Right way/wrong way to get ADHD diagnosed

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Sheila, May 16, 2007.

  1. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator


    From: http://adhdnewsletter.com/diagnosis

    Why does it seem that there are so many children today with the diagnosis of ADHD?

    Posted May 8th, 2007 by amber

    Why does it seem that there are so many children today with the diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – ADD ADHD?

    As I get older the answer becomes clearer to me.

    The reason there are so many children diagnosed with ADHD today is that physicians, psychologists, therapists, and/or parents, rush to this diagnosis without doing their “due diligence” in the diagnostic process.

    In other words, they cut corners and rush to judgment. The make the diagnosis of ADHD too soon in the process simply to save time and effort.

    Here is what happens.

    A physician, psychologist, or therapist is well versed in the diagnostic criteria for ADHD.

    A parent brings in a child for an evaluation because of behaviors at home or at school.

    The child meets the diagnostic criteria for ADHD.

    Therefore, the child has ADHD. Simple. Mission accomplished!

    But this is absolutely the WRONG WAY to make the diagnosis of Attention Deficit Disorder.

    Even according to the Diagnostic Manual, just because a child meet all of the criteria for ADHD does NOT mean that he gets the diagnosis.

    Rather it is a child who meets all of the diagnostic criteria AFTER an entire series of other possible explanations have been RULED OUT first!

    “The symptoms do not occur exclusively during the course of a Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Schizophrenia, or other Psychotic Disorder and are not better accounted for by another mental disorder (e.g. Mood Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Dissociative Disorder, or a Personality Disorder).”

    And this is written with the assumption that other medical conditions that might also explain the symptoms have been ruled out.

    This step of ruling out a long list of other explanations is ignored in the diagnostic process almost every time!

    Before your child is given the diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, the following long list of medical and mental health possibilities must be RULED OUT.

    And by RULED OUT we mean that the physician, psychologist, therapist, and you – the parent, must carefully consider each other possible explanation, and be able to honestly say, out loud, “NO, THAT’S NOT IT.”

    Here is out list of other reasons why children can be inattentive, impulsive, hyperactive, show temper, have poor focus, or look like they are ADHD. Each must be considered and RULED OUT:

    FOOD ALLERGIES – This, in our experience, is the most common alternative cause;

    ENVIRONMENTAL ALLERGIES

    HEAD INJURIES – Can be caused lots of ways, from forcep deliveries at birth, to car accidents, to “baby shaking,” to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or Drug Exposure in utero, to falling out of a crib, to falling and hitting your head, to playing soccer and heading the ball, and many more;

    BIPOLAR DISORDER or MANIC DEPRESSION – Studies show that 15% of children who are diagnosed as having ADHD actually have early onset Bipolar Disorder. Studies also show that there are as many people born with Bipolar Disorder as there are people born with ADHD. You cannot make a diagnosis of ADHD without ruling out Bipolar Disorder;

    PERVASIVE DEVELOPMENTAL DISORDER

    TOURETTES SYNDROME – Basically ADHD with tics;

    AUTISM OR ASPERGERS

    SCHIZOPHRENIA

    OTHER PSYCHOTIC DISORDER

    ANXIETY DISORDER

    OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER

    DEPRESSION

    DISSOCIATIVE DISORDER

    CHILD ABUSE OR POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER

    THYROID PROBLEMS

    MENTAL RETARDATION

    LEAD POISIONING OR OTHER HEAVY METAL POISIONING

    Only AFTER this list has been considered, and each has been RULED OUT, can the diagnosis of ADHD be considered.

    Cutting corners in this important area of making a diagnosis leads to children being put on medications that not only do not have a chance to help them (because they aren’t ADHD), but can actually cause serious problems.

    For example, does Stimulant Medication such as Ritalin cause tics?

    No. But a child diagnosed with ADHD, who actually has Tourettes Syndrome, and is given stimulant medication, will develop tics because of the stimulant medication.

    Are temper outbursts an indication of ADHD?

    No. They may occur with ADHD, but they point more toward either head injuries, early onset bipolar disorder, childhood major depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) or anxiety disorders. And if such a mis-diagnosed child is given stimulant medications it may result in explosive temper outbursts, increased anxiety or compulsiveness, or even suicidal thinking.

    Symptoms of head injuries, bipolar disorder, tourettes, autism, schizophrenia, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, depression, and post traumatic stress disorder, can all be made WORSE by treating a child for ADHD with stimulant medications.

    Please make sure that you get a good diagnosis for ADHD before beginning any stimulant medications. This is where to make the investment of time and money – in the diagnosis.
     
  2. oceans

    oceans New Member

    This is so true. It seems that ADD/ADHD is a first diagnosis. It seems that such a high percent of new people coming on this board say that is their childs diagnoses. It was my son's first diagnosis as well. They saw the depression, but the the stimulants were what was tried first. Stimulants were not a good match for my son. Now that he is 15 they are saying he does not have ADD.
     
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    This sounds really bad, but the pediatrician once told me that ADHD is the most common diagnosis because the teachers want the kids on ritalin. and, it's diagnosed a lot when kids don't even need medications.
     
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Yep. ADHD is usually the first diagnosis given. ADHD/ODD is often the first combination diagnosis and if stims don't help or make it worse, it's not necessarily correct. But many parents, in my opinion, are afraid to hear anything more than ADHD, even if it's Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) or bipolar, so the parents are told it's ADHD to appease them. Stims can and do make kids with other disorders worse. It boggles the mind that teachers would want kids on stimulants for behavioral remedies. Unless a child has ADHD, it acts like speed. THat's why I recommend NeuroPsychs. They do more careful testing and don't just look for ADHD.
     
  5. jannie

    jannie trying to survive....

    Excellent article :laugh:
     
  6. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Great article-thanks for sharing. :smile:
     
  7. CCRidr2

    CCRidr2 Sheena-Warrior Momma

    Shelia,

    Great article! husband is a man that had blinders on when it came to anything being "wrong" with his kids. We did (we thought) rule out all other causes, until recently.

    The problem came in when I was going through some papers a couple months ago when we moved. They were papers given to husband by his mother in law when he married his DEX so that he could understand her "condition". She didn't mention the diagnosis of BiPolar (BP). He never read them and thought her "problems" were because of her parents being too controlling. :hammer:

    Never heard that it's the parents fault before, have we? Admittedly, I didn't know until recently that kids could even have BiPolar (BP). I thought it was an exclusively adult condition. DUH! Now we are faced with reality! The article is absolutely correct when it says parents are scared to hear anything other than ADHD, I am shaking in my boots!!!! I have come to realize that our difficult child is on a roller coaster (emotionally) but he can't get off the ride! Now as I see it, we have a DUTY to correct our ignorance and help our baby. My 2 cents! :smile:

    Cyndi
     
  8. CCRidr2

    CCRidr2 Sheena-Warrior Momma

    Shelia,

    Great article! husband is a man that had blinders on when it came to anything being "wrong" with his kids. We did (we thought) rule out all other causes, until recently.

    The problem came in when I was going through some papers a couple months ago when we moved. They were papers given to husband by his mother in law when he married his DEX so that he could understand her "condition". She didn't mention the diagnosis of BiPolar (BP). He never read them and thought her "problems" were because of her parents being too controlling. :hammer:

    Never heard that it's the parents fault before, have we? Admittedly, I didn't know until recently that kids could even have BiPolar (BP). I thought it was an exclusively adult condition. DUH! Now we are faced with reality! The article (or was that a reply?) is absolutely correct when it says parents are scared to hear anything other than ADHD, I am shaking in my boots!!!! I have come to realize that our difficult child is on a roller coaster (emotionally) but he can't get off the ride! Now as I see it, we have a DUTY to correct our ignorance and help our baby. My 2 cents! :smile:

    Cyndi
     
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