ADD / ADHD Community
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Avatar universal

how to manage a situation missdiagnosis

Hello, I am a concerned mother of an almost 7 years old who has been diagnosed with ADHD. My own brothers would of been diagnosed as kids if this had been happening back then. The boys in my family tend to be very active, restless and very happy. This is the case of my boy. In my brothers case this went away when they reached their teens. Now I was questioned by his infant teacher from the beggining, she could not get through him, instead, created a very uncorfortable atmosphere for him and us as parents. So I gave in, brought him to the doctor looking for support. But of course, my boy is restless and at the time inattentive.
Since then things became better, he was diagnosed with a mild ADHD. As he is active but very pleasent and positive, he has and keeps friends, and kids really like him at school. We do not want meds for him, we adore his happy and positive ways and so do many people around him. The school has taken a good approach, he is getting one to one and accademically he is doing great, a very good reader, loves his mats and is very entuciastic about learning. He still interrupts from time to time, but I am sure he is not the only one who does. Yet my fear is that his label is slowing him down ratter than helping right now. He is every time more thoughfull and less impulsive, I think is just genetics, the way male brains in my family develops. How can I get rid of the label now?. Is there any chance that the medical community is wrong? and there should be a more narrow criteria for dianosis?. Let me know what you think
15 Responses
189897 tn?1441130118
   First the label is not slowing him down.  If anything is slowing him down it is his mild form of ADHD.  To get rid of the label (if he has ADHD), means that when he starts having trouble as the academia becomes more difficult - then he is just lazy.  So what do you want a lazy kid who gives up, or a child with a known handicap who can be helped?
  Schools do not just give every kid on the block a one to one aide.  It is very expensive.  If they did not think there was a reason to do so, they would not have done so.
   Let me add, that you say he is doing great academically.  He is 6.  The academics are not very hard for a kid with average or above average intelligence.  When he hits about 4th grade (if not sooner), it gets a lot tougher.  You said it is just genetics.  ADHD is almost always inherited.  Makes it tough for the kid, they had no choice.  But you as his parent do have a choice.  You can become informed as to what it is, how it can affect him, and what you can do about it.  I would suggest that you buy, "The ADD/ ADhD Answer book." , by Susan Ashley.
  It is wonderful to hear that he is more thoughtful and less impulsive.  But, that is also common with ADD.  You really need to get a bit more info about these conditions.  There is now a tremendous amount of things that can be done (without medication) to help your child.  Good luck.  please post if you have any more questions.
Avatar universal
Thanks for your answer, even when I am just more confused. Does anybody ever question is there a mistake in the diagnosis?, That was what I was refering to. The other thing it confuses me is why do you ask me do I want my kid to become lazy?, what do you mean?.

I said that the labeling is sllowing him down it due to the fact  that since I gave in and let them label him, everybody has lowered their expectations about him. That is what I meant, maybe I was not clear about it. Thanks for your recomendation about the book I will read it as  I have read a lot about this subject, but I cannot help it, I think we are on a path that we will regret when it comes to this children.

As I said, he is doing great accademically, way better than when things were easier and when things get a bit more complex he is able to do it better, enjoys it better.
Anyway, my question was not answered, do you ever question the diagnosis?. is it not a very wide criteria¿?. Should we not narrow it more?.
You seem sure that the kid I briefly described has ADHD, how are you sure about it?. He is kind, has no sociall problems, is cooperative and thoughfull.  I am talking about a decrease in symptoms, a progress, an a possibility of missdiagnosis. I think that there is a bit of a rush into diagnosing kids and that we should be more careful. Now, that does not mean to say that maybe I should wait and see for a couple of years he is in first grade and reads better than a 8 years old, but maybe you meant I should not rush into taking him out of the schedule he is at the moment, which if he has it, seems to help. But I still will like to know how to get people to view him with eyes of less prejudice because of the label?. Thanks again for your anwer.
189897 tn?1441130118
Sorry, it was late when I answered.

Yes, people do question the diagnosis a lot.  Part of the problem is who did the diagnosis and what is their specialty.  I think Pediatric Psychologists do pretty well.  The family MD not so well.  
It is a very wide criteria, but as you have probably noticed there is a large range of descriptors and kids can range from mild to severe within that range.  It's one reason why constant monitoring/communication with your doctor is important - especially in the early stages.

The reason for the "lazy" mention was that I have seen a lot of posts where the parents blame the kid for not doing his work because the child is "lazy".  Many times the kid is so frustrated with his condition that he has given up.  Yes, he is in a sense lazy because he has given up.  But frankly how long can you expect a 9 year old to keep beating himself on the head with a hammer?  So the point is that if a child starts experiencing trouble academically - its really important to find the underlying reason why he is having those problems.

Going back over your post, I may have misread part of your post.  When you said he is getting one to one.  I read that as a one to one aide.  Which made it very likely that he had a more severe case.  You probably meant one to one support which is a whole different thing.  So yes, if he is doing better than there is a good chance of a misdiagnosis.  It is possible he has ADD not ADHD and that makes the symptoms harder to recognize.

In terms of him being labeled.  In the 70's and 80's that was a legitimate complaint due to the lack of knowledge and the way special education was handled.  By the way, does he have a 504 or an IEP?  I really don't think that a label now will do much damage.  But I really don't know exactly what the school is doing for him.  Most teachers would rather treat a child as any other child just because the 504 requirements, etc. are a minor pain to always have to deal with.  Frankly, I would want my child's teachers to be aware of any handicap he has so that it could be accommodated.  However, it you are not positive he has ADD/ADHD - then that changes things.
  It is very possible that your child is quite intelligent and is able to use his intelligence to overcome any learning difficulties that ADD/ADHD might bring (if he has it at all).  Just be aware that about 5th grade when they start dealing with common denominators some kids will start having problems keeping up due to concentration problems.  Really sharp kids can do pretty well until pre algebra/ algebra hits.  Point being that I worked in a school district with many brilliant  kids and it wasn't till 5th or 6th grade that a few got diagnosed.    Hopefully, whoever initially diagnosed your son was thrown off by his activity level, and your son will do very well.  But just in case, he starts having problems in later years  kind of keep this conversation in mind.
  Hope this helps.  I think I rambled a bit.  

757137 tn?1347200053
The "medical community" is not one person. And teachers are not part of it in any case. They tend to want to medicate anyone who is slightly out of sync. Teachers tried to bully me into drugging my third child who was lively and mischievous and hated school. I did not give in. I felt she would settle down in puberty. And she did. She is still the funny and happy person she always was. And she will never forget that I stood by her.
189897 tn?1441130118
What happened 10 or more years ago with one teacher does not give you the right to generalize that action to all teachers.  
973741 tn?1342346373
I wanted to add that "labels" used by schools are kept confidential by law.  They do not make them wear it on the shirt or staple it to their forehead.  If a student requires an aide, it is never designated in our school as to who the aide is for.  They help all in the class with special attention to their assigned child.  If it is not obvious who the aide is there to help, no one really knows.  I had to make the decision as I entered my child into public school whether to proactively address his issues before he got there or let them just figure it out.  I took the proactive route.  I'm personally grateful that my child had a "label" coming into school that helped his teacher understand him better.  It doesn't say "my kid is bad", it says that "my kid  might need a little extra understanding".  Never could figure out why this is bad.  And by law, his teacher can not disclose his information to anyone other than school personel.  

So, I've never gotten the "label" thing when it comes to helping our kids.
Avatar universal
my grandson was miss diagnoised with adhd than it was maybe autism now its detachment disorder yes he has something going on yes he has been labled I have been struggling to know what to do in his school  situation he is in a special class 5 students 6 teachers he is 6 yrs old and the age of the other kids vary fom 6 to 16 they use time out room as big as a walk in closet for disipline sometimes with door locked for way over 30 minutes at a time by himself. I have seen his behaviors worsen with this action have asked for meetings with school  with no results now insisting he be moved to another school i just dont know what the next move will be. i kinda of got off subject yes miss diagnoises happen we have had lots of trouble with meds adhd meds kept him up for a straight 48 hrs with one dose respidone caused him to get tardive dysenika which did finally get better after removing the pills thank goodness and depakote makes him to tired it  has been a roller coaster ride.The med working the best so far is a adhd pill its new called intuniv its not a stimulant and has not altered his personality at all .
Avatar universal
Hello, allmymarbles, I congratulate you for keeping your kid safe from the industry trap fashion of drugging kids. I know it may be necessary in cases, but it should be so carefully look at, and it is not.

Specialmom,  I get your point. Maybe I am making to much of it. And you are right about the confidentiality, and yes, he is getting extra room, extra help. I just think that in his case there was a bit of a rush, maybe not, I could be wrong and am just keeping a close eye on the situation, I do not want to rush myself into taking him out of the scheme. At the same time, I honestly do not think he has it. The more I read about it the more I think, this is not him.
Now, I will just wait for the time being, is not doing any harm at the moment having a couple of sessions of one to one with  a special needs teacher.
It just scares me that if I had want it to put him in meds, it would have been so easy. Why if it is wrong?. Any extra attention is good, not only for kids with a touch of ADHD, but for anyone developing and growing, any extra understanding is good. I do not question that, but the label is giving to easily I think.
loulou192, he seems very young to me, it looks like a case to look at so close and carefully. Is good so that he seems to be getting better with the new meds, hope for his sake it keeps getting better and better.
And you sandyman2, thanks for your time and yes, I will keep this conversation in mind, keep looking carefully at the developing of this young and curious mind that I was so lucky to bring to this world. And to all, of you, and to me, and anyone that reads this. We should keep our senses wide open and question it all. I personally think there is a misunderstanding, we do not get how do we develop as a hole, as a race. And the criteria is so wide again, so open to misinterpretations. Do you not agree?. Anyway, thanks for your posts, it makes me slow down on my own taking.
757137 tn?1347200053
Teachers are not doctors. They have no business advising parents to seek medication for children that are difficult to handle. They should, however, discuss problems the children are having in school.
757137 tn?1347200053
One last word. Drugs like Adderall are speed, pure and simple. There can be very nasty side effects. The son of one woman on this form developed seizures which did not go away when he was taken off the medication. Also these drugs affect normal growth. And, remember, your son is happy. That is the most important thing.

That daughter I mentioned earlier, the one who settled down at puberty, became a fine student, graduated from a top-notch college, applied for a master's program at a top university, aced her MSAT's, got a fellowship for her second year, and came first in her class.  And none of this was my doing. I purposely never hounded her about school. The restless energy that drove her teachers nuts evolved into fruitful focus and she is the youngest executive that has ever held her present job (and the first woman). In terms of how the world sees things, she is the most successful of my four children.
1203809 tn?1265608819
I would strongly advise against medicating kids unless they are absolutely in dire need of that kind of help. It will for certain affect his development and maybe heighten certain addictive characteristics later on. I was on meds for epilepsy as a kid and I still remember a foggy few years of my life and I never felt quite right or normal.  It definitely stifled my development socially for a while.  I am a functioning ADHD adult that has been on and off stimulant meds for the last 7 years.  However, stimulant meds can cause me to have side effects like addictive behavior (drinking, ciggarettes, and smoking pot) and anxiety and mania.  You really have to have a handle on the dosage and the gradual lifestyle change that comes with some of these meds or else they can turn your life upside down.
Avatar universal
I think you are right, I am of the same view, when it comes to meds and my son: no way!. It worries me and  to  I hear the stories about the  kids and parents that fall into the trap.
Your daughter´s story is so encouraging I thank you for sharing it. And  you are right,my son  is happy.
Now, I almost feel tempted to close his file on ADHD, which was offered to me by his psychologist when he saw my taking on things, but at the same time I do not take the full step yet, just in case, and this because this way  he keeps the extra facilities at his school. His new teacher is great and I can see she kind of thinks like me, he may not have it. It might just be a misdiagnosis. Let´s just wait and see, but yes, meds are of the question and thanks for your encouragement
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