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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) - When To Call a Doctor

Call a doctor if:

  • Your child is showing signs of ADHD that are causing problems at home or school. These signs include inattention, impulsivity, and/or hyperactivity. Parents and teachers often notice this behavior during the child's first few years in school.
  • Your child shows signs of other mental health disorders, such as depression or anxiety, that last more than a few weeks or seem to be getting worse.
  • Your child is having academic or behavioral problems at school.

Ask your doctor about his or her training and experience related to ADHD. The doctor must be able to identify and distinguish behaviors that can be subtle and complicated. Also, make sure that your doctor has enough time to evaluate you or your child. Accurate diagnosis and successful treatment of ADHD takes repeated office visits and observations. Your doctor should also be able to coordinate between other health professionals, family members, teachers, and caregivers.

Recommended Related to ADD-ADHD

ADHD Tests

Medical science has come a long way in its ability to recognize and treat ADHD. Still, there's no single ADHD test available to definitively diagnose this common disorder. Talking with the patient and family members may be the most important diagnostic tool doctors have for ADHD. Through talking, the doctor can learn about the patient's daily moods, behaviors, productivity, and lifestyle habits. A physical exam will show a patient's overall state of health. But the doctor needs to know what specific...

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Who to see

Health professionals who can diagnose and treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with medicine include:

Health professionals who do not prescribe medicines but can provide behavior therapy or family counseling include:

  • Psychologists. Psychologists also frequently diagnose ADHD.
  • Behavioral specialists.
  • Social workers.
  • Psychiatric nurse specialists.
  • Licensed professional counselors.
  • Family therapists.

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 02, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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