USA Today has thrown a new log on the fire in the debate over whether delaying kindergarten is helpful to children. An article yesterday says nearly a million young children could have been misdiagnosed for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) because they’re simply too young to handle kindergarten.
The newspaper had exclusive access to a new study by Michigan State University, which found that younger kids in grades 5 and 8 tended to use Ritalin – the drug often prescribed for ADHD – more often than older kids in those grades. These findings will no doubt add fodder to the many parenting websites out there giving advice on whether to hold your child back from kindergarten to help them achieve in the long run.
This is certainly not the final word on the issue, however. While some studies have found that students do better on tests if they enter kindergarten later, others have found that delaying kindergarten can have detrimental effects on children. And as USA Today points out, often parents don’t have a choice: Preschool can be expensive, and kindergarten is free.