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…

Murphy’s Law

In residency, Murphy’s Law was captured daily – in the diagnosis of a progressed neuroblastoma in a thriving infant with an attentive family; in the discovery of a rare congenital disorder in a baby born to two healthy parents; in the brutal progression of meningitis in a child who should have defeated the disease. Murphy’s Law – ‘that which will go wrong, will go wrong’ is perfectly in line with the definition of irony – a series of events or circumstance that is almost deliberately contrary to what was expected to result. Irony, at its finest, either makes us laugh or cry – and often times perhaps both.

The whole point of my blog is to demonstrate the vast areas of grey present in “expert” opinion. I love to write about controversial subjects and explore the extreme points of view, and then outline a more inclusive opinion on the matter. But, in classic depiction of the irony of Murphy’s Law, I now present a counterpoint to…