Child-induced ADHD

Dr. Hallowell recently wrote a piece (in response to a Time article that ADHD is on the rise with electronics use) in which he describes Pseudo-ADHD.

Well, increased screen time may lead to something like ADHD, but it’s nothing like the distraction caused by Child-induced ADHD.

Child-induced ADHD is a condition frequently experienced by parents, characterized by distraction, interruption, hyperactivity (being 11 places at once) and inability to complete a task.

For example, a parent may be making dinner, chopping up mushrooms, when a child needs help putting pieces of his plastic construction set together.  The parent is immediately distracted by the plastic construction set, and then by the total mess in the living room, which she then begins to clean up.  When this is finished, she will return to making dinner, but to preparing a vegetable. It is only when dinner is on the table that she will remember the forgotten mushrooms.

Or the parent may be folding laundry when a child starts screaming from the other room that his brother hit him for the 1,726th time that day.  Parent feels a need to break up the fight, and the laundry is forgotten until bedtime, when the parent cannot go to the bed because the laundry is sitting on top of it, unfolded.

The one characteristic child-induced ADHD does not share with actual medical ADHD is that patients with child-induced ADHD lack the ability to hyperfocus.

Child-induced ADHD is a very real problem, and a serious difficulty for sufferers.  I encourage scientists to research this problem and find a solution.


About Sarah Unsicker

Candidate for Missouri House of Representatives, 91st District. Mother, wife, friend, education advocate, lawyer.
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