900,000 Canadian Children confirm ADHD is a Birthday Lottery
A review of the medical records of 937,943 Canadian children showed that children born in December, the last month of their school year intake, were much more likely to be diagnosed and medicated for ADHD than their classmates born in January. The eleven year study of children aged six to twelve in the Canadian province of British Columbia, titled Influence of relative age on diagnosis and treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children, confirms the ADHD late birthdate effect found in two recent smaller US studies described in my previous blog post.
The late birthday effect in the massive new Canadian study was very significant. Boys who were born in December were 30% more likely to have a diagnosis and 41% more likely to have a prescription for ADHD than their peers born in January. The effect was even stronger for girls. Girls born in December were 70% more likely to have a diagnosis and 77% more likely, to have a prescription for ADHD than their peers born in January.
British Columbia children exhibited the general worldwide trend that ADHD diagnosis and prescribing rates for boys are approximately three times greater than for girls. This is consistent with the traditional wisdom that girls grow up faster than boys. Drugging boys to make them behave more like girls in class demonstrates just how empty modern educational ‘philosophies of inclusion’ are. But many girls are also chemically punished for their childishness when compared to their older classmates.
Obviously younger children are more likely to be immature with the youngest kindergarten children having 20% less life experience than their oldest classmates. However, it should not be lost that children develop at different rates. If a child is less mature than other children their own age, or even younger, they are not diseased, they are different. Classing relative immaturity as a disease to be treated with amphetamines, is a barbaric abuse of a child’s right to grow at their own pace.
If, as the ADHD Industry frequently claims, ADHD is a neurobiological disease, a child’s birth date should have no bearing on their chances of being diagnosed and ‘medicated’. Yet the ADHD Industry will respond as it always does and ignore or spin yet another inconvenient truth revealed in this study.
Martin Whitely interviewed by Greg Carey, Radio 4BC, Brisbane 20 March 2012. http://www.4bc.com.au/blogs/4bc-blog/adhd-misdiagnosis/20120320-1vh3e.html
Sue Dunlevy, Immature Children prone to ADHD Tag, The Australian, 20 March 2012 http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/health-science/immature-children-prone-to-adhd-tag/story-e6frg8y6-1226304525855
 Richard L. Morrow MA (et al), ‘Influence of relative age on diagnosis and treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children’ CMAJ, March 5, 2012, http://www.cmaj.ca/content/early/2012/03/05/cmaj.111619.full.pdf+html],
 Boyles, S. ‘Study confirms ADHD is more common in boys’, WebMD Health News, 15 September 2004 <http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/news/20040915/study-confirms-adhd-is-more-common-in-boys> (accessed 10 March 2011)
Mike MacLeod on March 20, 2012 at 10:57 am
This is brilliant..and very disturbing. Political correctness and pressure to conform to the ‘expert view’ and how many children and parents have suffered as a result??
It reminds me of that terrible medical/surgical practice in the1950’s US of operating on people in order to correst their ‘sagging internal organs’. Doctors had observed that on abdominal X-ray numerous patients exhibited abnormal positions of liver, intestines, pancreas, spleen and kidneys. They were not where they should have been with some patients showing two or three inches displacement on each organ! Medical intervention was clearly needed to correct this aberation and many patients had surgery including a large laperotomy (nipple to knee scarring opening) incision so that surgeons could get in there and hitch the organs up to their ‘proper position’. It is hard to estimate how many such operations were performed and and at what cost before some bright spark (not a doctor incidentially) observed that early anatomy books were written from direct observation of corpses that were, on the whole; prone, that is laying flat on their backs – the better to be observed. Once vertical; the favoured position for taking an abdominal X-ray in the living: people tended to well, sag under the influence of good old gravity.
Such tales of misguided expert advice are sadly more common than we might wish to imagine in the modern age of reason and science; yet both of these paradigms were present here in the doctors under study – but still with the results we observe. Accordingly I urge medical and health authorities not to wait for repeat studies in the UK, Australia and New Zealand but to act now to review the basic habits of prescribing for ADHD drugs everywhere.
As more evidence emerges hopefully the epidemic of ADHD will wane. Too many children have been drugged just because they are not sitting still in class. The youngest in any year will always be “behind” developmentally compared to those one year older. BUT they are entirely where they should be for their age
Mark on December 19, 2014 at 9:47 pm
How are we going to stop the “helping” of the children?
Bill on April 3, 2016 at 12:42 am
Do you mean British Columbia? There is no Canadian province called “British Columbiaian.” It’s difficult to take research seriously when the names of locations aren’t even spelled right.