The Vancouver Sun has reported on a new study that suggests being younger may increase the odds of being labeled with ADHD. This study suggests that many of the younger kids are misdiagnosed because they are younger then the older kids in their class. As an example, in a kindergarten class a child may be exhibiting signs of ADHD simply because they are five and the other kids are six.

Have you noticed anything in your experience that would agree with this idea?

Since there is no definitive way to test for ADHD the diagnosis is very subjective. Thus a person’s attitude toward high activity levels in some kids could cause them to label a kid as ADHD when in fact the child is normal.

That concerns me because a child carries a lot of baggage when they get labeled ADHD.

This study examined the cases of about 12,000 kids to compare the rate of medication used between younger and older children.

According to the study, the youngest kindergarten students were 60-per-cent more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than the oldest children in the same grade. Similarly, when that group of classmates reached the fifth and eighth grades, the youngest were more than twice as likely to be prescribed stimulants.

Source: Vancouver Sun

That’s an alarming number. I am troubled that so many kids can get a label when in fact they are quite normal.

Once again it seems that if someone considers a child to be “over active” in a school setting the child runs a high risk of getting a “special” label. Hopefully studies like this will help reduce the number of ADHD labels being handed out.

Share your thoughts…

Photo Courtesy of Flickr: jmurawski
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