ADHD Birthdate Lottery- Late birthday in school year significantly increases a childs chances of being diagnosed and drugged

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’. However, two recent (2010) US studies demonstrate the children who are the youngest in their school year are much more likely than their oldest classmates to be diagnosed and ‘medicated’.

The first of the two studies, The importance of relative standards in ADHD diagnoses: Evidence based on exact birth dates, compared the diagnosis rate of North Carolina kindergarten children born in the first month of the intake with their classmates born in the last month of their intake.[1] The study found that ‘Roughly 8.4 percent of children born in the month prior to their state’s cut-off date for kindergarten eligibility – who typically become the youngest and most developmentally immature children within a grade – are diagnosed with ADHD, compared to 5.1 percent of children born in the month immediately afterward. …..These perceptions have long-lasting consequences: the youngest children in fifth and eighth grades are nearly twice as likely as their older classmates to regularly use stimulants prescribed to treat ADHD.’[2]

This study also indicated that ‘A child’s birth date relative to the eligibility cut-off also strongly influences teachers’ assessments of whether the child exhibits ADHD symptoms but is only weakly associated with similarly measured parental assessments.’ The study authors believed this suggested ‘that many (ADHD) diagnoses may be driven by teachers’ perceptions of poor behaviour among the youngest children in a classroom.’[3] Of course teachers have greater opportunity than parents to compare children to their peers and what this study clearly indicates is that what teachers are at least in part identifying when they report ‘ADHD type behaviours’ is the relative immaturity of some children.

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.

It is also noteworthy that ADHD diagnosis and prescribing rates for boys are approximately three times greater than for girls reflecting the traditional wisdom that girls grow up faster than boys.[4] Drugging boys to make them behave more like girls in class demonstrates just how empty modern educational ‘philosophies of inclusion’ are.

The second study Measuring Inappropriate Medical Diagnosis and Treatment in Survey Data: The Case of ADHD among School-Age Children examined data on ADHD diagnosis and prescribing from 32 US states for 22,371 children.[5] It concluded the chance of being diagnosed and medicated for ADHD increased significantly for the youngest children in a class. It also found ‘no similar effect for several other childhood diseases and conditions. This suggests that the nature of the diagnostic guidelines, which recommend a comparison with classroom peers, leads to medically inappropriate ADHD diagnosis.’[6]

The fact that no similar effect for several other childhood diseases and that the diagnosis of ADHD is entirely based on subjective reports of supposedly dysfunctional childish behaviours (like avoiding homework) demonstrates just what nonsense ADHD is.

(for more information refer to How is ADHD Diagnosed?)


[1] Elder, T.E. ‘The importance of relative standards in ADHD diagnoses: Evidence based on exact birth dates’ Michigan State University, June 2010 <References and further reading may be available for this article. To view references and further reading you must purchase this article. https://www.msu.edu/~telder/ADHDCurrent.pdf> (8 March 2011)[2] Elder, T.E. 2010 ‘The importance of relative standards in ADHD diagnoses: Evidence based on exact birth dates’ Michigan State University <References and further reading may be available for this article. To view references and further reading you must purchase this article. https://www.msu.edu/~telder/ADHDCurrent.pdf> (8 March 2011), p. 1[3] Elder, T.E. 2010 ‘The importance of relative standards in ADHD diagnoses: Evidence based on exact birth dates’ Michigan State University <References and further reading may be available for this article. To view references and further reading you must purchase this article. https://www.msu.edu/~telder/ADHDCurrent.pdf> (8 March 2011), p. 1

[4] 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> (10 March 2011)

[5] Evans W.N., Morrill M.S. & Parente S.T. ‘Measuring Inappropriate Medical Diagnosis and Treatment in Survey Data: The Case of ADHD among School-Age Children’ J Health Econ. 2010 Sep:29(5):657-73. Epub 2010 August 4 <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20739076> (10 March 2011), p.13

[6] Evans W.N., Morrill M.S. & Parente S.T. ‘Measuring Inappropriate Medical Diagnosis and Treatment in Survey Data: The Case of ADHD among School-Age Children’ J Health Econ. 2010 Sep:29(5):657-73. Epub 2010 August 4 <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20739076> (10 March 2011), p. 24

Tags: Birthday and ADHD, maturity and ADHD

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