Professionals properly diagnosis children with disorders or conditions every day.

With the support of their family and loved ones, many of those children go on to successfully manage whatever challenges they face.

And yet, proper diagnosis isn’t something to take for granted. Just as children are correctly diagnosed, some are also misdiagnosed.

For example, ADHD is a condition commonly misdiagnosed. Frequently masked by overlapping symptoms, many children are pegged with anxiety, depression, or even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

To avoid a misdiagnosis, it’s important to consider all the variables. This will help you know how to recognize the symptoms of ADHD.

Understanding Misdiagnosis

First of all, misdiagnosis isn’t typically a horrible or even intentional mistake. It’s simply not hitting the bullseye.

Yet, when you’re talking about a child and their surrounding family, a misdiagnosis could take a huge toll on the wellness of everyone. Which is why a proper diagnosis is imperative for healthy family dynamics.

As mentioned, ADHD in children is not always diagnosed correctly. The reason is that symptoms of ADHD can look very similar to anxiety, depression, or even PTSD (more on this below).

Keep in mind, a misdiagnosis can happen in anyone’s life—children, tweens, adults—because of missing information.

Whether due to an oversight or misinterpreted behavior, missing information shifts that figurative arrow. As a result, professionals don’t hit the bullseye, leaving your child’s ADHD misdiagnosed.

Spotting the Signs and Symptoms of ADHD

This aforementioned missing information isn’t always the fault of some overworked or even lazy professional. Symptoms of multiple conditions often overlap. As a result, securing a spot-on diagnosis can be complicated.

For example, when a child has a traumatic past, there’s a good chance they’ll exemplify PTSD symptoms such as impulsiveness, concentration issues, or irritability. As you may have guessed, these are also symptoms of ADHD.

To spot the signs and symptoms of ADHD, it’s critical to look at all symptomology, including:

  • When symptoms started
  • How long it’s been happening
  • Other reasons for the symptoms

Looking at it from a bird’s eye view can help you to understand how or what elements might be affecting your child. Sharing this information will also help professionals piece together all the vital information influencing a diagnosis.

When to Seek Out Help

Knowing when to seek help for your child could be as tricky as understanding all the symptoms. To put it plainly, your child needs help when treatment for the current diagnosis is not working.

Oftentimes, children with sleep issues are assigned sleep apnea as a diagnosis. And when a child displays significant moods swings, they’re labeled with a bipolar disorder. Or a child who is caught staring out the window might be diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Furthermore, symptoms of anxiety are a hallmark of ADHD. And, as mentioned, depression symptoms commonly do double duty as well.

While some of these diagnoses could be correct, others may just be tickling the bullseye or even miles away from the target altogether.

Parents often have a keen and innate ability to sense when something is “off.” Simply because someone more educated than you tagged a certain diagnosis on your child doesn’t make it right. It may be all wrong.

Keeping records or journals of your child’s symptoms can help to sort through vital bits of information. Also, consider all the pieces of the puzzle to secure a proper diagnosis for your child.

If you believe that your child has been misdiagnosed or is struggling with an unidentified challenge, please contact us for a 20-minute phone consultation.

Helping parents and children overcome obstacles is the core of our mission. We would like to support you, so reach out today!

Click here to learn to set up a 20 minute phone consultation with one of our therapists!

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