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ADHD diagnoses are on the rise, reason why is unclear

Any parent who has faced the issue of a child being diagnosed with an attention deficit disorder knows it can be cause for anxiety. There is the challenge the child faces in school, and the challenge the child can present to educators. If the nature of the mental condition is severe enough, it can require significant extra resources.

Social Security in the form of disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income may be available, but obtaining the help can be difficult, especially where children are concerned. Consulting an attorney is always advised.

This all is surfacing because of a recent release of data from the Centers for Disease Control and prevention. The government agency says that the number of children in the U.S. that have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is increasing at a faster rate than ever before.

According to the CDC, about 11 percent of children, or some 6.4 million youngsters, now have received the diagnosis. ADHD is characterized by a child's inability to control impulsive behaviors or their inability to focus on studies or other assigned tasks.

The figures are based on a 2011 survey of more than 95,000 parents. The 11 percent number compares with a rate of 9.5 percent from a similar survey conducted in 2007 and a rate of 7.8 percent recorded in 2003. The findings appear in the online version of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

As is often the case with reports of this nature, authors caution that it's not possible to know if the increase in diagnoses results because more people actually have the condition or because doctors are just getting better at recognizing it.

Regardless, ADHD remains a common chronic concern in children.

Source: DisabilityScoop.com, "More Than 1 in 10 Kids Diagnosed With ADHD," Shaun Heasley, Nov. 25, 2013

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