Regarding the Nov. 29 news article "Younger start in school may set stage for ADHD diagnosis": Neither a researcher nor an educational leader, I am the father of two successful adult girls and a former school social worker. My anecdotal observation from roughly 30 years of each (preceded by 11 years in juvenile corrections working with adolescent boys) is that in addition to misdiagnosed attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, we create all kinds of problems by starting our children too young with expectations for academic progress while essentially ignoring social/emotional readiness. We may even create issues masquerading as learning disabilities by doing so.
There is an unspoken economic imperative driving this that lurks beneath our good intentions for early childhood education. In our two-income economic times, kindergarten answers a need for otherwise expensive daycare. Pre-school and kindergarten should be absolutely focused on social/emotional growth, play and the stimulation of curiosity. Much of the literature on human development supports this notion.
I don't think anyone would dispute that academic study is more useful if the student is ready for its demands. Our youngsters would be more successful and less stressed later in their academic careers if we recognized this and acted accordingly.