How can I avoid a misdiagnoses?
Real Mom Problem
“I strongly feel my son is somewhere on the autism spectrum. After all the tests and paperwork were submitted the school came back with an ADHD diagnosis. I cried all the way home from the meeting. I am so frustrated at this point and I'm not sure what to do.”
- 1. Consider getting a second, or even third opinion
- 2. It generally takes more than one visit, or round of testing to properly diagnose ADHD
- 3. Make sure your child is being tested by an appropriate medical professional
- 4. Sometimes diet and lifestyle changes can have a positive impact on a child's behavior
Real Mom Solutions
Getting the proper care and support for your child can be especially difficult if you're not certain they're being treated for the right thing. Find advice here for making sure your child gets the appropriate diagnosis so he can begin getting the help he needs.
Have the doctors done much testing with him? I'd probably push the doctor for further testing. It could be a bazillion things. He may have an allergy to foods-usually it's glutens and food dyes. A gluten-free diet is hard, but doable. Honestly? I'd make sure he's getting nothing with red dye in it first and second I'd try a day gluten-free and see if that makes a difference.
If your child was on meds and they were making him worse, he was on the wrong meds. Also, he may NOT have ADD, but something that has ADD-like symptoms, such as pediatric bipolar disorder, in which case the meds could ALSO make him worse, or be ineffective. Find a competent psychiatrist, and get a complete medical/psychiatric evaluation. Then use the appropriate meds, which make him capable of responding to counseling. And get counseling yourselves, to learn how to parent him effectively.
My son was about to be diagnosed with ADHD. Until someone sent me a link to the show The Drs. It had a segment about allergies to food dyes and colorings. The symptoms exhibited are very much like ADHD. I took my findings to my son's doctor and she agreed to try to limit his intake of these things. That was a year ago. My son has improved 100%. I know this isn't proven but in my personal, at-home experience I feel very strongly that it's what the problem was. Red dye is the worst! I can always tell when my son had a snack in school that was red; like punch... he comes home and is basically uncontrollable for the evening. I'm not going to lie and say it was easy switching over. But many brands are now making it a little easier. For example the Goldfish snack crackers that are listed as colored... they are colored with all natural coloring. Same with some yogurts. It has made a huge difference. He can actually sit and concentrate on things now. He used to not be able to do that. I added more fruits and veggies to his snacks and took out most candies. I thought he would rebel, but actually I found he enjoys things like grapes and carrots.
Get a second opinion...and a third...whatever you have to do.. You're your child's advocate.
A lot of times lack of discipline is mistaken for ADHD. Sometimes gifted children are as well. They get bored in school.
Please, get a second opinion, but don't set your mind against ADHD. I grew up ADHD, and still have it. Once I hit puberty, my ADHD started acting like bipolar. Medication no longer worked, and anti depressants made me psychotic. I know there is negativity towards meds, but it can really do wonders, with minimal side effects. I know ADHD inside and out. Look into getting your child the book called Putting on the Brakes it REALLY helped me as a teen.
Get your child reevaluated...ADHD is the most commonly misdiagnosed disorder in the US...and bipolar and depression are commonly diagnosed as ADHD/ADD in adolescents...good luck mama!