How to effectively choose a Specialist for a child with ADHD

Stressed Out Primary Girl Child Holding Her Head

If your child has ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), they might face many challenges, including problems in social and school settings. While all-inclusive treatment is paramount, you might also be required to find a specialist with whom both you and your son/daughter are comfortable around. It might take trial and error and research before finding the right professional. Here is a guide on how to choose the right specialist. 

Starting point

Typically, parents begin with their primary medical experts. It could be their family doctors, nurse, or pediatrician. While some pediatricians are trained in development and behavior, others have special interests in the field. However, not every medic who spends their time assessing children has ideas of a range of normal and categories in the range.

If you have expressed your concern about the minor to the pediatrician and the expert has listened attentively, interacted with the baby, and examined them, but isn’t alarmed, know all is well. However, it is not a guarantee; it is difficult telling whether your child is different, especially if they are your first baby.

If you trust your medical practitioner, you could let it rest for a couple of months. There isn’t probably an ADHD test for children that the expert should do immediately to get an answer. Please note, this does not include children with hearing impairment, seizures, or classic autism. Children with significant medical or psychiatric disorders should be treated as soon as possible.

Find an experienced specialist 

Suppose your pediatrician keeps saying all is well. In that case, you need to ask for a referral to an expert in child behavior and development, so a specialist could fully analyze the child. Some of the specialists you can consult with include:

  • Psychologist
  • Psychiatrist
  • Psychiatrist nurse practitioner
  • Social worker
  • Speech-language pathologist

Depending mainly on your health coverage and financial status, you might prefer to find a clinic or an expert and book your appointment. If the insurance provider needs the primary pediatrician’s referral, remember you are entitled to acquire it.

One of the most reliable places to look at is renowned university medical centers or your local children’s health facility. Many metro areas have a least one of these. 

If you want recommendations to a specific professional and your primary pediatrician doesn’t or cannot offer one that meets your needs, try networking. You can inquire from:

  • Officials at the child’s school
  • A person you trust and well-versed with developmental challenges 
  • A parent to a child with learning differences 

It will not take long before discovering there is a lot of help out there. Several categories of experts with diverse training, assessment tools, and orientation can provide you with a wide range of information.

Another good place to start is a school evaluation.

After getting a list of experts, it is your responsibility to monitor and assess the information provided and decide when to examine more and when to stop.

Understand what the specialist has to offer

Ask your specialists to see their area of expertise and qualifications. It is crucial to know who you are working with.

Even when you are unsure how to use your expert’s background alongside any advice given and your assessment, consider consulting with your pediatrician.

Talk, address your concern, and take notes

Most parents cannot and do not get answers to their questions by experts evaluating their children. Sometimes it occurs because more tests need to be done, or the evaluating experts should have a discussion first.  However, you should return home knowing how and when you will have the assessment results.

A specialist who has spent time with the child should tell you of their observation or reaction. Tell the evaluator that you would like to have some time to know the result at the session’s end. Remember to take your notes. You might be tensed, and it might not be easy remembering what you heard. Request to have medical terms and phrases explained. If your specialist conducted a comprehensive multi-specialty analysis, book another appointment to discuss your child’s results.

Have a notebook

With time, you will have questions, significant observations, and ideas for more therapy or assessment. Write them down in your notebook. Remember to include the professionals you consulted with, any ADHD test for children conducted, and information provided.

Additionally, write down:

  • Telephone numbers of experts and programs you acquire from your family, friends, or other parents
  • Contact information of specialists that are not helpful at the moment but might in the future

Your notebook will assist you monitor both your understanding and your son/daughter. It will assist you in using time with your medical professionals asking your questions.

Trust your instincts

While you should be open-minded when selecting a specialist, you should be skeptical if your child has ADHD. If a specialist says something which doesn’t fit the minor’s sense, be objective. Forget it if it is nonsense. Please do not allow a person who cannot answer your questions to satisfaction have a relationship with the child, notwithstanding how grand their reception room or degrees are.

Be cautious of clinics and specialists who give almost everyone a diagnosis

If you’re keen, you will find a specialist who will label the baby- probably because it is the label that all persons get at the facility. Be careful of labels with recommendations for high-end therapists. Do not allow any person to benefit from the zeal to help the minor child. 

While most specialists you will meet when looking for ADHD diagnosis and assessment are honorable, that is not always the case. Therefore, you should discuss the recommendations with your primary pediatrician or get a second opinion. While you might incur costs for the service, it could be a valuable method to get the information you require to make an informed decision. 

With much said and done, do not forget the purpose of selecting a specialist if your child has ADHD is not getting the correct answer to the medical examination, label, or name. It is helping your son or daughter and assisting you to help a loved one. Therefore, if you are not confident with your choice, speak with your primary health-care provider about your concerns.

Sara Anderson is the head of content for the Mango Clinic, a medical clinic that provides world-class health care services. She has been associated with the healthcare industry for 5+ years and specializes in health care and medical content.