Under what circumstances can an ADHD diagnosis be missed?

Why An ADHD Diagnosis Sometimes Comes Later

Not everyone receives ADHD as a diagnosis in child, often because they don’t display the symptoms of the hyperactive presentation. J. Faye Dixon, PhD, says when difficulties arise later, as a young adult or in adulthood, individuals and their medical professionals take a second look and find the underlying ADHD has been the cause of their struggles.

Transcription follows this 2:53 minute video

Lightly Edited Transcription

ADHD Awareness Month
Reframing ADHD
Discovering New Perspectives

Sometimes there is a confusion about the symptoms and how the symptoms are displayed, particularly when someone as a child is very bright, inquisitive, seems to be doing well in school.

There is a tendency to, you know, put aside or not pay as much attention to symptoms like inattention, distractibility, difficulty completing work – more of what we think of as the inattentive symptoms.

Because typically in childhood, if someone has more of the hyperactive, impulsive, restless symptoms, those typically get noticed, you know, often by parents and certainly by teachers at school.

But when people have more of what we call an inattentive presentation – that is, they struggle with attention, distractibility, you know, disorganization – those may not be immediately come to someone’s mind as like, Oh, this could be ADHD, especially if a child is doing well in school, you know, doing fine in sports or with social relationships.

And then as those symptoms continue on into adolescence and perhaps into early adulthood, you know, university or work, then someone may think, Oh, there might be something else going on here.

About the Speaker

J. Faye DIxon

J. Faye Dixon, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist and Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at UC Davis. She has a long history of work in child psychopathology, specifically the areas of depression, anxiety, PTSD, ADHD and learning differences in children. Currently, Dr. Dixon is the director of clinical management and community outreach for the AIR (Attention, Impulsivity & Regulation) Lab. She is responsible the clinical and diagnostic fidelity of the AIR Lab research. She also has spent many years educating and training psychology graduate students, interns, and post-doctoral fellows as well as medical students, residents and child psychiatry fellows.