A review of the medical records of 937,943 Canadian children showed that children born in December, the last month of their school year intake, were much more likely to be diagnosed and medicated for ADHD than their classmates born in January.
The eleven year study of children aged six to twelve in the Canadian province of British Columbia, titled Influence of relative age on diagnosis and treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children[1. Richard L. Morrow MA (et al), ‘Influence of relative age on diagnosis and treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children’ CMAJ, March 5, 2012, http://www.cmaj.ca/content/early/2012/03/05/cmaj.111619.full.pdf+html ], confirms the ADHD late birthdate effect found in two recent smaller US studies described in my previous blog post.
The late birthday effect in the massive new Canadian study was very significant. Boys who were born in December were 30% more likely to have a diagnosis and 41% more likely to have a prescription for ADHD than their peers born in January.
The effect was even stronger for girls. Girls born in December were 70% more likely to have a diagnosis and 77% more likely, to have a prescription for ADHD than their peers born in January.
British Columbia children exhibited the general worldwide trend that ADHD diagnosis and prescribing rates for boys are approximately three times greater than for girls.[2. Boyles, S. ‘Study confirms ADHD is more common in boys’, WebMD Health News, 15 September 2004 <http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/news/20040915/study-confirms-adhd-is-more-common-in-boys> (accessed 10 March 2011)] This is consistent with the traditional wisdom that girls grow up faster than boys.
Drugging boys to make them behave more like girls in class demonstrates just how empty modern educational ‘philosophies of inclusion’ are. But many girls are also chemically punished for their childishness when compared to their older classmates.
Obviously younger children are more likely to be immature with the youngest kindergarten children having 20% less life experience than their oldest classmates. However, it should not be lost that children develop at different rates.
If a child is less mature than other children their own age, or even younger, they are not diseased, they are different. Classing relative immaturity as a disease to be treated with amphetamines, is a barbaric abuse of a child’s right to grow at their own pace.
If, as the ADHD Industry frequently claims, ADHD is a neurobiological disease, a child’s birth date should have no bearing on their chances of being diagnosed and ‘medicated’. Yet the ADHD Industry will respond as it always does and ignore or spin yet another inconvenient truth revealed in this study.
Martin Whitely interviewed by Greg Carey, Radio 4BC, Brisbane 20 March 2012. http://www.4bc.com.au/blogs/4bc-blog/adhd-misdiagnosis/20120320-1vh3e.html
Sue Dunlevy, Immature Children prone to ADHD Tag, The Australian, 20 March 2012 http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/health-science/immature-children-prone-to-adhd-tag/story-e6frg8y6-1226304525855