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How does a child and adolescent psychiatrist help young people with ADHD?

A child and adolescent psychiatrist is a medical doctor who offers both medical and mental health treatment services for young people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A child and adolescent psychiatrist begins training by completing four years of medical school. Then, they continue with specialized medical and psychiatric residency education for at least three years. To complete their training as a child or adolescent psychiatrist, they must spend two years working with young children, adolescents, teenagers, and their families in a child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship or residency.

During these years of education, many child and adolescent psychiatrists are trained in diagnosing and treating ADHD. Child and adolescent psychiatrists offer the full range of ADHD treatments, since they can prescribe medications and recommend behavioral therapies.
Joseph A. Shrand, MD
Adolescent Medicine

A kid with ADHD can often seem to be oppositional but they may actually be oblivious. This is an important distinction to make for parents and teachers. ADHD kids may have every intention of taking out the garbage or getting their homework done. But on the way to get the job finished they may get distracted by, well, by the world. This can seem like NOT doing things on purpose, but it is really just getting distracted.

A child psychiatrist works with parents, kids, teachers, etc. to help the kid get things done. No one wants to feel like a failure, but ADHD kids often do, because they are smart enough to get the work done but just can't stay focused long enough to do it. Behavioral strategies and often medication help the kids, and those around them, feel more successful. And that's a good thing!

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
A child and adolescent (teen) psychiatrist or developmental pediatrician is specifically trained to work with kids and teens. They are tuned into techniques and strategies that work well for this age group. In the case of young people with ADHD, child and adolescent psychiatrists and developmental pediatricians can help young people with ADHD learn strategies to adjust their behavior, coping techniques, and important social skills (like not yelling at their parents after they ask you to pick your clothes up off the floor!). In addition, they provide an opportunity for kids and teens to talk about the pressures and difficulties they are experiencing and effective ways to tackle and cope with them.

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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.