A new study, published in the Journal of Pediatrics, found that the younger kids in a class are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD. The study (which looked at 400,000 children between the ages of 4 and 7) was conducted in Taiwan, where the cutoff date for school entry is August, and found that children born in August were more likely to receive the diagnosis than their peers who were born in September of the previous year.
Daphna Bassok, an assistant professor at the University of Virginia, told the New York Times,
“In early childhood classrooms, where a month or two age difference can make a big difference, teachers perceive the youngest children in the class as having more attention struggles, and behavioral struggles, than the older children, irrespective of the child’s actual age.”
The study concluded that doctors need to take into consideration “the age of a child within a grade when diagnosing A.D.H.D. and prescribing medication for treating A.D.H.D.”
Considering powerful stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin are often prescribed to treat ADHD, let’s hope this new information can combat future misdiagnoses of the disease.