Younger Kids in a Grade More Apt to be Diagnosed with ADHD

It is July and before we know it, another school year will be upon us. Over the last several months, I have had several discussions with parents in my practice regarding whether they should start their 5-year-old in Kindergarten or hold her back a year. It is a complex question with many points to consider.

A recent article published in the Journal of Pediatrics showed an approximate 75% increase among the youngest kids in a grade and the receipt of an ADHD diagnosis. In fact, if you examine the data, you can see an increase in the chance of obtaining an ADHD diagnosis with each month younger a student is relative to his or her peers. In the elementary school years, perhaps more so than in later grades, a few months makes a significant difference with regards to social and emotional maturity, as well as overall development. This immaturity can impact the ability to stay on tas…