Misdiagnosis of ADD and ADHD
Symptoms that seem like ADD and ADHD may actually be unrelated. If a child seems exhausted, Dr. Lippitt says he may just need to have his tonsils or adenoids removed, which can trigger sleep apnea if overlooked. "Sleep apnea causes you to pause during the night in your breathing and then do catchup breathing so you're having these little mini-wake-ups during the night," she says. In addition to looking tired, a child struggling with this inconsistent sleep cycle may either be wound up or staring into space, both of which are classic symptons of ADD and ADHD.
Many children who suffer from Asperger's syndrome may also go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed—often as having ADHD—until late into their childhood. "These children are usually able to function in the lower grades and then fall apart when they reach junior high," Lyndsay says.
Treating childhood anxiety