An interesting study was published in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics on teacher's assessment of inattentive symptoms. Three groups of children were followed: 27 first graders, 24 fourth graders and 28 first through fourth graders with a diagnosis of ADHD. The children were rated twice (12-14 months apart) on their inattentive symptoms by teachers. The results indicated that for all three samples, the ratings persisted for less than 50% of the children and 25-50% of the children's ratings decreased to within the normal range. The researchers concluded that children should be evaluated yearly to avoid continuing to treat children if it is not necessary.
This is important research. Many school districts only perform complete evaluations every three years. Many children are simply tagged as ADHD and the label never disappears. The child moves on to the next grade level and some teachers immediately assume the child will be inattentive.
Reference: Rabiner, David L. PhD; Murray, Desiree W. PhD; Rosen, Lisa PhD; Hardy, Kristina PhD; Skinner, Ann MEd; Underwood, Marion PhD Instability in Teacher Ratings of Children's Inattentive Symptoms: Implications for the Assessment of ADHD Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics: April 2010 - Volume 31 - Issue 3 - pp 175-180 doi: 10.1097/DBP.0b013e3181d5a2d8