Does age at school entry effect odds for ADHD diagnosis?
A child’s age at school entry may be a factor in determining rates of ADHD diagnosis. According to a study published online in the Journal of Health Economics, children who entered kindergarten just before the entry cut-off date had higher rates of diagnosis and drug treatment than those who were born just after the cut-off date. William Evans, PhD, an economist at the University of Notre Dame, in South Bend, Ind., and colleagues, wrote, “If one assumes that the true incidence rate of ADHD is uniform over a small window around the age at school start cutoff, the estimates provide compelling evidence that a large fraction of ADHD diagnoses are not the result of an underlying medical condition.” They went on to say that grade equivalent peers should not be used as a benchmark for normal behavior but that children of the same age and the same grade would be more appropriate. “These results suggest that the comparison sample for diagnosis should not be other children in class but rather, other children of a similar age within a class,” Evans and his colleagues wrote. Click here to read an article from Fox News that discusses this study more.