Over 10 Percent of Children Have ADHD [AUDIO]
Eleven percent of children in the United States are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), according to a study from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The study, which was done in 2011 and sampled 95,000 parents, continues the increase of children with the disorder. The rates of ADHD diagnosis have been on the rise since 1997, according to the CDC, and a similar study in 2007 found 9.5% of children diagnosed with ADHD.
Dr. Theodore Petti, Child Psychiatrist at Rutgers University Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, said one of the reasons for the increase is pediatricians and parents are becoming more aware of the disorder.
“I think primary care physicians are becoming much better at diagnosing and being aware of ADHD so that may be a reason it appears to be increased in the number,” Petti explained.
The condition makes it difficult for children to pay attention, focus, and control their behavior. Petti said medication is still the most effective and common method for treatment, but there are numerous non-drug treatments that can help with the disorder.
“There are child focus treatments, where the children learn to develop social, academic, and problem solving skills,” she said. “There are summer programs specific for that.”
Parents can also utilize strategies and techniques to control symptoms and reinforce positive behavior. Petti noted educators similarly can take measures to help children with ADHD thrive.
“That includes rewards and consequences and where they seat the youngster in the classroom, giving the child more time to take a test in a quiet environment where they won’t be distracted,” Petti said.
ADHD isn’t necessarily a permanent disorder either noted Petti, since some cases of the condition can go away as the child gets older.
“But where the youngsters don’t grow out of it, generally the symptoms of the hyperactive impulsive behavior are not as obvious as they are during childhood.”