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Fox News: ADHD increase due to better diagnosing/misdiagnosing

Aug 31, 2018, Fox News: ADHD diagnoses may be rising in US "There might be multiple reasons," Bao said in an email. "First, doctors and health professionals are better at knowing this condition than previously, so they are better at recognizing and diagnosing this condition. Second, the public is more aware of this condition, increasing the possibility of affected kids being screened and diagnosed. Third, biological factors may also play a role. For example, infants born early or small survive, but they are at higher risk of developing ADHD." … Experts suggested that some of the "diagnoses" might be incorrect. "You really have to interpret the study with caution," said Amie Bettencourt, an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "The authors acknowledge that they used parents' reports of whether a doctor or health professional had told them their child had ADHD," Bettencourt said. "That opens a can of worms. There are a lot of conditions that include attention problems and hyperactivity as symptoms. It's possible it's on the rise. But it's also possible that these could be symptoms of something else." Bettencourt has seen a lot of misdiagnoses. "I specialize in young children," she said. "The increased rigor of kindergarten is leading to a lot of false identifications of ADHD. This is a time when children are still developing the capacity to sit still. Years ago there was not so much sitting still. Learning was more play and experiential based." What the surveys are telling us, Bettencourt said, "is that a lot of children are struggling with social, emotional and behavioral difficulties." Dr. Richard Gallagher, associate professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at NYU Langone Health in New York City, is also concerned about misdiagnosis. "This is not based upon a standard diagnosis," Gallagher said. "Parents are being told by someone in healthcare that the child has the condition. That doesn't necessarily mean that a careful diagnosis was done in all of the cases. There are standards for a careful diagnosis. It's not based on a quick impression. It involves gathering a lot of information, and talking to parents and teachers."

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