Research conducted by Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, point to the over-diagnosis of ADHD among children, particularly among boys. Another study (Wolraich, 1990) determined that “only a quarter of pediatricians report relying on DSM criteria,” "while 88 percent of the 457 patients screened—including, importantly, those who did not meet the criteria for ADHD—were treated with methylphenidate (Ritalin), an outcome pointing to clear signs of overprescribing, not least with prevalence rates running at roughly 1 in 5 among U.S. schoolchildren." (Christopher Lane).
It may be quite easy for an educator or psychiatrist to label a child with ADHD in order to prescribe medication. While there are cases where medication may prove to be tremendously helpful for certain children, that is not always the case. I find there to be problems with the DSM5 in that ADHD is no longer listed as a behavioral disorder, but instead a neurodevelopmental disorder. This diagnosis fails to recognize the various factors that may effect a child's attention, whether that be screen time, supporting healthier (less-sugar/caffeine focused diets), the effects of parenting, relationship with trauma and transitions, etc. I believe that in order to treat ADHD, doing so just with medication is lazy and short-sighted. There must be holistic care that involves increasing coping skills, addressing parental/familial factors, promoting healthy exercise/dieting, and allowing the child space to process any potential traumas and transitions they are going through. Although it is always best to consult with a doctor to address any potential physical issues, it is not the end all. Providing helpful interventions at an early age, will emphatically reduce the rates of ADHD and decrease the skyrocketing numbers of millions of children on medication.