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ADHD or Not? Why a Diagnosis Matters
Chris_WebMD_Staff posted:
Whether you suspect ADHD, or a teacher mentions it, an actual diagnosis is key. By Eric Metcalf, MPH
About 9% of U.S. children and teens have ADHD . For many of these kids, a call from a teacher was the first time their parents started discussing the possibility of ADHD.
"The vast majority of cases are brought to the attention of parents by educators, either at the preschool level or elementary school level," says George DuPaul, PhD, of Lehigh University. He has a background in school psychology, with a special interest in ADHD.
But even though teachers spend the entire day watching kids' behavior, "sometimes they're right and sometimes they're wrong," DuPaul says. "Upward of 40% of elementary students are reported by their teachers to have distractibility problems or problems with their activities. That doesn't mean they have ADHD."
Getting a proper diagnosis is important for kids -- and adults -- who appear to have symptoms of ADHD . Many other mental and physical issues can cause similar symptoms. But the correct treatment can help people with ADHD have more success and happiness throughout their lives.

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