Study Shows Kids Who Start School Early Are Likely To Get ADHD

Most families take pleasure in seeing their children join kindergarten. This is the first step of childhood that comes with new responsibility for most parents. Parents in the United States are usually faced with the dilemma of whether they should take their children early to school or not. However, if your kid was born in August in states that have September 1 cutoff for kindergarten enrollment, you may want to consider waiting one year before taking your kid to school. Researchers at Harvard University have found that kids that start school one year early are likely to be diagnosed with attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). As a result, these younger kids may be wrongly labeled with ADHD when in fact they are just immature.

What is ADHD?

ADHD is a chronic neurological disorder that is characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsive behavior. Attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder is commonly diagnosed in children, but it can also be diagnosed in teens and adults. Kids with ADHD may find it difficult to control their impulses or may be hyperactive. In addition, children with this health condition may find it difficult paying attention, which can affect their home and school life. Attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder is usually discovered in early school going children when they start having a problem paying attention.

According to a new study available in the New England Journal of Medicine, kids that start school early have a 30 percent risk of being diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder than their older peers. The result of these findings emphasizes the importance of taking into account a child’s age before assessing their attention span and behavior. Anupam B. Jena, Ph.D. of Harvard Medical School suggests that physicians should incorporate a kid’s month of birth and their age compared to their classmates when diagnosing them for ADHD. Experts may label younger students as having ADHD when in fact they are showing behavior which is common at a young age. Therefore, if your kid has a late summer birthday and you are summoned by a kindergarten teacher that they have ADHD, you should be skeptical at first.

This is according to the study’s main author known as Timothy Layton, Ph.D. There is a possibility that younger kids may have been overdiagnosed with attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder, or are measured against behavior standards that they are not developmentally ready for. Timothy Layton findings tend to agree with this observation as it shows there is a possibility that huge numbers of kids are being overdiagnosed and overtreated with attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder because they are immature than their older peers in their kindergarten school. Timothy Layton advice that parents should do everything to help their children overcome the difficulties that come with being the youngest in their class. He continues to advise parents that have children with late summer birthdays to consider keeping them at home for one year before taking them to kindergarten.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed kids that were once diagnosed with ADHD rose by almost 38 percent from 2003 to 2016. This increase may be attributed to the fact that there is greater awareness of the health condition by health practitioners today than in prior years.

Reference

https://www.healthline.com/health-news/kids-who-start-school-early-30-more-likely-to-be-diagnosed-with-adhd#Over-diagnosis

https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/905939

https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2018/11/28/harvard-study-children-who-start-school-early-more-likely-get-adhd-diagnosis-even-if-they-dont-have-it/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.249c37c63420

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