In what will surely be balm to desperate parents—and an annoyance to school administrators—the New York Times pairs two new studies that find kids with early behavior problems may be more likely to grow out of them than is commonly thought. In one, researchers looked at over 16,000 children and found no correlation between acting out when entering school and later academic achievement.
The other study found kids with ADHD have delayed development, not permanent flaws, in the area of the brain the affects attention and action. In hyperactive kids, the cerebral cortex matures at around 10 years old, rather than 7. “I think these may become landmark findings, forcing us to ask whether these acting-out kinds of problems are secondary to the inappropriate maturity expectations that some educators place on young children as soon as they enter classrooms,” says an expert.