Why are more children being diagnosed with ADHD? - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Why are more children being diagnosed with ADHD?

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LOS ANGELES -

Tanasa Davis says her daughter has always had trouble concentrating on school work.

"In preschool it was like she was driven by a motor, she was all over the place, the teachers were saying she was unfocused in class," Davis said.

Krystin, 12, has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD.

Kaiser Permanente in southern California looked at 850,000 children and found the number diagnosed with the disorder rose 24 percent between 2001 and 2010. The spike was most dramatic for African-American girls, with a 90 percent increase.

Pediatrician Robert Moss, the director of the Children's Center for Attention Problems, says the findings don't mean more kids are getting the disorder. He believes doctors are getting better at recognizing the symptoms, especially in minorities.

"There's a large group of individuals that have issues with attention, with focus with organization that aren't necessarily hyperactive who are going missed for a number of years and we've begun to identify these individuals," Moss said.

Kids with ADHD need extra help to get things done. Krystin now keeps a to-do list hanging in her room.

"It helps me stay organized," Krystin said.

A special timer allows also her to pace herself with school assignments. Once she sets it, there's no ticking sound to distract her, instead a red light comes on to show her when she needs to take a break.

Tanasa Davis says the diagnosis changed their lives.

"When you know what your child is struggling through or what your child's challenges are, you're able to create a plan and support your child," she said.

Krystin now takes medication to help her focus and she uses her extra energy bouncing on her trampoline.

Click here for more on ADHD.

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