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Percentage of Kids Diagnosed With ADHD

Doctors Dispute "Astronomical" Number of ADHD Diagnoses

How many children really have ADHD?

As The New York Times reports, the latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveal that an astonishing 11 percent of school-age children are diagnosed with ADHD, with high school boys receiving the highest number of diagnoses: 19 percent.

While some say the numbers reflect growing acceptance of the condition, Dr. William Graf — who calls the numbers "astronomical" — feels that they are a result of misdiagnoses: "Mild symptoms are being diagnosed so readily, which goes well beyond the disorder and beyond the zone of ambiguity to pure enhancement of children who are otherwise healthy."

Professor of psychiatry and ADHD researcher James Swanson agrees: "There's no way that one in five high-school boys has ADHD."

Read more (New York Times).

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Join The Conversation
TracyBrooks1391312155 TracyBrooks1391312155 3 years
As the mom of a child with confirmed ADHD, I agree completely! When our pediatrician first mentioned it, he offered medication. I declined and made an appointment with a pediatric behavior and development specialist. After that appointment, we went to two other specialists. They all administered similar tests and all came up with varying results. In my case, even though the results varied on the level of ADHD my son has, they all agreed that he does have true ADHD. I have so many friends who say their child has ADHD but have never run the tests or been to a specialist. To those of us who deal with the challenges of parenting a child with ADHD, it is very offensive. I was able to get alot of great information at Thanks for the great post!
Paula14398385 Paula14398385 4 years
It's only the beginning and no big surprise considering all the chemicals they put in products and processed food... Fast food... These products and "foods" are killing us and our children
Auroarah3919400 Auroarah3919400 4 years
I taught school and preschool for 12 years. I saw so called cases of ADHD and cases of poor parenting. Work was more important than disciplined or being there for a child who just wanted the love and attention of the parent. I don't believe in ADHD. I think its a farce and a joke. If the child is attended to and giving productive things to do, it will keep their attention and help them with their so called ADHD. I've been saying this for years about this "condition". It's a parental cop out.
CandiceRich95877 CandiceRich95877 4 years
my 9 year old daughter was diagnosed with adhd. at the beginning of the year, she had one F and two low C's. she is in her third quarter now and has all straight a's since getting put on vyvanse medication 4 months ago. she forgot to take her meds last tuesday for the first time and her teacher wrote a note next to her behavior page that she was way off task at several areas of the day. she gets her homework done a lot of days on the bus before she gets home. idk about a lot of people, but that's proof enough for me. she's doing so well now, i put her on the soccer team and her first game is tomorrow. i think that if you don't get results like that, you might want to have your child looked at more closely.
LisaAltieriOBrien LisaAltieriOBrien 4 years
It's about time they start having studies on the overdiagnosing. I'm not talking about kids who it's obvious they have adhd and meds help. People are too quick to accept the possibility of the diagnosis and medicate. Boys have a different energy that used to be burned off by just playing outside for then entire day. Things are different today, not as safe. Have to figure out how to channel the energy. A world of electronics (Ipods/Ipads/DSi's/laptops) just isn't cutting it. I am an adult and feel restless if I don't workout. Can't imagine what children/boys must feel if they don't have an outlet for their energy (soccer/swimming/gymnastics/whatever). All alternative methods to medicating should be considered before accepting the diagnosis and the long term medicating. There are so many factors that go into a child's behavior that not exploring alternative measures and adapting areas (such as routine) before meds wouldn't be fair to a child. When my boys start to act up and not pay attention, a good ol' "take away your favorite toy and a time out" seems to do the trick. Life is about balance!
boofsmom boofsmom 4 years
On the other hand, people will look at my eight-year-old, who has severe ADHD, and say 'oh, he's just a typical energetic boy'. To which I have to make the point 'What you see is him ON medication. This is a calm version. ' They don't have any idea what he's like when he's off his meds. Yes, there are some who are mis-diagnosed. But there are others who go undiagnosed, and I feel so sorry for them. My son will tell you he feels out of control when he doesn't take his meds. He doesn't like feeling out of control. Why anyone wouldn't do what is best for their child is beyond me. We work with him daily on multiple ways to stay in control. But until he matures and control his impulses, the meds are necessary.
MaryanneSlater MaryanneSlater 4 years
Lots of energy and not enough to keep them busy will make teens restless. Parents and sometimes teachers don't know how to deal with excess rowdy energy or get kids used to bright flashy social media to pay attention.
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