It has also emerged that day-to-day stress, such as a child running late for school or losing a school bag, is more stressful for parents of a child with ADHD.
Such parents also feel more stressed out because they are not spending enough time and attention with their other children.
The findings have emerged from a survey carried out across seven countries including Canada, Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Italy, and Britain.
The survey, carried out by Ipsos MORI and commissioned by Shire Pharmaceuticals, asked 1,400 parents — half who had a child with ADHD and half who had a child without the condition, to rate their stress levels in everyday situations.
Child psychiatrist Prof Fiona McNicholas said it was not surprising that parents experienced a lot of stress preparing a child with ADHD for school.
ADHD is a behavioural disorder characterised by symptoms of inattention, impulsive behaviour, and hyperactivity.
The disorder affects between 3% and 7% of school-aged children. It can often result in disruptive behaviour in the classroom, and as a result is often first identified in school.
The condition can be treated with medication as well as using behavioural methods.
“In reality, with appropriate treatment and support, the condition is manageable and people with ADHD can have a good quality of life — something we all have a right to expect,” said Prof McNicholas.
“The results clearly highlight the extra level of stress that families are under with when their child has ADHD.
“Better understanding this experience means that we can offer more effective supports and also helps us raise awareness about ADHD.”