Many elementary-aged children with clinically elevated attention problems in one grade no longer demonstrate these problems the following year in their new classroom, according to a study led by researchers at Duke University.
The findings underscore the importance of annually reevaluating children diagnosed with attention disorders such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) to avoid treating them for problems at school that may no longer be evident, said David Rabiner, lead author of the study and a faculty member in Duke’s Department of Psychology and Neuroscience and Center for Child and Family Policy.
The research, published online March 17 in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics (http://journals.lww.com/jrnldbp/Abstract/publishahead/Instability_in_Teacher_Ratings_of_Children_s.99910.aspx), looked at three independent samples of elementary school children. Two samples – 27 first-graders and 24 fourth-graders, respectively -- consisted of children rated as highly inattentive by their teacher but who did not have a formal ADHD diagnosis. The third sample consisted of 28 children in grades first through fourth who had been diagnosed with ADHD.