Younger school entry linked to ADHD diagnosis: Study

A newly published study found children who enter elementary school younger than their peers are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD, which may reflect over-diagnosis.
2:10 | 11/30/18

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Transcript for Younger school entry linked to ADHD diagnosis: Study
We move to our health alert. Children getting misdiagnosed with ADHD. A new study says it could come from starting school early. Our chief medical correspondent Jen Ashton here. That surprised me. It is a little surprising. Here's the study out just this week in "The new England journal of medicine." They looked at over 400,000 kids in this country from every state and matched their insurance data about their diagnosis for ADHD. They found that if a child was enrolled in kindergarten before a September 1st cutoff, so they're born, let's say in April -- sorry, in August, they're younger for their grade and have a 30% higher chance of being diagnosed with ADHD. Now -- It's called relation, not cause. They didn't confirm the diagnosis and the authors are not saying whether that diagnosis is positive or negative. They're just saying the cutoff date and your birthday matters. What difference could that make? We're both parents. Let's say you have a 5-year-old. What is mature behavior for a 5-year-old might be immature for a 6-year-old developed differently at that age because small differences in age make a big difference in their behavior. When you're our age, it doesn't matter. When they're looking at this, if you're young for your grade, then you might be more likely to get attention saying, are they fidgety, distracted? We're both parents of kids with ADHD and it does take years to figure out the right diagnosis and the right way to treat it. Why are more kids being diagnosed with it? When you and I were in school the term didn't even exist. That didn't mean the disorder didn't exist. It meant people weren't diagnosed with it. We couldn't define it or look for it, screen for it. Diagnose it and then treat it. My child was misdiagnosed until the age of 12 and at that point when medication was started, George, it was like putting glasses on a person who couldn't see. Now medication is not for every child with ADHD. But it can be life changing. I have to say once we found the right medication as well it made all the difference. Thanks very much.

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