Adoped Children: More Likely to Have ADHD?

There are a large number of foreign adopted children diagnosed with ADHD and/or behavior disorders. Why?
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Nov. 3, 2012 - PRLog -- What does adoption have to do with ADHD? One forum I look at on and off recently had a post asking whether ADHD was more common in adoped children. This took me aback, I thought why should it? So, I researched and found a wealth of interesting information!
The psychologist who replied to the forum question did a great job explaining. Basically it is the adopted child whO has been living in an orphanage or institution that is at greater risk for ADHD. The causative factors may be:

inadequate nurturing
prematurity, prenatal alcolhol exposure

One study I looked at found that levels of inattention/overactivity in adopted children correlated with attachment disturbances or severe deprivation. The authors in this study concluded the inattentive/overactivity may constitute an institutional deprivation syndrome and that the type of attention deficit and overactivity exhibited by these children may present a dfifferent picture from that of "ordinary" varieties of ADHD.
Various studies also found that children who were institutionalized longer (from 18 months of age and longer) had a higher incidence of ADHD and behavioral problems. Another looked at the prevalence of ADHD medication usage in international adoptees in Sweden as opposed to the general population. The rates of ADHD meds were higher in the international adoptees for both boys and girls. The risk was increased for maternal education, single parenthood and higher age at adoption.
It does appear that adopted children who have lived in orphanages or institutions for a certain period of time may actually have a higher incidence of ADHD. In addition the symptoms may actually fit into a form of deprivation syndrome similar to ADHD. What I couldn't find is if ADHD meds helped these children.
I welcome comments and questions. If you are interested in coaching for yourself or your child please call me at 614 216 2283 begin or email me at
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