MADISON (WKOW) — More than six million kids in the U.S. have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD for short. Untreated, it can lead to major behavior problems at school and at home. Now scientists may have identified potential warning signs and they could start in babies.
Some babies are easy-going and others are just hard. But could your little one’s behavior as an infant signal problems down the road? Scientists say maybe. They examined 342 kids at ages five months, 20 months, and at four and a half years old – and again at ages six, eight, and 28 years old. Results showed that the 82 infants and toddlers who had issues with crying, and sleeping, or eating beyond the first three months of life, were more likely to have attention difficulties later in life. More specifically, persistent or multiple problems in babies were linked to a diagnosis of ADHD.
Researchers say infants who can’t stop crying and have trouble sleeping and feeding need more external control. Experts recommend that parents see a pediatrician and make sure infants have daily routines, such as regular meals and sleep times. Consistent parenting is also recommended because it helps babies regulate their behavior.
Experts say symptoms of ADHD improve with time for most children, only about one-third of the kids with ADHD continue to have symptoms and challenges that require treatment in adulthood.
Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Julie Marks, Writer; Roque Correa, Editor.
Produced by Child Trends News Service in partnership with Ivanhoe Broadcast News and funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation.