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What should I do if I think my child may have ADHD?

Because the diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is unreliable and because the symptoms overlap with so many other diagnoses (such as depression, anxiety, and Asperger's disorder), I now recommend that a child receive twelve sessions of therapy before getting an assessment of ADHD. In this way, the clinician and family can work to reduce the symptoms of stress and be able to determine what is really a brain difference and what is really the behavior of a young child coping with stressors or other clinical problems. This can prevent the assignment of a label of ADHD, which can follow a child into adulthood and throughout his life. It is also important to keep in mind that ADHD is not an either/or condition like pregnancy (either you are pregnant or you are not). Many clinicians agree that ADHD exists on a continuum and many people have some of the ADHD symptoms some of the time.
The Gift of ADHD: How to Transform Your Child's Problems into Strengths

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The Gift of ADHD: How to Transform Your Child's Problems into Strengths

As a parent, you already know that your child has many gifts. What you may not know is that attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) related symptoms—the very qualities that lead him or her...
Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Medicine
If you think that your child has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), talk to his doctor. Pediatricians can guide you in ADHD diagnosis and treatment options. If you are unsure about whether you should seek help or not, consider the following: Young people with ADHD often struggle in school, especially if they do not get treated early on. They also struggle socially. Children with ADHD may be more likely to have mental health problems than other children. They may also abuse drugs and alcohol at higher rates.

These are situations that you will want your child to avoid. If you feel that your child needs help, get advice from experts. Early diagnosis and treatment may help your child avoid some serious problems later in life.
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Talk to his doctor or an ADHD specialist.

Pediatricians can guide you in ADHD diagnosis and treatment options.

Children with the inappropriate inattention of ADHD may be more likely to have mental health problems than other children, so the earlier they get diagnosed, the better. It may help them avoid some serious problems later in life. Not to mention, it may improve your relationship with your child, your spouse, and your child’s teachers.

Begin by mentioning your concerns about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to your family doctor. He or she may refer you to a specialist. Be prepared with information about your child's symptoms and behaviors and any health conditions or medications. You also may want to speak with your child's teacher or day-care provider before your visit.

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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.