One in five parents of children with ADHD have been urged by their school to seek a different diagnosis as a means to gain funding for teacher’s aides and other support for their child at school.

Teachers are pushing families of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to try to obtain a diagnosis with better support in the school system – mainly autism, but also oppositional defiance disorder (ODD) or extreme anxiety. The national survey of 1184 parents of children with ADHD found 21 per cent had experienced pressure for “escalated diagnosis”.

ADHD Australia president Michael Kohn said schools were “looking for the phrase that pays”.

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