ADHD a growing problem

Almost 1 in 10 children in the United States is diagnosed with ADHD( Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder). This is especially alarming because in the last 4 years, the number of diagnosed children grew by 22%.

Children between 4 and 17 years old are already on medication to treat this disorder.

These figures were provided by a CDC survey, but it is not very clear yet weather the increase of diagnosed children is due to grater awareness or if it is a new trend. No matter the cause, the results are to be dealt by American families.

Increase in Hispanic population and among teenagers

The most significant increase is among teenagers and the Hispanic population In the 1990’s, most diagnosed children were white, coming from affluent families. Today, black or poor children make no exception.  While in the past Hispanic children seemed to be the least affected by ADHD, today this has changed. The rate of diagnosed Hispanic children grew by 53%. Also the diagnosis among teenagers between 15 and 17 years old grew by 42%.

ADHD  countrywide

In Nevada the lowest rate of ADHD diagnosis was reported. All in all, 5,6% of children have ever been diagnosed. Also, California and Illinois reported low rates.

However in North Carolina the rate of diagnosed children is alarming- 15,6%, followed by Alabama and Louisiana. The person who led the survey thinks that this is due to the fact that in these states doctors make big  efforts to screen and treat the disorder.

It is considered that the Western states have had the lowest rates of ADHD. Nowadays parents, doctors and teachers are more aware of this problem and have methods to keep it in control.  In many cases children are being misdiagnosed, due to the increased awareness towards this disorder. Physicians all over the world should strictly follow the guidelines before diagnosing a child with ADHD.

The American Academy of Pediatrics raises awareness to the fact that symptoms like hyperactivity, inattention, or impulse control issues must be present for at least 6 months. Also, a profound negative impact on school work and social relations of the child can be considered signs of ADHD.

According to these guidelines, the diagnosis starts by gathering information from the parents, school and caregivers. The American Academy of Pediatrics considers that some signs that your child could be suffering from ADHD are:

  • is in constant motion
  • can’t sit still and moves restlessly
  • does not seem to listen when you talk to him/her
  • does not finish any of its tasks

There can be many triggers for ADHD. The physician should discuss the medical history of the child and take into account several fact like:

  • an important life change
  • a traumatizing event for the child
  • thyroid disorders
  • toxicity
  • other psychological disorders

To diagnose ADHD, your child should receive a full physical examination.

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