Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Diagnosed because you're not quite ready for primetime

ADHD Could Be Misdiagnosed In Nearly 1 Million US Kids Say Researchers
Two studies published recently suggest there could be something wrong with the way ADHD is diagnosed in young children in the US, one found that nearly 1 million kids are potentially misdiagnosed just because they are the youngest in their kindergarten year, with the youngest in class twice as likely to be on stimulant medication, while the other study confirmed that whether children were born just before or just after the kindergarten cutoff date significantly affected their chances of being diagnosed with ADHD.

Anyone surprised? And that's coming from an adult with ADD. I have an aunt who kept her son, born in September, back from joining kindergarten until the next year, and that may have been a sound decision. I don't think you can go on cut-off dates to know when children are intellectually and socially ready for a grade. There are times I wish that I had not skipped first grade, because as the youngest and yet one of the smartest, I was picked on throughout my school career. Fortunately I don't have hyperactive-type attention issues. I'd have probably done better with medication. But a lot of kids are way overmedicated. The trick is figuring out which ones benefit themselves, and which ones are being medicated because teachers or parents simply don't want to put in the effort or make decisions like waiting to send them to school. Of course, I don't know if that's still an option these days.

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