LANSING, Mich., Aug. 17 (UPI) — Children who enter kindergarten early are more likely to be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, U.S. researchers said Tuesday.
Teams at Michigan State and North Carolina State reached similar conclusions independently, USA Today reported. The Michigan State group, in a study released to the newspaper, found that the youngest children in a kindergarten class were 60 percent more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD.
Todd Elder, author of the Michigan study, said the problem may be not be over-diagnosis of younger children but under-diagnosis of older ones.
Most states have a hard cutoff date for entry into kindergarten, usually requiring children to have celebrated their fifth birthdays by Sept. 1. But in any given class from kindergarten up, some children will be almost a year older than others,
Elder said teachers should be careful to evaluate children’s behavior based on their age, not when they entered school.
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