: Whether children outgrow ADHD? Yes. The symptoms of ADHD tend to reduce gradually as the child grows up. By the time he becomes an adult, hyperactivity is less prominent. Impulsivity & inattention may continue to be present even as an adult. If your child has been on stimulant medications for six years now and if your current Pediatrician notes no signs and symptoms of ADHD, it would be worth trying to taper and discontinue the medications and see. He could have well outgrown his disorder by now. You must consult a specialist in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry for this. In case any fresh problems arise during the taper, he will be able to taper it.