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Age at when children first start kindergarten is controversial, with many parents choosing to keep children (especially boys) home an additional year. There is also concern that so many children are diagnosed with ADHD and given prescription medications for it from a young age.

The results of a recent large study suggest that we absolutely should be rethinking when children start school, we should be more flexible about it, and not be so quick to diagnose ADHD in young children. Instead of just looking at a child's age, assess a child's school readiness.

The study found that the youngest children in a class are more likely to be prescribed ADHD medications, which may be unnecessary. It's not ADHD (characterized by concentration difficulties, hyperactivity and impulsivity), it's just immaturity. The youngest children are immature compared to the older children in a class.

Thus the prescriptions for "behavior problems" may be totally unnecessary. These children are overmedicated! The study also found that if the youngest in the class were born prematurely, then it's like a double whammy against them.

By the way, in the United States, one additional problem is that kindergarten has become more like first grade (lots of worksheets and sitting still for long periods). And many schools have eliminated recess totally - time when children can move, play, and get rid of excess energy.

From Medical Xpress: Study suggests the youngest children in class are being overmedicated for ADHD

Christine Strand Bachmann has led a study that includes all Norwegian children born between 1989 and 1998, a total of 488,000 people. ...continue reading "Study Finds That Youngest Children In Class May Just Be Immature and Don’t Need ADHD Drugs"