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Misdiagnosed ADHD? What Could It Be?

We were told that my son had ADHD when he was 5 years old. He took Adderall for about a year and a half and then, he started pulling his hair out and not donig his schoolwork, etc. We have tried every ADHD medicine they had up until last April (2006). We got tired of all of the side effects. He was so mean, evil is a better word for it. He literally acted possessed or something. So, we stopped all the medicine. Well, he failed the third grade and now, he's half way through this school year and he's failing again. The school does not try to help at all. He has started pulling his hair out again. His dr. said it' "trichotilomania". He doesn't realize he's doing it. It's anervous tic. Anyway...I want to help my son. When he was on Adderall before he was a straight A student. Now he makes more F's than passing grades. He has been to mental health couselors and his pediatrician. I wonder if maybe he needs some neurological testing done. Any advise on this would be greatly appreciated. THANKS! and GOD BLESS!!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you all for the advice! I am definitely going to take him to a pediatric psychologist. God Bless You all!!!!

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It is very possible that he was misdiagnosed. A while ago my son was diagnosed ADHD and Bi-polar. After finally getting to a child phychologist he diagnosed him autistic and discounted the previous diagnosis. As far as meds go that's difficult. I am struggling with too many meds for my son right now. I know that ADHD meds are amphetimines, I know this really concerns me because these can cause psychotic like symptoms in people who are not ADHD. In an ADHD person this generally calms them, however in a normal person it will do the opposite. Hope this helpful.

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M.: One of my DEAR friend's daughter went through something VERY similar. Come to find out, the one ingredient in the medications caused her to have an allergic reaction of some sort.

It does seem he is having a problem, but WHAT remains to be seen. My heart goes out to you. Have they tried Lexapro? Another one of my girlfriend's son had to be put on Lexapro....an EXTREMELY mild does. It was JUST ENOUGH to level him out so he could "regain his bearrings." It sounds more like anger than it does ADHD. ADHD is a HYPERACTIVITY disorder...they can't sit still, full of so much energy that they just can't stop.

I see you go to Bishop Jakes' church. Have you tried to see if the church can provide some type of direction? Perhaps taking him out of public school and enrolling him in a Christian, private school where the student-teacher ratio is smaller may be an option. ?? Teachers in private schools have the ability to take the time with a child whereas public schools are so overcrowded, the teachers are doing well to just get the lessons crammed in!!!

Whatever the case may be, I pray that God give you wisdom and as it says in Ephesians 1:16-19, that the eyes of your understanding be enlightened and you receive revelation knowledge.

May God's Hand be upon you and His blessings, wisdom, strength and grace pour over you like fresh oil.

4 moms found this helpful

Is it trichotillomania or a sign of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)? I don't think I'd guess on that one until I'd had a lot more testing done. I would definitely consider behavioral/psychological/neurological testing at this point, especially with the problems lasting so long. And if the problems are occuring in school (obviously they are, considering he's failing, etc.), then the school system has NO CHOICE in providing services or locating services FOR YOU. This is not an option for them. I live in Florida now but am originally from Georgia and did school social work there. You're getting the run-around if they're saying they can't help. It's a legal issue they don't want to mess around with. And I know Blackshear is small, but there are resources in and around the town that can help. As a social worker and mom of a special needs child with behavioral and emotional problems, some of the symptoms you describe sound like possibly OCD, anxiety, and general stress. If he's having problems with learning, everything from learning disabilities to giftedness (BORED with school?) should be explored. FIGHT the school about this. Look into the state's legal obligations in education if you need some backup. Good luck and best wishes.

2 moms found this helpful

My Social Foundations Education Class was talking about this kind of a problem the other day. My proffesor's son had Asperger's (a form of autism) and it took her 9 years to finally get the correct diagnosis so don't give up and keep trying until you find a doctor that can recognize something other than ADHD. I think doctor's these days are "ADHD Happy" and just assume that's what's wrong with a child. Once you find out what is really wrong with your son, it will be a lot easier to fix. Just keep on searching! Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Dear M.,

look up Dr. Ann Block on the internet. She has written several books about psychiatric drugs. They are very harmful to anyone that takes them and you are doing the right thing to keep your son off of them. It is a CRIME that pharmacutical companies are making money off of distraught families and not being forthright in the known side effects which are much worse than the behavior they are trying to rectify. Doctor Block recommends finding the underlying physical condition and fixing that.

Do your homework. Start researching nutrition and food allergies. He could have allergies that you do not know about which trigger these behaviors. It is more common than you think. Research and experiment and see what you come up with. Never forget that parenting is the single most challenging job there is. Don't give up, keep on working at it until you figure it out.


1 mom found this helpful

My heart goes out to you! I have a 12 year old that I have struggled with things like you are. She has been on a few diffrent medications, gone to counseling, anger management etc. I first of all feel that ADHD is misdianosed! It seems that any child that acts out or is not the "perfect" child they are ADHD. Its more than that. Thiings children behavior does stem from there younger years, the need for attention and many other reasons. Try to get another opinion a single doctor does not have all the answers. If you feel that he needs further testing get it done. You are his mother and you no best and more about him then anyone. Do not give up it will get better! Remember you are not alone! If ever you would like to talk more in detail about things and the experiences contact me...e-mail or by phone ###-###-####.

1 mom found this helpful

My name is L. and I am a (former) Pediatric Occupational Therapist. A back injury prevents me from practicing any longer, however my specialty was in Sensory Integration. I often worked with children diagnosed (or mis-diagnosed) with ADD/ADHD. I would highly recommend that you see a Pediatric Neurologist and also try a Pediatric Occupational Therapy evaluation with a therapist who is trained in Sensory Integration.

1 mom found this helpful

Hello M., My son was diagnosed at a young age with adhd also, but when we continued to have problems with behavior,(odd social behavior,explosive temper,) we strated thinking it probally went a little further than ADHD. We ended up going to the Renaissance Center in Albany Georgia, where he was diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome. Your son may not have the same thing but, It would give you something to go on if You try this Center. It was a blessing for me just to have a diagnoses and find out how to help my son. good luck, B.

1 mom found this helpful

Dear M.,
My heart goes out to you because I am very familiar with what you described. I have personally helped some moms like you with nutrition.
There is a mom in St Mary's Georgia who has an 11 year old son who has "asperger" syndrome. Like you she is also a nurse and she used to be called to the school 3 - 4 times a week because of her son's behavior. Since he started on this nutrition regimen he is now A/B student and his behaviour is under control.
If you want to meet her, you can call me ###-###-#### and you can chat with her.
Hope this helps.

You may have already resolved this, but I agree that it could be Asperger's. My 13 year old brother has it and it is something to look into. I would not recommend Adderall though. There are other medications that are not as habit forming. It was worse for John, my brother, if he missed his Adderall than if he had not taken it at all from the withdrawals (he was not hallucinating or anything, but his "symptoms" were intensified 20 fold). Definitely talk to a child psychologist about the possibilities in what it could really be and what your options are regarding medication.

I think you are dealing with something more than the school or a pediatrician realizes. Keep pushing to get answers, and if possible find a school that can better suit his needs. All this failure and frustration is probably causing some additional frustration and anger in him.... I have a son w/ ADHD and possible OCD. Look into OCD perhaps.... My biggest suggestion is GO TO DR. TRIDAS! http://www.thetridascenter.com/about.html He is THE BEST and he will get to the bottom of all this!!! He is worth every dime!

Well Dear, my grandson was also having difficulty in school
but not violent or agggresive, but they thought he was ADHD
too, but later got tested, and it turned out to be related
to Autistic, and called a high functioning Berger's Asper.
don't really know how to spell it, but it's 3 words in all.
this boy is a teen ager now and gets special help in a reg.
school, but he's never had any friend's...he has no social
skills...so at first, he was also misdiagnosed..if it isn't
what your son could have, then his diet comes to my mind...
too much sugar/sweets ? You need to see the right kind of
people in the medical field to get to the bottom of this.
Good Luck...Granny

Hi M., It looks like you got some good advice but I would add that even if he does have a neurological/ psychological disorder nutrition often has quite an impact on causing or treating such "disorders". He could have a deficiency of some kind or an intolerance/ allergy to something he eats or something in his enviroment. Holistic approaches make a great compliment to conventional medicine, particularly when you want to avoid or reduce the undesirable effects of pharmaceuticals. He may need extensive testing to determine the illness, which may include going to a naturopath or holistic based MD's. I reccomend contacting Dr. Carol Roberts. She may not be able to treat your son but she may have a reccomendation. She has a radio show on 88.5 every other Monday at 11 a.m.. Please consider also that the learning model at your son's school may not fit his learning needs. This is true for many children. Over diagnosing ADHD in today's children is another way of saying that the way we teach our children needs a change. It's clear that they are "wired" differently than their parents and the old way is not working anymore.
One more thought. Consider having hime tested for heavy metals in his blood stream. Toxins like lead and mercury can come from places that you're completely unaware of and wreak havoc on ones health and ability to function. Maybe you could research the symptoms of heavy metal toxicity to see if your son displays any consistent symptoms.

All the best

my daughter is also add/adhd and taking 10 mils of aderall i was going threw the same thing but now that shes on it shes doing better in school and one of the top readers in here class. before she was on it tho she was getting suspened acting evil and everything. my hubby thinks shell be a druggie when she grows up but its not going to last that long. he wants her to go cold turkey i tell him to deal with it thenn. but i can notice the change in her

I have a 11 year old son that has been diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 6yrs old. He has been through all the meds as well. He has had some luck on them and some with no luck. There are days when us as parents are ready to pull our hair out. Because the professionals tell us that we don't know our own children, we don't know what we are talking about. Our children are our lives we live for them. My pediatrician told me that I need to take my son to a physc. theropist to have him retested. I haven't had the money to do it yet. But I am also concerned of what she might say about the whole thing. Will she say it's just in his head or that he may have something really wrong. I hope you all the best wishes in your search with your son. One question does he rock in one place when he watches TV or plays video games? My friends son did that and they told her that he had ADHD. I will keep you in my prayers.

Hey M., check out this website, http://amenclinics.com/bp/atlas/ch12.php
There are several different subtypes of ADD, not all of them respond well to the stimulants, actually makes it worse. ADHD/ADD can co-occur with so many other issues, like learning disabilities & Tourette's (I'm not an expert, but maybe the nervous tic of pulling the hair??) Good luck, I wish the schools would be more helpful, mine is keeping me in the dark about their little "portfolio" process and "team" meetings....I'm the parent for crying out loud!

I just read this post and realize it's almost a year old, but thought I would respond just in case you are still trying to find a better answer of what may be going on with your son. If you don't feel that you have found a answer yet, please call Eric Graffeo...he is an Ocuppational Thyerapist. Ocuppational Thyerapist are GREAT with testing and working with children with these types problems. My son is seeing Eric Graffeo and loves going to see him, it has help so much. My peditrtian did not want to write a prescription for a referrral but I insited and am glad I did!

Eric Graffeo
4902 Creekside Drive, Ste A
Clearwater, FL

You may also want to get the book Sensational Kids to see if helps describe you childs symtoms in anyway. The Out of Sync Child is a great book as well.

I am sorry you are going through this. I do not have any suggestions except that I think you are doing well talking to her and trusting her. My god give you the patience and fortutide you need in this trying time. If you need to talk, I can listen!

It is very possible that he was misdiagnosed. A while ago my son was diagnosed ADHD and Bi-polar. After finally getting to a child phychologist he diagnosed him autistic and discounted the previous diagnosis. As far as meds go that's difficult. I am struggling with too many meds for my son right now. I know that ADHD meds are amphetimines, I know this really concerns me because these can cause psychotic like symptoms in people who are not ADHD. In an ADHD person this generally calms them, however in a normal person it will do the opposite. Hope this helpful.

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