Overdiagnosis of ADHD in Children

In 2013 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that one in nine kids had been diagnosed with ADHD. The report also said that about 15% high-school-age children had an ADHD diagnosis and 3.5 million children were taking medication for it. The New York Times reports that the reason for this is because of pharmaceutical companies campaigning to push drugs to doctors. True, this could be a huge contribution but there could be other reasons for this.


Sometimes a doctor could see symptoms that look like ADHD and are quick to diagnose. Some research has shown that up to 75% of children that have been diagnosed with ADHD are a result of a false/positive. When a patient comes in to see a doctor, the doctors have a sort of checklist that they cover to see what disorder the child has. Sometimes the symptoms of ADHD better relates to something else that the doctor has not considered.

Learning Disabilities

When children are having issues in school, it is easy to rush them to your local doctor or psychiatrist for an ADHD diagnosis so that you can help your child focus in class. But without going through the motions, your child could end up with an undiagnosed learning disability. Your child may be bored in school because he/she is not understanding as quickly as the other children and it’s causing them to act out.

Parents looking for answers

There is no doubt about it; while you, as a parent, are worried about your child, a solid diagnosis is a relief. Once you get an initial diagnosis, it is hard to not trust your doctor because you finally have an answer and a solution to all of your child’s behavioral issues. A good idea would be to test your child before accepting the medication and diagnosis. Give them an assignment from school or a home project and see how they do.

If you believe that your child would do great talking to someone who understands, call Compass 4 Life and talk to us about individual counseling for your child and for you.