ADHD on the rise but not over-diagnosed

I get asked routinely whether ADHD is over-diagnosed and over-treated. The short answer is “No.” While I certainly believe there are places and cases where this happens I’ve always said that statistically this is just not the case irregardless of public controversy.  I can understand the perception given the CDC’s recent research indicating a 43% increase in ADHD diagnoses over the past 10 years.  Rather than believing it’s over-diagnosed I agree that we are getting closer to the true prevalence rate of 9-11% since 8% are currently diagnosed.  Research suggests that only 70% of children diagnosed are currently receiving treatment.  While I agree it’s a staggering increase over the past ten years it does not mean clinicians are labeling kids irresponsibly or parents are over-medicating.