Parents of children with birthdays falling close to the cut-off dates for entry to school need to think twice before beginning school for their kids.
A study printed recently in ‘The New England Journal of Medicine’ has indicated greater likelihood of such kids being diagnosed with ADHD in comparison with their peers.
Tim Layton, the study author cautioned the parents of such kids to treat the ADHD label imparted by the teachers with skepticism. According to him the kids being the youngest in their class may find it difficult to cope and hence are over-diagnosed with ADHD.
However, Dr. Mark Wolraich opined that there could also be a possibility that kids who genuinely require attention may be ignored in the process. The diagnosis of ADHD has to be made after a careful assessment of the child’s functioning in school and other places and if the child faces problems in coping with his environment then they have to be addressed effectively.
Layton stated that his main cause of worry in the child being labeled ADHD lay in the ingestion of drugs by the kids in question. Dr. Wolraich argued otherwise, stating that parent behavior education and school based behavioral interventions constituted the first line of treatment rather than drug intake.
For a person to be labeled as an ADHD child he or she has to exhibit specific type of symptoms in several environments and on a repeated basis and those have to affect his way of living. They could either be inattentiveness or hyperactivity or a combination of both. It was also essential for the parents to compare their children with their peers, discuss their child with the teachers, pediatricians before arriving at a diagnosis. Comparing their kids with slightly younger or older kids was also necessary as a few months of difference in age impacted the development of appropriate behaviors in kids.
A cautionary solution for parents of kids with birthdays in late summer was to hold them back for an extra year.