A study conducted in Canada revealed that primary care physicians were often able to accurately identify patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), with the diagnosis being validated by an ADD specialist if additional testing was conducted by another doctor. The study goes on to state that ADD is one of the few conditions that are routinely diagnosed and managed by primary care physicians. This stands in contrast to the fact that ADHD is frequently misdiagnosed in order to save money for insurance companies, with many cases being ultimately labeled as childhood diabetes or undiagnosed cardiac disease.
Effects of ADHD
Many families find it difficult to determine whether their child has ADHD or not. Some children with ADHD may present with academic success, while others struggle with disruptive behavior. As mentioned, primary care physicians are usually able to properly identify ADHD, especially in cases where the symptoms have been presenting for more than six months. However, families may not wish to wait for more definitive testing, which is what specialized doctors offer. In most instances, the primary care physician can refer the patient to a specialist for further testing.
Most primary care physicians had some formal training in ADHD, which usually includes a year of college, followed by a three to four year specialty training at a medical college or university. Once a doctor becomes certified by the American Academy of Pediatric Pediatricians (AAP), he or she is allowed to dispense ADHD treatment in the form of prescription medications. ADHD doctors are also trained in the special needs field, which encompasses a range of other illnesses and disorders that affect children. Many of which are quite similar to ADHD, so that it makes sense to use the services of an ADHD specialist when possible.
The primary objective of an ADHD specialist is to diagnose and treat the disorder. In order to do this, they must perform a comprehensive examination to rule out other possible conditions such as allergies, food allergies, mental illnesses, or glandular issues. Next, the doctor will interview the patient, often one-on-one, and review all of the patients’ medical records. Finally, the doctor will administer diagnostic tests to rule out any other conditions that could have caused the symptoms displayed by the patient.
One of the key goals of an ADHD specialist is to ensure that the right medication is prescribed for the patient. This may require a lengthy process, but it is worth it in order to manage symptoms effectively. The medication most often prescribed by these specialists is stimulant medication. While it has been proven effective at reducing the symptoms of ADHD, there are concerns about its potential abuse, particularly among teens and children who already show signs of substance abuse.
Unfortunately, an ADHD specialist cannot make an accurate diagnosis of ADHD without psychological evaluations as well. Typically, children are diagnosed with ADHD if their behavior is inappropriate or there are other indicators present such as irritability, lack of concentration, and hyperactivity. A mental health professional such as a school psychologist or a licensed social worker will conduct psychological evaluations in order to confirm that a child is indeed suffering from ADHD and not another disorder. The results of these psychological evaluations are not always accurate, however, and the diagnosing process can be frustrating for parents and for the doctors.
Unfortunately, not every adult with ADHD is diagnosed and treated properly. Since many of the symptoms of ADHD can be successfully managed with therapy, medications, and behavioral modification, it can be difficult to determine whether or not an adult has ADHD. That is why an ADHD specialist is critical when making the diagnosis. Even though it’s very common, not every adult with ADHD is correctly diagnosed and treated.
In order for an ADHD specialist to make an accurate diagnosis, he or she will also do a physical evaluation as well. During this evaluation, blood and urine tests will be conducted to check for the presence of any signs of physical problems that can indicate the presence of ADHD. If there are no physical problems, then a thorough assessment of the person’s medical history will be conducted. This is especially important if there is a possibility that the symptoms of ADHD are caused by another illness.
Psychiatric nurse practitioners
A psychiatric nurse practitioner is a registered nurse who has advanced education and training at doctoral level. They are also licensed and certified by the state in which they studied and practiced. They can provide a medical diagnosis and other therapeutic practices. Nurse practitioners who are licensed are able to diagnose ADHD and can prescribe medication to treat this condition.
How To Find The Right Specialist
It is important to find a specialist that you and your child will be comfortable with. It might take some time and effort before you will find the adhd specialist. To get started, you can start asking your primary doctor that they would recommend. You can also ask other parents of children with ADHD, or ask your child’s teacher for recommendations.
Another thing you can do is to call your health insurance company to learn if they have an ADHD specialist in mind. If you find a prospect specialist you can ask them questions. For examples, ask them:
- How much experience do you have in treating kids and adults with ADHD?
- What are their methods and steps in treating ADHD?
- What is the process for making appointments?
You might need to try a different way before finding a right specialist fit for your needs. You need to find someone that you and your child will fully trust and talk comfortably. If you see your child is having difficulty being open to the specialist you choose, you can always try another specialist.
If you would like some further guidance and support on managing your ADHD, then you should contact your local experienced ADHD specialist for an ADHD Online Assessment to improve your understanding of the disorder and to know what treatment method is fit for you or them.