Adhd: Attention Deficit Hyper Diagnosing


    In 1966 Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) carried the label Minimal Brain Damage and the medical community only recognized a few severe cases a year. This is a stark contrast to the 6.4 million children in the U.S. that were diagnosed in the last two years. Even more concerning is the 53 percent increase in ADHD cases in the last decade. Medical professionals, parents and scholars are advancing the idea that childhood ADHD is being over diagnosed in staggering numbers consequently creating erroneous statistics in regards to ADHD. Questions are being raised in the mental health field about diagnosing four years with ADHD when hyperactivity and emotional immaturity are considered normal behavior for children of that age. Teachers and schools play a huge role in advancing the numbers of ADHD cases in children. Often it is a teacher who recommends evaluation for ADHD and a teacher’s commentary is considered to be a reliable diagnostic tool when most teachers are not trained nor licensed to diagnose mental health disorders. ADHD has become a huge revenue source for big pharmaceutical companies: by 2012 stimulant prescriptions sales for the treatment of ADHD had risen to over 9 billion dollars per year. The mental health community and the media have a point: children are being diagnosed too young, teachers who are not trained to report on ADHD are holding sway in the diagnostic process and big pharmaceutical companies are cashing in on our children.
    “Nearly 1 million children in the United States are potentially misdiagnosed with ADHD simply because they are the youngest and most immature in their kindergarten class.” (Michigan State University 2010) Not only are the youngest children being diagnosed with ADHD but they are more likely to be given behavior modifying stimulants than there older classmates. Children in the four to five year old range are by nature and age prone to be in attentive and act...