More and more children are getting a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to new data from the (CDC) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The percentage of children with the condition rose from 7% in 1998-2000 to 9% in 2007-2009, for both boys and girls. In some areas of the United States those figures are even higher. In the past 10 years, ADHD prevalence increased 10% in the Midwest and South.
Whatever the underlying reasons for the condition’s rise, a tremendous amount of money is being spent on health care and educational interventions directed at ADHD, not to mention other costs to parents. In 2005, using an estimated prevalence of only 5%, researcher’s estimated the societal cost of this diagnosis (mental illness) to be about $42.5 billion.
That’s not necessarily bad news; it could mean that with greater awareness of the condition and better access to health care, more children who have ADHD get a proper diagnosis, which is the first step toward seeking appropriate treatment. Given the costs, both economically and emotionally, to families with a child with ADHD we have devoted two shows for our listeners to dispel the myths and misconceptions surrounding ADHD and to provide specific strategies for parents and teachers to manage the behaviors of a child with ADHD so that their children can compete and succeed.
We explain how ADHD is both under diagnosed and over diagnosed and provide families with the questions they need to ask their children’s teachers and physicians to make sure that a proper diagnosis is made. In addition, we discuss the pro’s and con’s of medication and behavioral interventions and illustrate the social skills challenges that many children with ADHD encounter when dealing with peers. We close with concrete and detailed techniques for parents, teachers and adults with ADHD to help compensate for the struggles brought about by this disorder.