A new report showed that physicians started diagnosing kids with ADHD as early as they turned 7, and some before they turned 6 years of age. This might be an issue implying over-diagnosis.
Moreover, approximately one third of American kids were diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder before they turned 6.
About 3,000 parents with children diagnosed with ADHD were interviewed for the study by the CDC. Thus, the CDC found out that some children were diagnosed even earlier than when they had turned 7.
The CDC got and analyzed data from the National Survey of the Diagnosis and Treatment of ADHD and Tourette Syndrome.
But the question is whether the real issue is about accurately treating children who do display ADHD, or if we’re talking about normal childhood development.
The Medical Director of Behavioral Health Services at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, Michael Troy, reported that children who were diagnosed younger might display more severe symptoms. These symptoms might appear often outside their home.
Dr. Troy explained that ADHD might be influenced by several different factors, as this condition, implying highly disregulated behavior, would revolve around their difficulty in focusing and concentrating. He warned that the ADHD condition could indeed be the cause of kids’ disregulated behavior, whereas he also said that they might be suffering from an accumulation of several conditions altogether.
Dr. Troy said that the potential diagnosis of ADHD for kids that turned 5 didn’t exactly reveal if they were truly experiencing the disorder. He said that the symptoms could be hard to differentiate. These symptoms include, first and foremost,
“anxiety or other emotional or learning problems” and “disruption in the early caretaking environment.”
The vice chair of pediatrics at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, Dr. Danelle Fisher, warned that over-diagnosis could lead to over-medication of such kids. Therefore, these ADHD-specific drugs could have negative side effects for the children.
Troy also said that it was important that data about specific kids’ conditions be gathered from different sources, not just parents, but also teachers and coaches etc., even though, in some children, their condition is obvious and they do need special care.
Photo Credits greatlakespsychologygroup.com