Misdiagnosing learning challenges

The misdiagnoses of language and learning challenges in young people are common.

Often children and teens with language and learning challenges are misdiagnosed. For example, a writing disorder diagnosis may fail to address problems with oral language. Some children have problems with written and oral language, but if a speech pathologist isn’t part of the evaluation process or if the speech pathologist is not familiar with evaluating children with high level language abilities, a misdiagnoses may result. The misdiagnoses of language and learning challenges in young people are common.

ADHD is another common misdiagnosis in young people with inattentive behavior. This diagnosis may not take in to account other language and learning problems that result in inattentive type behavior. Inattentive behavior can be the result of emotional distress caused by social challenges or problems learning to read caused by difficulty decoding information. Many factors can result in a child being inattentive.  The key to a successful diagnosis is a comprehensive evaluation that takes a holistic approach, in addition to ongoing assessments.

From inattention to disruptive behavior, many symptoms have multiple causes, leading to mistakes when kids aren’t carefully assessed.  The Most Common Misdiagnoses in Children is an article from the Child Mind Institute that provides in-depth information on this topic.