ADHD Diagnosis and Treatment
ADHD is a mental health disorder that causes difficulties with focus, hyperactivity or impulsivity. Doctors use various criteria to make the diagnosis.
To qualify, symptoms must occur prior to age 12 and persist for six months. Furthermore, these must have an impact on your child’s daily life as well as their schoolwork.
The initial step in treating your child’s symptoms is to make an appointment with their general practitioner or paediatrician. They will perform a physical exam to rule out any underlying medical conditions that could be contributing to the symptoms.
They will then interact with both you and your child to uncover what is causing the symptoms. Your GP may ask that you fill out a checklist outlining all of the behavior they have observed, while also speaking with your child’s teacher about what they have observed.
Your doctor will also review your child’s behavioral history to identify any underlying issues that are contributing to the symptoms. They may refer you to a specialist in this area if necessary.
Your doctor and you will collaborate to decide the most effective treatment plan. This could include medication, therapy or lifestyle modifications depending on how severe your symptoms are and if they are caused by another underlying condition like depression or anxiety. The type of therapy your doctor recommends depends on the severity of your symptoms as well as if there’s evidence to support that a particular approach would help alleviate them.
The aim of any good diagnostic evaluation is to help you find a treatment that works for your family. Often this entails working with multiple professionals such as psychologists or psychiatrists or attending an ADHD support group. When selecting a professional with extensive expertise in ADHD, ask your doctor for recommendations or call the local chapter of NAMI or CHADD for names of local ADHD specialists.