According to a new study at the University of British Columbia, the youngest children in the class are disproportionately more likely to be diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
This latest research has reported that the diagnosis gap is due to differences in maturity levels appearing as symptoms of ADHD in younger children.
The report, which was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, found that girls born in December were 70 percent more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than those born in January. Boys born in December were 30 percent more likely to be with the behaviour disorder than boys born a month later.
Not only are the younger children more likely to be diagnosed with the behavioural condition there is also a very high chance that they will be prescribed prescription medication to ‘treat’ attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It was reported that 77 percent of girls and 41 percent of boys born in December were more likely to be on drugs than those born in January.
This research is alarming as the side effects of prescription medication for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder include sleep problems, changes in appetite and stunted growth. There is still clinical debate over whether stimulant medication can lead to heart problems and suicidal tendencies in adolescents. Therefore, the potential miss diagnosis of younger, less mature children could be having a significant effect on their health and long-term wellbeing.