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Don’t Accept An ADHD Diagnosis Without A Fight

Parents are often guilty of accepting any diagnosis they receive from a doctor regarding their children. If a doctor tells a parent their child is suffering from a disease, most parents will accept the diagnosis without even attempting to get a second opinion.

This can be deadly because once this diagnosis is accepted, our children then become labeled for something that may require medication they don’t actually need. One family learned this the hard way when they accepted that their 9-year-old daughter had ADHD and agreed to her being medicated.

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The family placed more trust in the doctor than they did their own suspicion. They did not want to offend the doctor by getting a second opinion, so instead, they merely accepted that their daughter was in need of medication and support.

Unfortunately, she had a bad reaction to the medication and later committed suicide. In fact, many ADHD positive children are on medication which can lead to suicidal thoughts.

Michigan State University recently published an article proving that over 1 million children in the United States are misdiagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

This misdiagnosis is typically given to children who are immature in their kindergarten class and are assumed to have an issue merely because they are different from their classmates, according to this new research by a Michigan State University economist.

Additionally, the study shows that the present treatment fails to share the long-term stimulant use on children’s health. “In addition to prescribing deadly medication that children may not even need, there is also the issue of an estimated $320 million-$500 million a year being wasted on unnecessary medication,” according to Todd Elder, whose study appears in the Journal of Health Economics.

Teachers are often guilty of spearheading claims of ADHD because they tend to make judgment calls on children based on how the child acts in comparison to the other children in the classroom. If a child acts up and refuses to sit still, they just might find themselves taking a test to confirm any ideas of attention disorder. It’s unfortunate because the idea that children learn differently is never considered until the child is much older and in high school.

A parent can save their child from being a potential victim of this misdiagnosis by first understanding their child better than anyone. If a parent knows that their child has a specific learning style, then they can argue that fact when the child’s school attempts to say otherwise.

Additionally, parents have the right to get a second and third opinion prior to accepting the ADHD label, only to then force their child to take medication. No one wants to learn the hard way that their child was misdiagnosed with ADHD due to their being overly anxious. This is why taking the time to research labels that are thrown at children is worth the time. It just may save a child’s life.

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About Audra L.

Audra L. is an author, columnist and community activist who's dedicated to finding truth through research and effective communication. She received her degree in Public Policy and teaches Community Development, Public Speaking and Communications Law to youth throughout the nation. She is the recipient of over 23 awards and honors for her commitment to community outreach initiatives.


  1. As a parent to an ADHD child, I am offended by much of this article. It is the parent’s responsibility to use THEIR best judgement about whether their child has any disorder whether it is diabetes OR ADHD. You are still promoting the dark ages view of ADD and ADHD and suggesting that parents who medicate are in the wrong. Even at a young age, parents can and should talk with child about their ability to focus on schoolwork. Before giving a stimulant medication to a child, have them try some caffeine that works the same way to enhance release of neurotransmitters. If caffeine doesn’t help, they probably don’t have ADD or ADHD. Yes, medications in children do NOT act the same way that they act in adults, which can lead to tragic consequences. For this reason, it is on the parent to ensure that the child is not having a bad side effect to the medication.

    My child from first grade on was involved in the decision to medicate or not. Moreover, we spent almost a year identifying the medicine, dosage, and delivery route that worked best to help him focus but not cause any other side effects. Parents need to realize that this is most likely a long path. If your child doesn’t need medicine – don’t medicate – it is just that simple. Moreover, it is on the parents and the child as they grow up to identify strategies that allow ADD and ADHD kids to be successful. Sometimes, these strategies will help the kids no longer need to take any medicine. Children’s brain are actually not done developing until late teen years. Sometimes, all these kids need is to wait for their brains to finish developing and these are the ones who “outgrow ADD and ADHD”. This isn’t the case with everyone!

    Don’t demonize our kids and parents who DO need the medicine to help them be successful.

    • I think that you are missing the point of this article. What they are suggesting is that parents not accept the first label for their child of ADHD when their child has potential attention problems. I agree with the writer. I am a mental health professional who diagnosis children and adults based on their symptoms. Children can exhibit attention problems for a number of reasons, not just ADHD. I have worked with children who were misdiagnosed as ADHD, but actually had symptoms of depression or post traumatic stress disorder or other conditions based on a thorough clinical assessment and review of the child’s history. The fact that a child committed suicide after being prescribed ADHD medication says a lot. This child likely was not suffering from ADHD, but from depression. This is the problem with misdiagnosis. You focus on the wrong diagnosis, while missing the right diagnosis. Children could also suffer from a learning disability. This is why testing by a school psychologist or clinical psychologist is often recommended for children who are having difficulty in school. You must rule out everything else before settling on a diagnosis like ADHD. I would rather see a child receive individual educational services that meet his or her needs rather than putting them on some stimulant medication that may result in them later abusing stimulant drugs, or becoming more depressed and committing suicide. So many medications are no longer being prescribed for children because they were triggering depressive symptoms resulting in suicides. You must remember that clinical trials on medications are not conducted with children, but only adults. So, physician know very little about how a child will respond to any medication. There are always risks. So, it is worth it for a parent to get a 2nd or 3rd opinion before starting their young child on medication for attention problems.

      • I did not miss the point of this article. In fact I said that parents know there kids best and should realize whether the diagnosis fits with their children’s behavior. As a research neuroscientist, I also realize that many disorders are mistaken for ADD/ADHD. My point, however, was NOT to demonize parents who HAVE gotten not just a first opinion but a second and third opinion for a diagnosis. Do NOT demonize parents who realize that their child needs medication just as a child with diabetes needs medicine. I feel for the parents who lost their child due to a misdiagnosis. Misdiagnoses having tragic results is not, however, unique to ADD/ADHD. As a mental health professional, you also probably realize that many neurodisorders (or differences) are co-morbid so you can have learning disabilities as well as depression as well as other issues. So we both agree that parents should use their own best judgement as well as seek out additional opinions for ANY health issue.

  2. ADHD, Alzheimer’s, is caused by aluminum poisoning, and iodine deficiency, the third cause is boredom, nothing to do, need hobby’s and things to. do

    • The cause of Alzheimer’s disease and ADHD is unknown by the experts, but YOU know the cause. STOP LISTING IGNORANT NONSENSE that you are not qualified to state. Some people may be stupid enough to believe you.

      • Alzheimer and ADHD is mostly caused by the combination of Mercury
        and Aluminium. Mercury mostly by Amalgame in teeth and vaccines
        and Aluminium through chemtrails immissions. Everything goes to the
        human’s brain and distroy it, Mercury also blocking the development
        (methylisation) of the children’s brain in specific manner. Mercury and
        Aluminum can be taken out by different methods which are known al-

  3. Don’t forget to mention that certain food allergies, such as gluten, milk protein or casein, can cause “leaky gut” syndrome, irritating a child’s stomach, who is then seen as ADHD or worse, suspect ASD. Once the allergy is treated by adjusting the diet, many behavioral problem children will improve & the ADHD/ADD/ASD symptoms will go away.

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