Sep 01 2015

Science of Health: Why Are So Many Kids Being Diagnosed with ADHD?

GUEST: Dr. Deborah Budding is a board certified neuropsychologist who works with children, adolescents, and adults in the greater Los Angeles area. She has co-authored multiple publications emphasizing habit formation and non-conscious subcortical brain contributions to function, and is a supervising faculty member at Harbor-UCLA’s neuropsychology training program.

*This story was originally broadcast on July 13, 2015.

It’s the diagnosis that most parents dread: ‘your child has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).’ Today increasing numbers of parents are facing the prospect of dealing with developmental diagnoses such as ADHD, administering drugs like Ritalin or Adderall, and, whether or not they decide to medicate their kids, of helping them manage educational and social expectations.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that in 2003, 7.8 percent of 4- to 17-year-olds had been diagnosed with ADHD. Four years later it was 9.5%. In 2011, that number jumped to 11% of school aged children.

There is on-going debate about what is behind these increasing rates and whether it is simply a matter of over-diagnosis, mis-diagnosis, or the global push for academic performance.

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2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Science of Health: Why Are So Many Kids Being Diagnosed with ADHD?”

  1. robin utleyon 01 Sep 2015 at 8:52 am

    I found this segment a little disturbing mostly because the interviewer was rather biased. from the start she seemed to stress the nonexistence of the condition, passing over comments by the doctor stressing the reality of ADHD and latching on to any hint of ambiguity. The doctor even felt it necessary at one point to comment that being dismissive of the disability could be insulting. later in the interview it became clear that the host received a diagnosis for her child and did not believe it.
    Yes the conditions of the modern classroom are not conductive to many ways of learning. However eluding to ADHD being a result of too many demands on children is insulting to those of us that have had to deal with the condition all of our lives. Yes there are many ways to help offset the disadvantages of the condition but one things for sure those suffering (the suffering is real) with ADHD deserve a discussion that is unbiased and willing to look at all possible solutions. The most hurtful thing that anyone can do to someone suffering from a mental disorder is to not believe that our condition is real.

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