Originally published March 29 2015
Medical establishment forces psych meds on one million children just because of their birth date
by Jennifer Lilley
(NaturalNews) If you have a young child, better watch out: She or he may be misdiagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) simply because of their age.
That's right, your daughter or son could be linked with a behavioral condition for no other reason than the fact that they were born during a certain year and happen to have a penchant for giggling and well, behaving as children often do.
In other words, if they're the youngest and considered the most immature in their kindergarten class, they're more likely to be labeled as having ADHD. In turn, they're prescribed medications like Ritalin. Shockingly, such harmful psych medications are being doled out to 1 million children in the United States for this reason, which often comes from the interpretation of teachers whose opinions are often heavily weighed in the determination of whether or not a child should be prescribed such drugs.
Yes, these days, a child being a child is apparently a Ritalin-worthy excuse.
People need to be aware that there's "a big difference between a five-year-old and a six-year-old"The disturbing news comes from a study published in the Journal of Health Economics which states that "...evidence that diagnoses of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are driven largely by subjective comparisons across children in the same grade in school." Michigan State University economist Todd Elder, who engaged in research on this topic, reported his findings in the journal.
"If a child is behaving poorly, if he's inattentive, if he can't sit still, it may simply be because he's 5 and the other kids are 6," Elder says. "There's a big difference between a 5-year-old and a 6-year-old, and teachers and medical practitioners need to take that into account when evaluating whether children have ADHD."
He speaks of the cutoff dates that Michigan has regarding kindergarten eligibility and how, depending on a child's age when they enter the grade, a child's maturity is assessed. If they're too young in both age and actions compared to other older students, they're more prone to an ADHD misdiagnosis.
Ritalin, young children andopinionated teachersFor example, the journal's article, titled, "The importance of relative standards in ADHD diagnoses: Evidence based on exact birth dates," states the following:
Roughly 8.4 percent of children born in the month prior to their state's cutoff date for kindergarten eligibility - who typically become the youngest and most developmentally immature children within a grade - are diagnosed with ADHD, compared to 5.1 percent of children born in the month immediately afterward.
It goes on to suggest that a teacher's interpretation of a younger child's behavior -- which by default will typically be less mature than older classmates -- is often propelling the diagnosis:
A child's birth date relative to the eligibility cutoff also strongly influences teachers' assessments of whether the child exhibits ADHD symptoms but is only weakly associated with similarly measured parental assessments, suggesting that many diagnoses may be driven by teachers' perceptions of poor behavior among the youngest children in a classroom.
Young school children twice as likely to use ADHD drugs than older school peers, face possible brain damage, deathThe findings ultimately conclude that such perceptions can negatively impact young children; those who are the youngest in fifth and eighth grades have been shown to be affected by the labeling and are therefore almost twice as likely than older classmates to use prescribed ADHD drugs.
Ritalin has been linked to short-term health effects including nausea, panic, violent behavior and an elevated heart rate. More serious consequences associated with the drug include death from high doses, seizures, liver damage, psychosis and possible brain damage.
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