Diagnostic complications

The diagnosis of ADHD can be complicated by the fact that a number of other conditions and factors can give rise to ADHD-like symptoms, and this may even lead to misdiagnosis. Sleep and breathing disorders such as snoring and apnea have been shown to be linked to ADHD symptoms. (Click here for report)

Brain damage, such as that caused by toxins (lead from paint) or cerebral palsy, can produce very similar symptoms to ADHD.

People with ADHD can also suffer from mental illness, depression, anxiety or bi-polar disorder, which can themselves produce symptoms such as inattention, hyperactivity and problems with impulse control.

Dyslexia and other learning difficulties may accompany ADHD, but may also be misdiagnosed as ADHD.

The boredom and inattention seen in those with ADHD can also be demonstrated by highly intelligent children, although ADHD can affect children with any level of IQ.

Food and chemical allergies and sensitivities can cause ADHD-like symptoms in anyone, whether or not they have ADHD. They can also exacerbate the symptoms of those who do have ADHD, who may be sensitive to particular substances.

Certain parenting styles, as well as abuse, may cause otherwise normal children to react with behaviours similar to those of ADHD. It is also true that few parents are equipped to deal properly with an ADHD child and many need professional help in order to avoid making the problem worse.

First Published in 2007

Click here for more research reports on the causes of ADHD


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