Aug 31, 2018 CNN: 10% of US children diagnosed with ADHD, study finds https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/31/health/adhd-trends-study-partner/index.html The number of children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has reached more than 10 percent, a significant increase during the past 20 years, according to a study released Friday. The rise was most pronounced in minority groups, suggesting that better access to health insurance and mental health treatment through the Affordable Care Act might have played some role in the increase. The rate of diagnosis during that time period doubled in girls, although it was still much lower than in boys…. "It's probably not a true epidemic of ADHD," said Hinshaw, a professor of psychology at the University of California-Berkeley and a professor of psychiatry at UC-San Francisco. "It might be an epidemic of diagnosing it." In interpreting their results, however, the study's authors tied the higher numbers to better understanding of the condition by doctors and the public, new standards for diagnosis and an increase in access to health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. Because of the ACA, "some low-income families have improved access to services and referrals," said Bao, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Iowa College of Public Health. The study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, used data from the National Health Interview Survey, an annual federal survey of about 35,000 households. It found a steady increase in diagnoses among children from about 6 percent of children between 1997 and 1998 to more than 10 percent between 2015 and 2016. Advances in medical technology also may have contributed to the increase, according to the research. Twenty years ago, preterm or low-weight babies had a harder time surviving. Those factors increase the risk of being diagnosed with ADHD. The study also suggests that fewer stigmas about mental health care in minority communities may also lead to more people receiving an ADHD diagnosis. … Still, he cautioned against overdiagnosing ADHD in communities where behavioral issues could be the result of social or environmental factors such as overcrowded classrooms….
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Children today are noticeably different from previous generations, and the proof is in the news coverage we see every day. This site shows you what’s happening in schools around the world. Children are increasingly disabled and chronically ill, and the education system has to accommodate them. Things we've long associated with autism, like sensory issues, repetitive behaviors, anxiety and lack of social skills, are now problems affecting mainstream students. Blame is predictably placed on bad parenting (otherwise known as trauma from home).
Addressing mental health needs is as important as academics for modern educators. This is an unrecognized disaster. The stories here are about children who can’t learn or behave like children have always been expected to. What childhood has become is a chilling portent for the future of mankind.
Anne Dachel, Media editor, Age of Autism
(John Dachel, Tech. assist.)
What will happen in another 4 years? How can we go on like this? This is a national (and international) problem of monumental proportions. We have an entire new class of children who cannot be accommodated by the system: many are manifestly neurologically impaired. Meanwhile, the government and the medical profession sleep on regardless.
UK media editor, Age of Autism
The generation of American children born after 1990 are arguably the sickest generation in the history of our country.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
It seemed to me that with rising autism prevalence, you’d also see rising autism costs to society, and it turns out, the costs are catastrophic.
They calculated that in 2015 autism cost the United States $268 billion and they projected that if autism continues at its current rate, we’re looking at one trillion dollars a year in autism costs by 2025, so within five years.
Toby Rogers, PhD, Political economist
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