April 5, 2015
Why are so many children being diagnosed with ADHD?
It seems that the number of children being diagnosed with ADHD is on the rise in the United States. The current research shows an increase in children who are because more people are becoming aware of it and have learned how to detect ADHD. But, what does that mean we know more about ADHD and what causes it? In this essay the topics being discussed are, what is ADHD, how are children diagnosed and what could be possible effects one would have with being diagnosed? Is ADHD a label a child will have to carry with them for the rest of their life? The thought of any child being labeled or diagnosed as different or troublesome makes me outraged.
To get a better understanding of why children are being diagnosed it is important to know what ADHD is. According to the National Institute of Mental, “Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood brain disorders and can continue through adolescence and adulthood,” (NIMH.2012). Kids diagnosed with it can show symptoms of acting out, being hyperactive, and having a difficult time focusing; especially in a school setting. A child with ADHD does understand what is expected of them but, they can have trouble following simple directions. According to Health, “Some of the problem areas are they cannot sit still, pay attention, or focus on details,” (KidsHealth.2015). Most young are active and some children are more active than others, so does that mean a young active child should be diagnosed as having ADHD? Why children are diagnosed could be because parents do not want to deal with their child’s behavior. Parents are often at the end of their rope when they approach the professionals about their child’s, “apparently unruly and uncontrollable behavior. Some experts say it's often not the kid's problem -- sometimes it's the parents' problem,” (KidsHealth.2015). ADHD has become the most common disorder in childhood and the number is on the rise. According the CDC Data and Statistic page, “Approximately 6.4 million where been diagnosed with ADHD as of 2011, and the rates of ADHD diagnosis increased an average of average 5% per year from 2003 to 2011,” (CDC.2014). Reading the Medpage today, they state that, “The rates of childhood attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnosis have increased by nearly 25% over the past decade,” (Petrochko.2013). This number is on the raise, more children, boys and girls are being labeled a child with ADHD.
Who can diagnose children and how are they diagnosed with ADHD? A qualified health care professional with experience can diagnose a child. “A qualified person could be doctors (especially psychiatrists, pediatricians, internists, and family physicians), psychologists (including school psychologists), social workers, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other licensed therapists (for example, professional counselors and marriage and family therapists),”(webmd.2015). That is a huge list of people who can diagnose a child. This may explains why the number of children being diagnosed with ADHD is so high. It seems like anyone in the medical field can give out a diagnoses. Now we know who can diagnose, let’s look at the how a child is diagnosed. There is no “test” giving to determine if a child has ADHD. A medical professional will base a diagnosis of ADHD on criteria from the American Psychiatric Association. Their website states, “professionals will decide on the diagnosis based on interviews with you and your child, and the feedback from your child’s school about his or her ability to pay attention, level of activity, and impulsivity,”(psychiatry.2013). This method is diagnosing is madness! There is no “test” so if a parent thinks their child had ADHD they can find a doctor who will diagnose them. If they do not like what one doctor says they can keep looking until they get