A new report from the Centers for Disease Control finds one in ten children is diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
In Delaware, 14 percent of school-aged children have ADHD. That’s the fourth highest rate in the country.
Susanna Visser with the CDC child development team says the numbers don’t necessarily mean an increase of the disorder. Social acceptance and greater awareness play a role. She says, “Health care providers are becoming more comfortable with managing and treating behavior problems such as autism and ADHD and if parents are going to them with concerns we hope those reaches out to health care providers are resulting in better screening, better documentation of symptoms and then hopefully a thorough evaluation that will lead to a diagnosis.”
For thirty years, Janice Selekman has been researching ADHD.
The University of Delaware professor says she’s not alarmed by the rise. Information about the disorder and resources are far more available than in the past. She says,
“In Delaware we are fortunate enough to have a nurse in every school and they certainly know growth and development and can certainly see if a child appears to behave in a way that is abnormal for their age and what is expected.”
The CDC took the same random survey of parents in 2003 and 2007. One in ten children has been diagnosed with the disorder now. In 2003, it was one in thirteen.
Visser says many environmental factors contribute to ADHD, but about 50-percent of cases are genetic.