ADHD Diagnosis: Sleep Problems Cause ADHD Misdiagnosis


A new study outlines how millions of children are misdiagnosed as ADHD as a result of poor sleep habits or problems sleeping and once again serves to point out that many kids diagnosed as ADHD are really misdiagnosed with ADHD.

ADHD experts will tell you that the diagnosis of ADHD in children and teens in difficult under the best of circumstances. There are currently more than 60 medical-social-psychological problems that can cause behavior problems and failing grades-both often automatically assumed to be symptoms of ADHD.

ADHD misdiagnosis occurs in 25 to 40 percent of all children diagnosed as ADHD!

In the study quoted in these news briefs (see video links below), it was discovered that children who slept poorly for whatever reason were more likely to suffer impulsivity, inattention, and hyperactivity (usually in the form of irritability)-all core symptoms of ADHD.

ADHD experts have long known that children who suffer disordered sleep are more likely to display signs of ADHD and more likely to be diagnosed as ADHD. That’s why I’ve advocated parents and teachers study the sleep habits and quality of sleep in each child with a behavior problem or a seeming learning disability before jumping to conclusions about ADHD.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is just one of several sleep problems that might cause a child to appear to be ADHD, resulting in misdiagnosis, mislabeling and inappropriate medications. In Mistaken for ADHD, I discuss several other disorders of sleep and normal brain function that can be confused with ADHD, often causing misdiagnosis of ADHD.

A word of caution here-the behavior problems in children with OSA will falsely improve for weeks to months when they are placed on ADHD stimulants. After all, ADHD stimulants do stimulate the parts of the child’s brain that cause alertness and improve concentration and that’s one of the things that kids with OSA need.

If you don’t get a good night’s sleep-then you can’t pay attention and focus at school or at work the next morning causing confusion with the symptoms of ADHD.

Anything that interferes with a child’s normal sleep pattern-quality of sleep-length of sleep-will cause a child to have a behavior problem or difficulty learning, often causing ADHD misdiagnosis.

Dr. Frank

Thought you might like to take a look at these news briefs-very good content!

ADHD Misdiagnosis

Poor sleep habits may lead to ADHD misdiagnosis


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