Hyperactive children are a handful, as anyone who has been near a toddler knows. Three- to five-year-olds are loud, energetic and have a short attention span that I’m sure drives their parents and teachers crazy. Young children are just overflowing with energy — everything is exciting and new to them. Nothing holds their attention for long because there are just way too many things to explore and not enough time to do so.

In the past few years, there has been a large increase in the diagnosis of children ages three to five with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, also known as ADHD. As young kids enter pre-K and kindergarten, they are expected to pay attention to their instructor and learn; those that cannot are usually tested for ADHD. Children are being diagnosed young in order to combat the disorder before it begins to cause more problems. However, for all those who do have ADHD, thousands of kids have been misdiagnosed.

At age four, a child is still full of an endless supply of energy and are not used to sitting still. When a child gets tested for ADHD, they have a short appointment with a doctor who makes a diagnosis. Then everyone continues on their merry way. That’s not how it’s supposed to work. In order to ensure someone is properly diagnosed, the process must include multiple visits to a pediatrician, reports from family members and school and consideration of family history.

Due to the high cost of going through that extensive procedure, a child’s initial visit to their doctor is usually the only deciding factor of whether or not a child receives medication for ADHD. This is preposterous. While there are many children who do have ADHD and should be allowed proper treatment and medication, there are just as many who are faultily misdiagnosed.

Just because young kids have shorter attention spans and boundless energy doesn’t mean they suffer from ADHD. Rather, they are behaving like their peers by enjoying playtime instead of sitting still for hours. Instead of immediately assuming every child who can’t sit still or focus has ADHD, remember that they haven’t been in a classroom setting before.

It’s a change that takes a long time to adjust to — it’s not a sign of something deeper. People today need an explanation and a reason for everything; medication for this, medication for that. Why can’t children just enjoy themselves while they’re young, instead of being put on medication so he or she will pay more attention in class. Implement the extensive method for diagnosis to help those who need it and prevent the kids who are just being kids from being one of thousands misdiagnosed.

About The Author

--- Senior | Executive Editor Emeritus --- Finance/English

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