We just reviewed research from Turkey of a study of 62 children with ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and 124 children who did not have the disorder. Researchers had the children’s parents complete questionnaires about their children’s voiding symptoms and any problems with bed-wetting or bladder control. The research showed that the children with ADHD suffer from more and more severe bladder related problems.
We know from previous research that children who had ADHD had more issues with bed-wetting, but this new research looks at all kinds of bladder issues, not just the most severe things, including much more common issues like children’s ability to just control their bladder or to go to the bathroom more frequently.
It’s not quite clear why this relationship exists. It could have to do with the medications that children with ADHD may be taking or it may have to do with some of that impulse control that such children have. So we are not quite sure why, but it sure looks like kids who have ADHD have more problems with their bladder.
This research should serve as a valuable take-home message for teachers, parents, administrators, therapists and clinicians. Caregivers, family members and even doctors need to know that a child with ADHD who is fidgeting may have to go to the bathroom. Teachers should not think a child with ADHD just wants to get out of the classroom. New strategies can teach better bladder control. Flexibility, education and understanding all the way around are really needed.