Have Mental Health Questions? Ask a Psychiatrist Online
Hello, I am here for you and am happy to answer your questions.
Would you like to list them or go one by one?
Thank you for your time. I could go one by one if that is easier.
My pleasure. Okay, what is your first question?
Can you brief description of the process it takes to diagnose a child with Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Disorder?
Almost always, there will teachers and parents will report symptoms. Then the child will be taken to a pediatrician for evaluation. Sometimes they will be referred to a psychologist or child psychiatrist, but not often. In the normal course it is the pediatrician who makes the diagnosis and treats childhood ADHD. There is a standard screening test for Adult ADHD.
There has been an increase of ADHD in children, what has your experience taught you that might explain the increase?
First, let me add to mye first response. There is no screening test for childhood ADHD, it it assessed by observation and feedback from parents and teachers. Just wanted to be clear.
In my experience, I have seen children misdiagnosed with ADHD when they are actually perfectly normal active children for their age, but their parents want them to be little adults.
Sometimes there may be things going on in the family that cause the child anxiety and this is also misdiagnosed as ADHD. So my answer is inaccurate diagnosis of ADHD.
Are you there?
Yes I'm here.
Do you have a follow up question about my previous answer?
If not, what is your next question, dear?
What should parents/caregivers need to understand if there child is diagnosed with ADHD?
The most important thing for them to understand is that their child must take his/her medication on a regular basis and will probably be on it indefinitely. So this needs to be a part of the daily routine. Also that this is a chemical imbalance in the brain and that their child is not a bad child.
If a parent/caregiver prefers not to use medications for treatment, what would be recommend?
I am answering you from my personal experience, and I would tell them that nothing else can effectively treat ADHD. I would provide them with more comprehensive information and recommend that they and their child have some family therapy in order to adjust to the diagnosis.
Some believe changing the child’s diet will help. What do you think about using diet to treat a child? Explain any pros or cons?
It is defintely a good thing to decrease sugar in the child's diet, but as an adjunct to medication. I would never recommend simply a change in diet to treat ADHD as that alone would not be effective.
A combination would more likely be recommended?
How is a treatment plan determined? There are different types of medications, how is one determined to be used?
The medications of choice are stimulants such as Adderall and Ritalin. The child's pediatrician will chose one of these and hofefully it will be effective. If not, then the child would most likely be referred to a child psychiatrist.
What would the psychiatrist recommend?
Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in psychotropic medication and this would reevaluate the medication and prescribe and monitor the best medication in his/her opinion.
Well I appreciate your time. Your information will greatly help. Thank you
You are very welcome, dear. It has been my pleasure. Please remember to click on the green accept button so that I will receive credit for my professional time and responses. Good luck with your paper, take care, Eleanor