Rainbow Pediatrics
Fayetteville Office
1327 Robeson St.
Fayetteville, NC 28305
(910) 486-5437
Fayetteville Office
341 S. McPherson Church Rd
Fayetteville, NC 28303
(910) 920-4428
Hope Mills Office
4469 S. Main St.
Hope Mills, NC 28348
(910) 426-5430
Raeford Office
142 Paraclete Dr.
Raeford, NC 28376
(910) 904-0404

ADHD Cases in Kids and Teens on the Rise. What Parents Should Know

The number of children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has increased recently, with about 1 in 9 children between the ages of 3 and 17 now being diagnosed with this condition, according to new research. This rise in diagnoses has led to discussions and debates in the medical community and beyond. 

Several factors contribute to the increase in diagnoses. More parents, teachers, and healthcare professionals are now aware of and understand ADHD. This increased awareness has led to better recognition and identification of ADHD symptoms in children, resulting in more accurate diagnoses. In addition, the data was collected during the pandemic when more children were being seen for stress, anxiety, and depression. Of the children and teens with ADHD, 78 percent have at least one other diagnosed disorder. 

Changes in how it is diagnosed, as well as having a broader understanding of ADHD, have also played a role in the increased prevalence of this condition. As our knowledge continues to grow, more children who may have previously gone undiagnosed are now being correctly identified and receiving the support they need. 

Girls being diagnosed with ADHD are also on the rise. Historically, boys were diagnosed at a rate of around two and half times that of girls, but that is changing as more knowledge of how ADHD presents in boys and girls is understood. In boys, it often appears as hyperactivity and impulsivity. Meanwhile, it usually presents as inattentive behavior, such as daydreaming or a lack of focus in girls. 

Another significant factor is the changing societal landscape. Modern lifestyles are characterized by constant stimulation, rapid technological advancements, and increasingly complex social dynamics. These environmental factors can worsen symptoms and may contribute to the higher prevalence of the condition. This is one reason parents must limit screen time in kids and teens. 

It is essential to understand that the increase in ADHD diagnoses does not necessarily indicate overdiagnosis or misuse of the ADHD label. Instead, it reflects a more comprehensive understanding of ADHD and a greater willingness to support children with this condition, which is excellent news as a society.

An ADHD diagnosis should begin with the pediatric provider. If you suspect your child or teen may have it, please discuss it with their pediatric provider. Schedule an appointment so we can help you with the next steps and referrals if needed.