It has been debated over the years as to whether or not ADHD has been over diagnosed with children. There was a huge influx of young children being diagnosed with ADHD and it has been proven that people are often misdiagnosed with ADHD when they actually had Bi-polar disorder instead. This is a very serious issue because it causes people to miss the proper treatment that could truly help them deal with the issues that they have.
There was a recent study done to find out whether children who are being diagnosed with ADHD are possibly just much younger than their classmates. When a child starts school, they are compared to the other children in the class. That comparison includes the behaviors of all of the children in the classrooms. This is a normal thing for people to do, but it could be causing the influx in misdiagnosis of ADHD. Could it be that the children who are being diagnosed are just not as mature as the others because of their ages?
The reality is that many children who are being diagnosed with ADHD are the youngest children in the class. Maturity makes all the difference in how a child handles situations. It may be a few months difference or almost a full years difference in the age of children in each classroom. A child born in January of one year and a child born in December of that same year will be a year apart in age minus one months time. That is a huge stretch and the child born in December will be less mature, naturally, than the child born in the previous January. How can we expect the December child to be as attentive as the child born in January? You can’t put the two in the same classroom and expect the same behavior.
When a teacher or parent sees that a child is behaving less maturely than the older children in the classroom, they automatically want to have the child tested for ADHD. Children are often put on medications that dull the senses, to say the least. Younger children are supposed to be less mature than older children. There is a natural progression that takes place in every person’s life. Just because they are in the same classroom doesn’t mean that they are at the same maturity level as the others.
It is time to take into consideration the age of the child as opposed to the comparison of the child to his/her classmates where ADHD is concerned. No child is the same and lumping a child in with all the other kids to find a diagnosis of ADHD because we don’t like their behavior doesn’t mean that there is really something wrong with the child. Precaution is the key when you want to consider that there truly could be something wrong with your child.
Things to ask yourself are:
How old is my child?
Is this normal behavior for a child of his/her age?
Is my child the youngest or one of the youngest children in his/her class?
Am I comparing my child to other children to decide whether there is a problem or not?
Asking yourself these questions may give you a better sense of whether your child is acting as any normal child his/her age would or if it might be time to get testing done for ADHD. Don’t jump on the ADHD bandwagon without giving it strong thought first. You could be doing yourself and more importantly, your child a great disservice by doing so.