Because America can count on a major expansion of early childhood education, these health policy researchers fear that today’s preschool bandwagon could lead straight to an epidemic of 4- and 5-year-olds wrongfully being told that they have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The problem, as they see it, is that millions of American children have been labeled with
A.D.H.D. when they don’t truly have it, particularly for the nation’s poorest. A surge in diagnoses
would mean more prescriptions despite guidance from professional organizations, including the
American Academy of Pediatrics, which recommend that behavioral therapy rather than
medication be used as first-line treatment for children under 6.
According to Dr. Harold Levinson, the above concerns are justified although the assumptions
made concerning millions being misdiagnosed and needlessly treated medically appear
suspect. And although behavior modification is vital when needed to control symptoms, most
often meds are given when parental and teacher controls fail and professionals are unavailable
to implement this technique. Disadvantaged groups, irregardless of age, invariably show a
higher incidence of varied developmental disorders due “disadvantaged” genetics, medical and
nutritional care as well poorer social, parental, psychological, etc. inputs which intensify severity
while minimizing compensation.
About Harold Levinson, M.D.
Formerly Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at New York University Medical Center, Dr.
Harold Levinson is currently Director of the Levinson Medical Center for Learning Disabilities in
Long Island, New York. He is a well known neuropsychiatrist, clinical researcher and author.
By Harold Levinson
For more information, Contact Us: call 1(800) 334-7323 or visit www.dyslexiaonline.com.
Expand Pre-K, Not A.D.H.D., STEPHEN P. HINSHAW and RICHARD M. SCHEFFLER, The New York Times The Opinion Pages|OP-ED CONTRIBUTORS
Photo courtesy of debspoons/FreeDigitalPhotos.net