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Study Finds ADHD Diagnoses On the Rise Across United States

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can be a serious problem if not properly identified, diagnosed, and treated. Unfortunately, one in five children in the U.S. have learning or attention disorders such as dyslexia and ADHD, but 48% of parents believe — incorrectly — that their kids will actually outgrow these cognitive difficulties.

Now, we have confirmation that ADHD diagnoses are on the rise across the country.

Researchers took a look at the date on the number of children diagnosed with ADHD between 1997 and 2016, finding that the percentage of diagnoses rose from 6.1% to 10.2% during that nine-year period.

“Whenever there’s a better treatment for diagnosis, we see more of it because people are more willing to give the diagnosis now that they know there’s something that they can do,” said Veena Ahuja, M.D., of Cleveland Clinic Children’s.

Dr. Ahuja added that though many children struggle with the all of the various symptoms of ADHD (although not others), children today have more resources and treatments available to help them succeed in educational, personal, and even professional settings.

Unfortunately, there is no single test that can be used to effectively diagnose ADHD in both children and adults, but there are plenty of symptoms that can act as warning signs:

  • Squirming and fidgeting
  • Constantly in motion
  • Making careless mistakes
  • Not finishing simple tasks
  • Frequently loses things
  • Not listening or easily distracted

ADHD is a real and serious health concern, and if parents, medical professionals, and others only focus on those who are misrepresenting it, we will be overlooking or discounting those who are genuinely struggling with the disorder until they fall too far behind. Everyone must do more to not only educate themselves about mental health, but also to offer assistance and show compassion to those who have cognitive health ailments.