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A recent study suggested that kids among the youngest in their class are diagnosed with ADHD more often than the older kids are. In the study, North Carolina State University researchers found that children born just after the kindergarten eligibility cutoff date were 25 percent less likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than children born just before the cutoff date -- who are almost an entire year older than the youngest kids.
This is a concern, researchers say, because immaturity could be confused with ADHD, which is often treated with medication. "We believe that younger children may be mistakenly diagnosed as having ADHD, when in fact they are simply less mature," study researcher Melinda Morrill said in a statement.
Our message boards have been buzzing about this news, and not just because of the likelihood that a kid could be misdiagnosed. Some moms of kids who have ADHD worry that reports like this feed into the common misconception that their kids have been wrongly assessed. Here's what a few community members had to say:
“Stories like these worry me. They could cause parents to think their child is not ADHD and blame it on their age. On the other hand, I do think it’s a cautionary message to wait and see how your child does in later grades to see if it is a maturity/behavior issue.” --cmmelissa
“Our son is one of the oldest in his class ... and I don't think it means much of anything. I think the earlier kids can get help, the better. ” --febjunebabies
“My hyper 7-year-old has always been the youngest in her school classes ... but she has always been considered mature for her age and has always been ahead academically. She is also very social and makes friends easily. I don't think my kid's ADHD is an issue of age maturity.” --momnstuff
“I certainly hope this article does not push parents to wait to have their child diagnosed.” –-jo_x_2
Do you think ADHD could be confused with immaturity? Chime in below!