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.
Who to see
Health professionals who can diagnose and treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with medicine include:
- Family medicine doctors.
- Pediatricians (may specialize in developmental problems).
- Psychiatrists (may specialize in adults or children and adolescents).
- Neurologists (may specialize in child or adult nervous systems).
- Nurse practitioners who specialize in psychiatry or pediatrics.
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.