Does Your Child Have AD/HD or Was He/She Misdiagnosed?

By: Liz Tedone
By: Liz Tedone

Knoxville (WVLT) - The personality characteristics that make up ADHD are hyper, impulsive and distractible.

But these seemingly negative traits can actually be a positive in certain life situations.

Volunteer TV's Liz Tedone continues part two of this special report.

When dr. Allen talks to young people about their ADHD diagnosis, he often draws them this chart.

A list of behaviors that describe the disorder, and more positive ways to think about them.

If you're hyperactive, you can also be considered energetic.

If you're impulsive, you may have the ability to make decisions quickly.

And if you're easily distracted, you probably pay good attention to detail.

Dr. Allen says, "So all those traits that look like ADHD, are really a personality style, that can help you some situations and hurt you in others."

Many children are on medicine to combat their ADHD symptoms and that helps them focus in the classroom. But that same medicine can actually slow them down on the soccer field.

And in fact, some children come off medication in the summer or during vacation.

There's no doubt medicine can change a child's quality of life, but dr. Allen guards against using medicine as the only treatment for ADHD.

"Sometimes you can take it for a year or two and develop better resources and not need it later. I know college students and adults that use it selectively."

And there are certain professions where ADHD personality traits are helpful, like working in a newsroom or even in a court of law.

Dr. Allen says, "I know an attorney who says in court, it helps him to be energetic, notice details and think quickly. Those are all the positive sides of ADHD. When he has to sit and read legal briefs all day, it's very demanding."

And in that case, ADHD medicine would help.

In order to properly diagnose ADHD, you must talk with your child's school psychologist, and be sure the proper cognitive and academic testing is done.

Parents and teachers will also be asked for their input.

Experts like Dr. Allen say ADHD is over-diagnosed and often a symptom of something else, whether it be stress, depression, a learning disability or possibly an autism spectrum disorder.


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  • by Dr. Qadri Location: nanded, maharashtra, india on Oct 14, 2007 at 12:01 PM
    my son is 12 yrs old. he is too much hypractive, and unable to concentrate in schooling. diagnosis of doctors is mild mental retardation. he also disturbs hr mother, and sister often. also sometimes destroys costly things. if on computer he is busy hours together. please advise
  • by Sheena Location: West Midlands on Oct 5, 2007 at 04:04 PM
    That is awful! If I was your son I would hit out. I cannot believe that he is being isolated from his peers & forced to lie face down on the ground. It is appalling! Instead of restraining him, why aren't the school working out what triggers his behaviour & support him? What about the 'Every Child Matters' in terms of respecting this child & including him? My ADHD son also has sensory regulation problems & hates being touched. Your son is being creully punished for a condition he cannot help. Have you considered contacting the 'Welfare Officer' & reporting this? Or better still, taking him out of the school completely? Afterall they are not supporting you or your son & bad experiences for an ADHD child could trigger off co-morbid conditions such as ODD, depression etc.The school dosen't have a clue how to deal with your child & are making his & your life a misery. A good supportive school wouldn't be like this. I had bad experiences with one school with my son & he developed ODD.
  • by Concerned Parent Location: - on Oct 4, 2007 at 03:41 PM
    My child has ADHD and also has some other issues as far as dyslexia, & Sensory Integration. We have struggled with the school. He has been restrained, put in a small room (for calming.) He has came home with many bruises, they make him lay face done on the floor and they hold him down because he has hit them for putting him in this room. He has been suspended four times this year, It seems the school works against me instead of with me. Does anyone have any insite for me?

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