06 May 2013

More kids diagnosed with mental health disabilities

Conditions such as autism, ADHD appear to drive 16% increase in a decade.

Significantly more US children have a neurodevelopmental or mental health disability than did a decade ago, according to new research.

But the surveys of parents in 2001-'02 and 2009-'10 also revealed some good news: The rate of disability due to physical conditions went down, according to the study, which is scheduled for presentation at the Pediatric Academic Societies' annual meeting in Washington DC. Data and conclusions presented at meetings are typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

Children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis

"It's not enough to just have something like ADHD," she said. "You have to be limited somehow by that diagnosis."

The increased prevalence of autism spectrum disorders is likely one of the explanations, said Dr Andrew Adesman, chief of developmental and behavioural paediatrics at the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York, in New Hyde Park.

Learn more about children's disabilities from the National Dissemination Center for Children With Disabilities.


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