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ADHD Diagnosis on the Rise
According to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one in five high school-aged boys have received a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, also known as ADHD.
At Porta Central Grade School, mother Nancy Powell's son Logan has been one of the millions of children across the country who has received an ADHD diagnosis. Now, with the growing number of ADHD cases, doctors are starting to see a growing concern.
"He was just a little bit hyper, and you know bouncing off the walls at school and couldn't concentrate much," Nancy Powell said. "He probably could have been diagnosed sooner."
According to the CDC, the number of children diagnosed with ADHD has grown in the past decade by 53 percent, which is now sparking concerns with ABC's Chief Medical Editor, Dr. Richard Besser.
"Part of this dramatic rise in ADHD is over-diagnosis, either because teachers are sending kids in for evaluation who don't have the symptoms or parents and students looking to use the ADHD medication to improve their school performance," Besser said.
Although over-diagnosis may be a cause for the rise, Nancy Powell believes her son's diagnosis couldn't be any more spot-on, and has seen a major improvement in his behavior.
"I didn't want him to be labeled because I heard bad things about it, but once he started it, there isn't really any difference," Powell said. "It just helps him concentrate in school and he is just a normal active little boy like every other little 8-year-old."
Besser said if you or your child's teacher start to see signs of ADHD, you shouldn't hesitate to call your doctor.
"Ask your pediatrician or family doctor are they familiar with ADHD and if not, have them refer you to a specialist, a developmental pediatrician, or a psychologist so they can be thoroughly evaluated," Besser said. "And then if they have ADHD, they can work with you on the most appropriate approach to treatment."
Another common concern about the rise in ADHD is the abuse of the medication used, such as Adderal and Ritalin. Besser said if your child is on these medications, talk with your doctor about any concerns with when and how much medicine they should be taking.
More information on ADHD fro the CDC.