Ten years ago, a child that couldn’t focus on homework or sit still during class was considered a disruption. Now, doctors are diagnosing more and more of these children with ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. And as any parent who has a child that is struggling through school will tell you, that’s a good thing.

According to a large California health plan, Kaiser Permanente Southern California Medical Group in Pasadena, a study of their medical records show that the proportion of children ages 5 to 11 diagnosed with ADHD rose from 2.5% in 2011 to 3.1% in 2010.

What’s not totally clear is why more kids are being diagnosed. As a report from Reuters notes, researchers from the group think it’s because doctors and parents have a better understanding of the condition.

We spoke to moms of children with ADHD and they say that the diagnosis, and in their case, the medication used to treat the disorder, were the best things that ever happened their kids and their families.
 
As one mom says, “My son was acting out, running around his classroom, and of course, everyone just figured he was a 6-old-year terror. Our doctor gave us a prescription, and everything changed. It was like a veil lifted, he’s a different child.”

It should be noted that certain demographics had higher diagnosis rates for ADHD, as was found in previous studies — for example, boys were diagnosed more often than girls, and white children were diagnosed more often than other races.

Dr. Darios Getahun, who lead the study, told Reuters Health, “One thing which is very important in ADHD is parents’ awareness…and timely diagnosis of the disease is very important so the treatment is effective. If you diagnose the child early when the disease occurs, the child may function better in school and also socially.”

Source: JAMA Pediatrics/Yahoo! News

 

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