A new NCHS report describes the diagnostic experiences of a sample of children in the United States diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as of 2011–2012.
Key Findings from the Report:
- The median age at which children with ADHD were first diagnosed with the disorder was 7 years; one-third were diagnosed before age 6. Children with ADHD were diagnosed by a wide variety of health care providers, including primary care physicians and specialists.
- Regardless of age at diagnosis, the majority of children (53.1%) were first diagnosed by primary care physicians. Notable differences were found by age at diagnosis for two types of specialists.
- Children diagnosed before age 6 were more likely to have been diagnosed by a psychiatrist, and those diagnosed at ages 6 and over were more likely to have been diagnosed by a psychologist.
- Among children diagnosed with ADHD, the initial concern about a child’s behavior was most commonly expressed by a family member (64.7%), but someone from school or daycare first expressed concern for about one-third of children later diagnosed with ADHD (30.1%).
- For approximately one out of five children (18.1%), only family members provided information to the child’s doctor during the ADHD assessment.