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Is ADHD over diagnosed?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Medicine
While some critics believe that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is overdiagnosed, most health experts and organizations agree that ADHD is a legitimate health condition for many children. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) acknowledges that the number of children diagnosed with ADHD is increasing. One thing that the AAP does not know is whether more children are showing signs of ADHD or whether doctors are just making more diagnoses.

The National Resource Center on ADHD proposes another theory as to why ADHD diagnoses appear to be increasing. In the last few decades, public schools have been mandated to offer special education support for many children with this condition. Due to these trends, ADHD has become one of the most researched and discussed health conditions affecting children today. With so much talk about ADHD and so many schools offering services for those affected by the disorder, some people feel that ADHD is overdiagnosed.
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

Probably not, according to medical reviews. It was probably under diagnosed in the past. While parents and teachers often are the first to recognize ADHD symptoms, only a trained health professional can provide a diagnosis. Keep in mind that to receive a diagnosis of ADHD, at least six symptoms should be present for at least six months. If you are concerned about the diagnosis or lack of diagnosis in your child, you can always seek a second or third opinion.


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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.