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ADHD and its effects can linger into adulthood

It is estimated 5.4 million children are diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder  (ADHD) in the United Sates. This means that between 3 to 7 percent of school children are struggling to succeed in school. But what happens when these children grow up? Many disability applicants are claiming that as they age their health condition may continue to be so severe that they are unable to work.

In a recent study conducted by the Child Study Center at New York University Langone Medical Center, 135 middle-aged men with childhood ADHD who were referred to the study by their teachers when they were between six to 12 years old have been re-evaluated after thirty-three years to determine if they continued to have difficulties as adults.

What did the study determine? Men who were diagnosed with ADHD as a child continued to have occupational, educational, economic and social difficulties which were more pronounced when compared to men without the diagnosis.

The main observation was that those with ADHD, although many were employed and many did work, they had less education, fewer advanced degrees, and were holding lower paying jobs. According to the study, the researchers found that the ADHD group on average made “$40,000 less in salary at work than their unaffected counterparts.”

The study also found that they had more difficulty maintaining relationships, exhibited higher levels of antisocial behavior, had higher rates of substance abuse, and higher rates of psychiatric hospitalizations and incarcerations.

What was the conclusion of the study? The study indicated that one of the greatest benefits to overcoming the emotional, economic and social challenges of ADHD may be to get the right academic support in school at an early age. The assumption is that with the right training and intervention, children can begin to develop skills to increase their focus and retention of information. Add to this emotional support from the school and the family and children are better equipped to meet the challenges of the work.

The good news is that most children who were diagnosed went on to lead productive lives, especially those with the support mentioned above. As a group, however, it is evident that challenges both socially and emotionally can linger in adulthood. But the general consensus is that most adults with ADHD should be able to work some type of job and will not qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Why did I get SSI as a child but lost benefits as an adult?

If you were receiving SSI as a child for ADHD or ADD it is likely that was SSI were terminated as an adult. This is one of those conditions that can be very debilitating for a child but which can generally be controlled as an adult and may not be severe enough to meet the qualification for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) which will require you to prove that you cannot perform any type of work or perform what the SSA terms substantial gainful activity.
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