A new study published in The Journal of Pediatrics shows that your child’s birth date might influence his/her performance in school. The children who are younger in a class perform worse on tests than their older classmates.In addition, younger students are significantly more diagnosed as Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) children and are often prescribed the ADHD medications.The scenario is worse for children in lower grades.

According to New York Times: “The findings suggest that in a given grade, students born at the end of the calendar year may be at a distinct disadvantage. Those perceived as having academic or behavioral problems may in fact be lagging simply as a result of being forced to compete with classmates almost a full year older than them. For a child as young as 5, a span of one year can account for 20 percent of the child’s age, potentially making him or her appear significantly less mature than older classmates.

“Our results showed that children in the youngest third of their class attained scores more than 10 percentile points lower than students in the oldest third of the class for both math and language arts,” said the study’s lead author Dr. Zoega. “Children in the youngest third were 50 percent more likely than those in the oldest third to be prescribed stimulants for ADHD.”

These findings should be take into account before diagnosing and prescribing ADHD medications to young children with poor academic performance.

Source: Mount Sinai & New York Times

 
 
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