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What professionals should be involved in ADHD treatment?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Medicine
Several different types of healthcare professionals treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but only some of them can prescribe medications for the condition. In fact, each specialist who treats ADHD may have a certain preferred way of treating the disorder. Nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and physicians are able to prescribe medications, and may use that line of treatment first. Psychologists and licensed counselors are trained to provide behavioral therapies for ADHD and may emphasize those specific types of treatments. You may even choose to see more than one specialist for ADHD treatment, receiving your prescription medications from a physician and behavior treatments from a therapist. This is known as multimodal treatment.
Diagnosis and treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) should be a team effort. Here's who might participate:
  • Doctor (primary care doctor, psychiatrist, neurologist, or other)
  • Care manager (person who can connect you to resources and help coordinate and reinforce treatment)
  • Family members (parents or spouses)
  • Teachers, school staff, coaches, and other key people in your child's life
  • Community resources, such as CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness)
  • Mental health specialist (counselor, therapist, school psychologist, or other)
As you put together a team for yourself or your child, keep in mind that you are the most important person on the team. You're in the best position to help make sure that treatments are working well together. Stay in touch with your care team. Let them know what's working and what isn't.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.