Misdiagnosis of ADHD and Behavioral Problems Just As Bad As Not Diagnosing Them

by | Dec 27, 2023 | Educational News, Featured

Misdiagnoses can keep a child from succeeding. A proper assessment can uncover what is holding a child back and provide the course of treatment to correct problems. Like hundreds of thousands of U.S. kids, Greenwich 7th grader “John” had an elementary school teacher who requested he get tested for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. A visit to the pediatrician resulted in a prescription of Ritalin for John that grew over time to 70 milligrams per day. While taking the medication, John saw no improvement – his fidgeting didn’t stop and he continued to struggle with focus and academic issues.Six months ago, John’s mother requested a second opinion from Peter Riddle, a learning specialist of 37 years, and Dr. Richard Reutter, a nationally recognized developmental pediatrician. Riddle and Dr. Reutter are co-founders of Empowered Learning Transformation Centers (ELTC). John’s mother wanted a more thorough diagnosis of his ADHD and a deeper assessment of his fidgeting and lack of focus “symptoms.”

Riddle and Dr. Reutter used a brain wave measurement tool, Neurolex℠ QEEG (quantitative electroencephalogram), in combination with their own professional assessments to perform an in-depth and accurate evaluation of John. Neurolex℠ is the first FDA-approved, objective, non-invasive, physiological diagnostic tool for assessing ADHD quickly and accurately – with a reliability of 96%.

It was found that John did not suffer from ADHD. In fact, John’s actual disorder was a condition known as Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), which caused John to experience high levels of stress and underdeveloped sensory motor and visual processing skills. Today John is an independent learner without the need for medication thanks to the Empowered Learning Transformation program.

“We have expertly diagnosed more than 5,000 children and adults with our 60-minute assessment, and have helped more than 1000 children transition off medication. The biggest problem I see facing kids and parents today is misdiagnosing a disorder, even more so than not diagnosing it,” said Mr. Riddle. “Too many kids are mislabeled and poorly diagnosed, ending up in a cycle that leaves them untreated or improperly medicated, helpless, unable to perform and stigmatized. There’s hope for families that are looking for a measurable, effective approach that doesn’t involve medication and enables kids to learn, focus and function at their best in school, socially, athletically and in later years, professionally.”

Research and developments in neurology over the last 30 years showing the brain is not static but can be rewired (neuroplasticity) has validated the ELTC approach to effectively “rewiring” the brain by increasing and strengthening the neural pathways that affect an individual’s ability to learn.

Most students experience learning losses over the summer as they are rarely engaged with educational activities. Every fall, this results in lost instruction time because of the need to reteach several skills and/or topics. ELTC’s programs, available year-round, are complementary to classroom instruction and keep students engaged.