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3 Truly Terrible (and Common) Ways to Diagnose ADHD

Too often, doctors diagnose ADHD without considering all of the symptoms and other conditions that may cause them. Here's what you need to know to avoid a bad ADHD diagnosis for your child or yourself.

1 Comment: 3 Truly Terrible (and Common) Ways to Diagnose ADHD

  1. This article by Dr. Larry Silver, M.D., is one of the most disappointing articles I have read on this forum. The website is a wonderful resource and these arguments are terribly unreasonable. I am a psychologist, by trade, living in Nebraska. I am from California and have lived in five different states for training and practice. Dr. Silver’s first mistake with “Mistake #1” is not having confirmation that “Fred’s” first and second grade teachers provided the historical context with symptoms of ADHD. Teachers are not often given the training needed to identify ADHD in the classroom. They have far too many tasks to focus on as it is and I hope this changes down the line without burdening teachers. Also, “guess what…?” We all have beliefs and I do too. But, just because we have beliefs, doesn’t mean they are grounded in reality. Medication for ADHD is first in terms of treatment of ADHD and psychotherapy is second. Psychotherapy *with* medication management is better than medication management alone. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like the idea of hurling pills at people. Next up, learning disorders are comorbidities with ADHD. Dr. Silver refutes his point in “Mistake #3.” If ADHD is in part a processing disorder, then we are not on the same page. There is a problem with processing information and reading comprehension with ADHD. While I’m glad “Fred is doing better,” Dr. Silver’s narratives in this blog are anecdotal at best. This is not a randomized control trial. There are lies, damned lies, statistics, *and* in my clinical experience. Mistake #2: Relying on Inconclusive Evidence is interesting because the psychologist spent more time with Alicia than a Diagnostic Interview. The psychologist likely administered the TOVA his or her or themself. This is observational beyond the test itself. History is important. An evaluator not taking a developmental history is a serious problem. Divorce is a disruption to development and attachment of youngsters, but attachment is not really holding up, research-wise. Who was there to track Marie’s behavior and difficulties prior to the attachment/trauma disruption? Dr. Larry’s argument is pretty staunch without conclusive feedback on the other side of matters. Virginia’s presentation is actually all possible. If a medical provider is overly worried about prescribing a controlled substance that is skewing the argument, then the argument is questionable. I have diagnosed OCD and ADHD on similar evaluations for clients. They do co-occur, at times. Riddle me this…how does one not have anxiety, depression, and sometimes compensatory OCD as shadow disorders to ADHD…? Hmm. ADHD does co-occur with other disorders. And, I’m thrilled Virginia made her way with her diagnoses. While I can’t speak for Dr. Russell A. Barkely, Ph.D., a gentleman who taught in a school of psychiatry, as a professor of mind, behavior, and mental processes (i.e., psychology), I think he would not be onboard with these arguments.

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