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ADHD Misdiagnosis Claims

ADHD misdiagnosis can have a serious impact on your child’s life.

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I am very happy and satisfied with the settlement you achieved for me and the service was excellent and thank you very much

Mrs E.Swaffield
Loughborough

Making a claim for ADHD misdiagnosis

If your child was prescribed medication following a diagnosis of ADHD by your doctor but the medication doesn’t seem to have worked, the reason may be that their inattentive, restless or disruptive behaviour is caused by anxiety and not ADHD.

A misdiagnosis of ADHD may happen when the symptoms presented by a patient, who is almost always a young child, may not be fully understood or are not examined more thoroughly. ADHD includes a group of behaviours that may individually be diagnosed as belonging to another type of disorder or be caused by a different reason entirely.  Common childhood phases of behaviour, such as being restless or inattentive, are often completely normal and do not necessarily indicate symptoms of ADHD.

The methods by which ADHD is diagnosed and treated, including the use of particular types of medications prescribed for children, can lead to over-diagnosis, misdiagnosis and a failure to identify and treat the real underlying causes.  Meanwhile, genuine cases of unidentified and untreated ADHD can often continue into adulthood.

You may have good reason to believe that “something was not quite right, somehow” with a doctor’s assessment or strongly feel that your child was incorrectly diagnosed and has not been provided with an expected level of appropriate care.

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As experienced clinical negligence specialists, we know that if you feel you have been let down and your child has not received the appropriate standard of care required to properly diagnose and treat ADHD, you expect to be given an explanation.ADHD misdiagnosis claims team

As experienced clinical negligence specialists, we know that if you feel you have been let down and your child has not received the appropriate standard of care required to properly diagnose and treat ADHD, you expect to be given an explanation.

That’s why we are committed to guiding you through every step of the process. We ensure that your claim is handled carefully and professionally by our specialist solicitors, while working alongside medical experts, to guarantee the best results for you.

Our medical misdiagnosis team is headed by Laura Morgan who has a wealth of experience in leading complicated, high-value diabetes cases.

Laura is recognised within the legal profession as a leader in the field of medical negligence and serious injury compensation. Laura has acted in a wide range of cases over her 17 years of practice and has particular expertise in acting for children who have suffered brain injury due to mismanaged birth or surgical errors, and in managing claims that have resulted in the death of a loved one. Laura has achieved a number of large settlements including £5.4 million for a 7-year-old and £4 million for an 11-year-old child.

Laura’s expertise and dedication to her clients is recognised in the Chambers guide to the Legal Profession in which she was praised for the efficiency of her approach to case handling and described as “tenacious and detail-oriented”.

Laura has been a member of the Law Society Clinical Negligence Panel since 2005 and accredited as a Senior Litigator in the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) since 2006. Laura is also a member of the specialist lawyers panel for Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA), the UK’s leading charity committed to patient safety and justice.

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The effects of medical negligence can be devastating for the individual and their families, so securing appropriate compensation for them as quickly as possible is our top priority.

Laura Morgan

Director of Medical Negligence

What our customers say

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“I found the staff to be friendly, helpful, courteous and they kept me well informed on a regular basis”

Mrs. Vora,
Loughborough

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“They acted in a sympathetic and professional manner and resolved my case very efficiently”

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Leeds

  For a confidential chat, call one of our experts today 0151 550 5228

10 simple steps to claim

Step
1
Obtaining your medical records
Step
2
Providing your statement of what happened
Step
3
Minimising your loss
Step
4
Establishing that a breach of duty occurred
Step
5
Estabilishing the effect of the breach of duty
Step
86
Preparing your case for CourtCalculating the value of your claim
Step
7
Proving your loss
Step
68
Calculating the value of your claimPreparing your case for Court
Step
9
Attending the trial in Court
Step
10
Awarding your compensation claim

Your questions... answered

What is ADHD?

ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and can occur in people of any intellectual ability.

It is completely normal for children, especially those who are very young, to have shorter attention spans than adults, although some children can have greater difficulty in focusing than others. 

The symptom of inattention is often first observed at school as daydreaming, being easily distracted or having difficulty following directions and completing tasks or assignments.

However, there can be many other explanations for a child’s inattention, such as not getting on with the teacher, worry or anxiety over something that’s happening at home, or being bullied in the playground.

Girls often have a form of ADHD with less noticeable symptoms relating to problems of paying attention rather than hyperactivity.

Main symptoms of ADHD are:

  • Restlessness
  • Constant fidgeting
  • Being easily distracted
  • A short attention span
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Impulsiveness
  • Overactivity

Other common symptoms:

  • Non-compliant behaviour such as:
    • Mood swings
    • Aggression
    • Temper tantrums
  • Unpopularity with others
  • Anxiety - motor tics
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Clumsiness
  • Immature language
  • Literacy and other learning problems
Read less

What causes ADHD?

Runs in the family

The exact cause of ADHD is unknown, but the condition can be hereditary. Both parents, brothers or sisters of a child with ADHD are four to five times more likely to have suffered ADHD themselves.

Brain function

Certain areas of the brain may either be smaller or larger and may take an average of two to three years longer to mature in children with ADHD. An imbalance in the level of chemicals in the brain can mean that the brand does not function properly.

Other potential factors could include:

  • Premature birth (before 37 weeks)
  • Low birth weight
  • Smoking, alcohol or drug abuse during pregnancy

What are the stages of ADHD?

Most cases of ADHD are diagnosed in children between the ages of 6 and 12 but the condition can appear in different ways at different ages as the child grows and the need to develop ‘social’ self-control increases, for example, when starting school.

The symptom of inattention may reduce and the attention span usually increases with age but the condition may still be apparent in varying degrees throughout adult life.

Pre-school - incessant and demanding extremes of ‘hyper’ activity

School years - excessive movements in response to every situation

Adolescence - excessive fidgeting rather than ‘whole body’ movement’

Adult life - a sustained inner sense of restlessness.

How can ADHD be misdiagnosed?

Misdiagnosis of ADHD can often be traced to the following causes:

A wider definition of the condition in doctor’s guidelines leading to misinterpreted symptoms. The term ADHD has been applied to an expanding collection of behavioural problems linked to poor attention span, including impulsiveness, restlessness and hyperactivity.

Born either just before or after the cut-off date for the first year of school. Being up to 12 months younger than the oldest children in the class can mean that a child’s inattention or misbehaviour can be mistaken for hyperactivity by teaching staff.

Other common misdiagnoses:

  • Autism - behaviours may be identical to the hyperactivity and social development issues common in ADHD children.
  • Sensory Processing Disorders - can produce symptoms similar to ADHD, such as a difficulty in paying attention, especially if the child feels overwhelmed, sensory oversensitivity, fluctuating from one activity to the next.
  • Hearing problems - young children unable to fully express themselves and with hearing impairments find it difficult to pay attention because of their inability to hear properly.
  • Low blood sugar levels – identical to the symptoms of ADHD - may cause aggression, hyperactivity, the inability to sit still or concentrate.
Read less

What are the differences between ADHD and Bipolar Disorder?

Differentiating between the shared symptoms of ADHD and bipolar mood disorder can be extremely difficult and could also lead to a misdiagnosis.

ADHD affects attention and behaviour - inattention, distractibility, impulsiveness, and/or physical restlessness.

  • lifelong condition beginning before age 7
  • a chronic condition
  • affected by sensory overstimulation
  • moods quickly come and go, often within 20 to 30 minutes
  • behaviour is accidental

Bipolar disorder primarily affects mood - exaggerated shifts in mood, energy, thinking, and behaviour—from manic highs to extreme, depressive lows.

  • bipolar disorder tends to develop after age 18
  • occurs in episodes
  • affected by disciplinary actions and conflict with authority figures
  • unexplained mood shifts can last for hours or days
  • behaviour is used to cause conflict
Read less

How common is ADHD?

The causes of behaviour in young children can be complicated.  Often they display phases where they are restless or inattentive, which is completely normal and does not necessarily mean your child has ADHD.

Where there have been concerns raised over behaviour that appears to be different to most children of their age, a doctor may not have made a thorough enough assessment. A misdiagnosis may have also led to a wrongly prescribed medication.

  • An estimated 1.7 million people are thought to suffer from ADHD – it’s the most common behavioural disorder in the UK 
  • More than 850,000 prescriptions were dispensed for medicines to treat ADHD in England and Wales in 2010.
  • The use of drugs to treat ADHD, such as Ritalin, increased by 50% over a six-year period in the UK
  • Between 2–7% of school children and young people are believed to have ADHD
  • Childhood ADHD is more commonly diagnosed in boys than girls.

ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and can occur in people of any intellectual ability.

It is completely normal for children, especially those who are very young, to have shorter attention spans than adults, although some children can have greater difficulty in focusing than others. 

The symptom of inattention is often first observed at school as daydreaming, being easily distracted or having difficulty following directions and completing tasks or assignments.

However, there can be many other explanations for a child’s inattention, such as not getting on with the teacher, worry or anxiety over something that’s happening at home, or being bullied in the playground.

Girls often have a form of ADHD with less noticeable symptoms relating to problems of paying attention rather than hyperactivity.

Main symptoms of ADHD are:

  • Restlessness
  • Constant fidgeting
  • Being easily distracted
  • A short attention span
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Impulsiveness
  • Overactivity

Other common symptoms:

  • Non-compliant behaviour such as:
    • Mood swings
    • Aggression
    • Temper tantrums
  • Unpopularity with others
  • Anxiety - motor tics
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Clumsiness
  • Immature language
  • Literacy and other learning problems
Read less

Runs in the family

The exact cause of ADHD is unknown, but the condition can be hereditary. Both parents, brothers or sisters of a child with ADHD are four to five times more likely to have suffered ADHD themselves.

Brain function

Certain areas of the brain may either be smaller or larger and may take an average of two to three years longer to mature in children with ADHD. An imbalance in the level of chemicals in the brain can mean that the brand does not function properly.

Other potential factors could include:

  • Premature birth (before 37 weeks)
  • Low birth weight
  • Smoking, alcohol or drug abuse during pregnancy

Most cases of ADHD are diagnosed in children between the ages of 6 and 12 but the condition can appear in different ways at different ages as the child grows and the need to develop ‘social’ self-control increases, for example, when starting school.

The symptom of inattention may reduce and the attention span usually increases with age but the condition may still be apparent in varying degrees throughout adult life.

Pre-school - incessant and demanding extremes of ‘hyper’ activity

School years - excessive movements in response to every situation

Adolescence - excessive fidgeting rather than ‘whole body’ movement’

Adult life - a sustained inner sense of restlessness.

Misdiagnosis of ADHD can often be traced to the following causes:

A wider definition of the condition in doctor’s guidelines leading to misinterpreted symptoms. The term ADHD has been applied to an expanding collection of behavioural problems linked to poor attention span, including impulsiveness, restlessness and hyperactivity.

Born either just before or after the cut-off date for the first year of school. Being up to 12 months younger than the oldest children in the class can mean that a child’s inattention or misbehaviour can be mistaken for hyperactivity by teaching staff.

Other common misdiagnoses:

  • Autism - behaviours may be identical to the hyperactivity and social development issues common in ADHD children.
  • Sensory Processing Disorders - can produce symptoms similar to ADHD, such as a difficulty in paying attention, especially if the child feels overwhelmed, sensory oversensitivity, fluctuating from one activity to the next.
  • Hearing problems - young children unable to fully express themselves and with hearing impairments find it difficult to pay attention because of their inability to hear properly.
  • Low blood sugar levels – identical to the symptoms of ADHD - may cause aggression, hyperactivity, the inability to sit still or concentrate.
Read less

Differentiating between the shared symptoms of ADHD and bipolar mood disorder can be extremely difficult and could also lead to a misdiagnosis.

ADHD affects attention and behaviour - inattention, distractibility, impulsiveness, and/or physical restlessness.

  • lifelong condition beginning before age 7
  • a chronic condition
  • affected by sensory overstimulation
  • moods quickly come and go, often within 20 to 30 minutes
  • behaviour is accidental

Bipolar disorder primarily affects mood - exaggerated shifts in mood, energy, thinking, and behaviour—from manic highs to extreme, depressive lows.

  • bipolar disorder tends to develop after age 18
  • occurs in episodes
  • affected by disciplinary actions and conflict with authority figures
  • unexplained mood shifts can last for hours or days
  • behaviour is used to cause conflict
Read less

The causes of behaviour in young children can be complicated.  Often they display phases where they are restless or inattentive, which is completely normal and does not necessarily mean your child has ADHD.

Where there have been concerns raised over behaviour that appears to be different to most children of their age, a doctor may not have made a thorough enough assessment. A misdiagnosis may have also led to a wrongly prescribed medication.

  • An estimated 1.7 million people are thought to suffer from ADHD – it’s the most common behavioural disorder in the UK 
  • More than 850,000 prescriptions were dispensed for medicines to treat ADHD in England and Wales in 2010.
  • The use of drugs to treat ADHD, such as Ritalin, increased by 50% over a six-year period in the UK
  • Between 2–7% of school children and young people are believed to have ADHD
  • Childhood ADHD is more commonly diagnosed in boys than girls.