Youngest Kids in Class More Likely to be Diagnosed with ADHD
Children who are the youngest in their class are more likely than their older classmates to be diagnosed and given medication for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) -- suggesting that immaturity may be part of the problem, not ADHD.
The finding is from a study of more than 900,000 Canadian children aged 6 to 12, and it dovetails with two U.S. studies that found the same thing in 2010.
In fact, the youngest boys were 30% more likely than their oldest classmates to get an ADHD diagnosis, and the youngest girls had a 70% greater chance, according to the study conducted by Dr. E. Jane Garland, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and colleagues.
"The younger children in a grade were significantly more likely to be diagnosed, labeled, and treated with medication for what in some of them must simply be immaturity," Garland says.