Monday, September 13, 2010

Misdiagnosis of ADHD

I have always thought my oldest son has ADHD tendencies. Then he was tested. Nope. He doesn't have it. I still think he's hyperactive. I guess having a hyperactive boy is pretty normal! I certainly am not saying ADHD doesn't exist. I think it does, but I can see how people might misdiagnose it.

FROM NBC: If you or someone you know has a child with ADHD, you might want to hear new research out of Notre Dame. The diagnosis of ADHD has soared by 500 percent since the 1980s. But this newest study suggests a large number of our kids are misdiagnosed and are often medicated for a disease they don't have.

"All right, pass them up here." This is Bill Evans economics statistics class at Notre Dame.

While he teaches at the college level he and colleagues at North Carolina State and the University of Minnesota joined forces to study ADHD and why so many more children are being diagnosed and medicated. They spent a year looking at the exact birth dates of 60-thousand kids in grades K-12.

Dr. William N. Evans/Department of Economics "What our work tends to demonstrate is that there seems to be a lot of misdiagnosis and we estimate that there are probably about a million kids that are misdiagnosed defining them as having ADHD when they're really just young for their grade."

With start dates for schools varying from state to state, it makes a big difference for the youngest children. Dr. William N. Evans/Department of Economics/Notre Dame
"Every school has a day that you have to turn five by in order to start kindergarten and if your birthday is before that, a lot of kids are going to start and they're going to be the youngest in their class. If your birthday is right after that, then you're going to be the oldest kid in your class."

Using those exact birth dates, their study published in the Journal of Health Economics suggests showing children considered young for their class are misdiagnosed with ADHD at a much higher rate.

Dr. William N. Evans, ph.d., department of economics, Notre dame)
"but if you take a look on either side of the cutoff there are staggering differences in the cutoff of the ADHD diagnosis."

and teachers are often making the suggestion of ADHDwhen the problem could simply be maturity.

Dr.William n. Evans, department of economics, Notre dame"Part of the problem is that a lot of parents are getting their child diagnosed because the teacher says he's acting up in school so you have to ask, 'is the kid acting up in school because of this condition or is the kid acting up because he's just young for the grade?'"

So how do we help out our children, especially those who make the date, but may just not be ready for school.

Dr. William N. Evans/ Department of Economics "I think the solution is to ask a lot of questions. have the kid evaluated by a professional and ask, 'is this really behavior that is consistent with the disease or this behavior that's consistent with the age?' For whose who do have ADHD, the behaviors last into adulthood so a true diagnosis is important.

But just as important is making sure our kids are not misdiagnosed with a disorder that may really have more to do with them just being too young for school. Dr. Evans says more than one million kids may have been misdiagnosed and more than 800-thousand may be taking stimulant medication based only on their maturity.

Once you have a true diagnosis, the national institutes of mental health says treatment options include medication, behavioral treatment, or a combination. Their study found the combination produced better results than just one treatment alone.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

Are you having an acne emergency? Soderstrom Skin Institute can help. We treat acne seriously and in most cases will see you within a week. Evening and Saturday appointments are available. Call 309-674-SKIN and make your appointment today.


Template by lollybloggerdesigns. Design by Taylor Johnston.