Beaumont developmental pediatrician says ADHD is under treated - FOX 35 News Orlando

Beaumont developmental pediatrician says ADHD is under treated

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By Deena Centofanti
Fox 2 News

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -- A recent study finds more kids are being diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.  So I asked a local expert does this mean more kids need to be medicated?  The answer was yes.

17-year-old Kate Pilcher is learning how to focus.  Now in twelfth grade, it's been a challenge since being diagnosed with ADHD in elementary school.  Medication helps.

"My parents know when I don't take it because I'm not focused and I'm bouncing off the walls," she says.

ADHD is characterized as having difficulty paying attention, being easily distracted and impulsive.  It's estimated as many as ten percent of all school-aged kids have ADHD, but girls can more easily mask the symptoms.

"What teachers might call space cadets.  They're out in la la land.  They're not paying attention, but they're also not causing problems," says Beaumont developmental pediatrician Stephani Hines.

She also says among boys and girls, ADHD is not just under diagnosed.  It's under treated.

"In fact, we're probably under medicating."

She says the research shows more children like Kate probably need to be taking the stimulants used to manage ADHD.  Who?  Any child suffering in three areas.

"Social functioning, getting along with peers.  Another one is school functioning, academic functioning, so if grades are dropping because we're forgetting to turn in homework assignments.  Grades are dropping because we didn't pay attention to the directions.  And the other one is self esteem.  When your child comes home and says I'm a dummy.  Everybody else is getting this.  The teacher's picking on me," Hines explains.

Anytime we talk about medicating kids it does send up a red flag, but Dr. Hines says before anybody panics, what is most important is that kids are getting screened and diagnosed properly so that they can be treated right way.

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