Study: ADHD diagnoses up 25 percent in children from 2001-2010

Doctor: Identifying ADHD getting easier

INDIANAPOLIS - New research shows the number of kids diagnosed with ADHD increased 25 percent over a decade.

The research from Kaiser Permanente found the rate increased from 2.5 percent to 3.1 percent from 2001 to 2010.

Representatives from the Fortune Academy, a local school that caters to children with ADHD, said their enrollment has gone up dramatically in that same time period.

The school's founder Janet George, who said she and her children have ADHD, said she's not surprised by the 25 percent increase in children diagnosed with ADHD.

"I think there's more understanding about children and their learning differences," George said. "I think parents are wanting to figure out what's going on with their children."

The school started in 2002 with six students. Now more than 80 students hang their book bags here and head to the classroom.

"At my old school, I was really stressed out like all the time," said student Hannah Corey. "It was hard for me."

The Fortune Academy offers a new beginning for students like Hannah.

"I came here and I was like behind in my reading level a lot, and now I'm caught up cause it's helped so much," she said.

Medical experts said the increase in diagnosed ADHD cases might actually be a good thing.

"I think we've gotten a lot better at identifying ADHD," said Dr. William Kronenberger, the co-chief of the Riley ADHD Clinic at IU Health. "It's not surprising with a lot of health conditions as we get better at identifying the condition, we do see an increase in the amount diagnosed in the health care system. So for conditions that are historically undiagnosed, it's not a bad thing to see an increase."

For students like Hannah at the Fortune Academy, the focus is not on the diagnosis right now -- it's about learning and opportunity.

"Instead of like worrying about what other people think, like at my old school, I was like all nervous all the time to say something. But here, it's like, you're not," Hannah said.

Symptoms of ADHD include talking excessively and constant fidgeting.

For more information on ADHD or for support, click here.
 

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