The following professionals may be of assistance when making the diagnosis of ADHD:
Psychiatrists are doctors who are trained in the treatment of emotional and behavioral problems. Your child’s doctor may refer you to a psychiatrist in order to determine what is causing your child’s problems. As part of the diagnosing team, they can rule out other disorders that may be causing emotional or behavioral problems such as a conduct disorder or depression.
Pediatric neurologists are specialists in disorders of the nervous system including seizure disorders, cerebral palsy, and tic disorders. As part of the diagnosing team, they can rule out other disorders that may be causing attention problems or hyperactivity such as sleep apnea or hyperthyroidism..
A clinical psychologist has a Ph.D. This person may administer tests to your child to look at how your child learns and behaves. A psychologist may help you learn behavior modification skills to use at home to help with your child’s behavior, as well as give advice about helping your child in the school environment.
Pediatricians and family physicians help determine if any medical conditions are present that may be causing your child’s problems, may diagnose your child with ADHD, or may refer your child to another professional. He or she is often the person who prescribes medication if your child has ADHD and medication is a treatment strategy you decide to try for your child.
In addition to the continuing role of the above healthcare professionals, other specialists can help with the management of associated problems such as behavioral, emotional or life skills deficits resulting from ADHD.
Behavioral consultants help you learn how to manage your child’s behavior at home. If they work with schools, they also give the teacher ideas for behavior modification strategies to use in the classroom.
Counselors help deal with stress sometimes associated with having a child with ADHD. They can help with other emotional problems your child may have.
ADHD Coaches seek to address the daily challenges faced by Adolescents and Adults living with ADHD. A coach helps people with ADHD carry out the practical activities of daily life in an organized, goal-oriented, and timely fashion. Through a close partnership, an ADHD coach helps the client learn practical skills and initiate change in his or her daily life.
[Adapted from: http://help4kidswithadhd.com | used with permission]
Updated: 5 November 2014 by Jeremy Varnham