ADHD , or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a very controversial condition that usually affects the individual’s ability to concentrate and execute certain tasks. Moreover, the person who suffers from it is often impulsive and hyperactive.
Their academic performance is often low, even if they might be able to focus better on things they find interesting. Such symptoms usually begin by age six to twelve and they can persist for a long time.
A new federal report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that about 33 percent of American children are diagnosed with ADHD by the age of six, even if there are not many tests to indicate that such a young child might suffer from it.
“Although guidelines and instrumentation for diagnosing preschool children, for example, are weaker, the condition itself is developmental and expected to exist in preschool. So, many of those young diagnoses may be valid,” said Joel Nigg, who is the director of the division of psychology at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. Joel Nigg was not involved in the study.
Even if the report has met some criticism regarding the risks of showing overdiagnosis of the disorder, the number are still quite worrying.
About 3,000 children were interviewed by experts working for the U.S. National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities and almost 1,500 had been diagnosed with ADHD before they turned seven, while about 1,000 kids were diagnosed before they turned six.
The CDC reports that the cases of children diagnosed with ADHD have risen to 42 percent in the United States, from 2003 to 2012.
In 75 percent of the cases, it was a close relative who started worrying about the child, whose behavior showed clear signs of the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, according to Susanna Visser, who is the study’s lead author. In other cases, school teachers or other staff have raised concerns about the child’s behavior and have pointed out that he or she might suffer from the condition.
Visser pointed out that the guidelines the American Academy of Pediatrics released in2013 might have helped people identify such symptoms in the children that were in their care.
It is important to diagnose the child as soon as possible because the benefits of therapy at an early age are huge.
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