Youngest children in class more likely to get ADHD medication

Younger kids are more likely than their classmates to take medication for ADHD, meaning immaturity may often be mistaken for the problem. New research looked at more than 300,000 children in Western Australia and found those born in June (the last month of the recommended school year intake) were about twice as likely to receive ADHD medication as those born in July (the first intake month.) The correlation between age and ADHD diagnosis could mean that developmental immaturity is mislabelled as a mental disorder and unnecessarily treated with drugs. “The most plausible explanation is that teachers provide the evidence for the diagnosis of ADHD, they assess the behaviour of these kids against their peers and they are mistaking age-related immaturity for a psychiatric disorder,” the study author said.