ADHD Most Commonly Misdiagnosed Behavioral Disorder in Children


Ritalin_Uno_Danish_VersionChildren diagnosed with ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, may not have the disorder at all. That is because ADHD is the most commonly misdiagnosed behavioral disorder among children under the age of 18. Why? Because ADHD mimics so many other disorders.

Bipolar Disorder

It is surprisingly difficult to distinguish between ADHD and bipolar disorder. The two share several symptoms, including mood instability, restlessness, outbursts, impatience and talkativeness. ADHD affects attention and behavior, while bipolar disorder affects the mood.


Children with autism are frequently overexcited by stimuli. These children often lack social skills and may be uncomfortable in social situations. The behaviors exhibited by children with autism closely mimic those seen in children with ADHD.

Low Blood Sugar

Many people don’t consider low blood sugar when looking at a child with hyperactivity. The fact is that low blood sugar can cause hyperactivity, aggression and an inability to concentrate.

Sensory Processing Disorders

Some children are oversensitive to touch, sound, sight, smell and taste. They can also be sensitive to the position of their body and movement. This can be perceived as a difficulty to stay focused or pay attention to one activity for any length of time and is easily confused with ADHD.

Sleep Disorders

Children who truly have ADHD may find it difficult to fall asleep. They may also have difficulty controlling their emotions. This can be said about children with sleep disorders also.  A lack of sleep can cause a child to have difficulty communicating, following directions and concentrating.

No Disorder

Some children may have difficulty staying focused. They may be easily excitable. They might be bored. This is especially true of school-aged children with higher IQs who are not being properly stimulated or challenged. Kids being kids or, in other words, kids exhibiting normal behaviors, are often misdiagnosed as having ADHD.

If you believe that your child has been misdiagnosed due to a doctor’s negligence or error, call our office. We will review the details of your child’s case and advise you of your options. Call now for assistance. We are here to help you and your family.

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