More than half of all parents who sought a diagnosis for their children faced a wait of nearly four years before finally securing one.
That’s the conclusion of a new study, commissioned by the Irish-based support group, ADHD Action. Researchers interviewed 150 parents of children diagnosed with this condition.
And according to Prof. Michael Fitzgerald, professor of child psychiatry at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, that wait represented “a scandal.”
Many questioned said they first noticed their children’s behavior at the age of four, even though they didn’t receive an official diagnosis until their son or daughter was eight years old.
The study revealed that, on average, parents needed to make at least five visits to a health professional in order receive this opinion.
But that’s not the only information gleaned from this study. The study revealed major differences in the waiting periods when it came to private and public health systems. The majority of children who had access to the private health care system received access to a specialist within a month. However, only 13 percent of the children in the public system received attention this quickly.
More results revealed
The poll also asked about the stress levels of the parents. About 83 percent of the parents said that they “often” or “always” were felt stress about their child’s condition. Not only that, a majority of the parents admitted they had difficulty in getting their children to sleep in the evening.
Additionally, the interviews showed that nearly 60 percent of all the children were on some form of medication. Nearly 40 percent said the prescription drugs had helped their children with hyperactivity. Another 47 percent said the medication helped them pay attention.
The pharmaceutical company, Eli Lilly, supported the study.
To read more about the study, click here, where you can also read more comments by Prof. Fitzgerald.