Experts say that a lot of kids diagnosed with ADHD actually don’t have it - and are risking permanent long-term damage to their brains and bodies by taking medication for it.
A new C-D-C report found that more than 1 in 10 children are diagnosed with ADHD. That’s a staggering 16-percent jump compared to a few years ago.
But a lot of experts don’t buy it. They say there’s no way that more than 1 in 10 kids are suffering from this condition.
William Barbaresi is the director of the developmental-medicine center at Boston Children’s Hospital. And says, the information on ADHD rates came from parents during telephone interviews, which isn’t as reliable as verified diagnoses from doctors.
He says, in order to be officially diagnosed, a child has to show ADHD symptoms every day for months, like being hyperactive and inattentive. And not just when they’re in school and bored – but even when they’re watching TV. And their symptoms have to negatively affect 2 huge areas of their life, like school and relationships.
Instead, most kids are getting a hasty diagnosis for being overly energetic, distracted or misbehaving – from doctors and parents who want a quick fix. So kids go on medication – which calms them down and helps them focus.
But, the only way to know whether or not a child has ADHD is to have two separate doctors conduct medical and psychological assessments on a child.
And if your child does have the disorder, experts say that behavioral therapy should come first – before medication. That’s because the medication can cause side effects ranging from convulsions to death from overdose. So if you think your child may have ADHD, talk to your doctor – be prepared for a drawn-out diagnoses process – and plan on implementing behavioral therapy first.