study on attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder is
generating a lot of discussion because of its revelatory
finding — that August-born children are at a higher risk of
being diagnosed with ADHD than their classmates.
study adds weight to the argument that the growing number of
ADHD diagnoses is tied to the timing of the exams. Because
schools use Sept. 1 as the cutoff birth date for determining
when a child starts kindergarten, children born in August are
the youngest kids in the class, sometimes by as much as nearly
an entire year. Younger children tend to have a harder time
sitting still for long periods of time — which may
contribute to an ADHD diagnosis.
findings emphasize the importance of considering the age of a
child within a grade when diagnosing ADHD and prescribing
medication to treat ADHD," researchers wrote in their
report, which was published earlier this month in the Journal
study, conducted in Taiwan, looked at data from 378,881
children between 4 and 17.
with August birthdays were more likely to be labeled as ADHD
than their older peers. In particular, boys born in August
were the most likely group to be diagnosed and treated with
medication, the study found.
also addressed the difficulty in diagnosing ADHD in children,
noting in their report the element of subjectivity that is