More pre-k could lead to more ADHD diagnoses warn Berkeley researchers Stephen P. Hinshaw and Richard M. Scheffler in a New York Times op-ed.
Introducing millions of 3- to 5-year-olds to classrooms and preacademic demands means that many more distracted kids will undoubtedly catch the attention of their teachers. Sure, many children this age are already in preschool, but making the movement universal and embedding transitional-K programs in public schools is bound to increase the pressure. We’re all for high standards, but danger lurks.
Early intervention helps kids who really have ADHD, the professors write. But millions of children with ADHD labels — and prescriptions — don’t truly have the disorder.
Our research has revealed a worrisome parallel between our nation’s increasing push for academic achievement and increased school accountability — and skyrocketing ADHD diagnoses, particularly for the nation’s poorest children.
“By age 17, nearly one in five American boys and one in 10 girls has been told that they have ADHD,” Hinshaw and Scheffler write. That’s a 40 percent increase from a decade ago.