Nearly one million children in the United States of America are misdiagnosed every year with ADHD. According to two studies published in the U.S., they happen to be the youngest in class.
People with ADHD have differences in some areas of the brain with controlling concentration and activity. This means they may find it difficult to focus certain on activities and subjects, or they may act impulsively, and sometimes without control.
In one study, Dr. Todd Elder found children were more likely prescribed behavior-modifying drugs such as Ritalin. Such treatment was inappropriate and particularly worrying since the effects of using long-term stimulants on children’s health are virtually unknown.
Elder stated that the US government is spending an estimated $320 million-$500 million a year on medication that was unnecessary. Medicaid pays $80 million-$90 million of it.
The second study, confirmed children who were born very close to the kindergarten cutoff date were more likely diagnosed with ADHD.
“There’s a big difference between a five-year-old and a six-year-old, and teachers and medical practitioners need to take that into account when evaluating whether children have ADHD.”
Both studies found that overall in the US; the rate of misdiagnosis was 1 in 5. This means nearly 900,000 out of the 4.5 million diagnosed children with ADHD are misdiagnosed. In children, the condition seems to affect boys more than girls. Diagnoses rates have increased 500 % from 1980 to 2000.