CDC findings: How US children are diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
In 2018, the Center for Disease Control Prevention published a report on Diagnostic Experiences of Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. The study is first-of-its-kind since it explains how the disorder is diagnosed in children. The survey studied children with ADHD and their parents and how they were diagnosed with the disorder.
Upon compiling the reports from the parents, the researchers found that over half of the children with ADHD were first diagnosed by a primary health care provider. For 9 in 10 kids, the behavior scales were used to assess the condition.
The study throws light on who performs these diagnoses and how it is evaluated. It further determines if physicians follow the standard procedure to examine ADHD in kids. This survey also revealed the nature of the initial diagnosis and ADHD cure. The Majority of physicians and health care providers use two methods to diagnose the symptoms of ADHD. These are behavior rating scales and feedback by an adult outside of a family. The study further emphasized the importance of adopting best practices to evaluate ADHD in kids.
Let’s look at the study
For the study, CDC researchers used the records of ADHD patients from the 2014 National Survey of the Diagnosis and Treatment of ADHD and Tourette Syndrome (NS-DATA). Additionally, they also looked into the National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) to study the well-being and health condition of children in the United States. In the year 2014, NS-DATA surveyed ADHD patients and their parents to collect additional information on the treatment and diagnosis of their kids. In the survey, parents were asked questions like when did they realize their child has ADHD; at what age the disorder was diagnosed; who performed the diagnosis; what methods were used to evaluate the condition; what treatment methods were use etc.
Now let’s look into some key findings of the survey
Some of the major findings of the parent’s report are as follows:-
- Around three kids out of four were diagnosed with ADHD before they turned nine years old.
- Usually, a family member is concerned about the behaviors of the child as compared to someone outside the family.
- Nearly half of the children were first diagnosed by a primary health care provider.
- Almost in all cases, the health care providers discussed the behavioral issues of kids with their parents.
- Of those diagnosed for ADHD by a psychiatrist, most were less than six years of age.
- While those kids diagnosed with the condition by a psychologist were older than six years.
- 9 out of 10 kids were assessed as having ADHD, by health care providers who used the behavior rating scales method.
- Almost all the cases of ADHD diagnoses procedure had the involvement of an adult outside of the family.
These findings show the various ways and timelines that children get diagnosed. Many adults suffering from ADHD who were not examined for it as children will often suffer with ADHD needlessly for life. If you or your loved one suspects that someone may have ADHD please do not hesitate to request a proper test through your family physician. It can drastically change their life for the better and it is never too late to take charge of this often debilitating condition which can affect school and work performance and interpersonal relationships. For an effective, proven, drug free solution using Neurotherapy please contact us for a free consultation to see how we can help you or those you care about.