Where is a good place to take a child to be evaluated for ADHD?

Wondering if your child has ADHD or not can be very difficult. Wondering if your child has been properly diagnosed or not is even more difficult. Where can I go to have my child evaluated for ADHD?

31  Answers

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Be VERY careful when "thinking" your child has ADD or ADHD. Most of the time they DON'T. Even if you have had personal experiences about having ADHD or ADD like I have, you probably don't or haven't had it!!!

ADHD and ADD is a FAD. My mother has a PHD in ADD and ADHD. Her thesis was on the effects that the drugs have on childrens brains and it is SCARY to say the least!! If you're concerned about ADHD or ADD, go and see a properly quallified neuro psych. I worked with kids that had ADHD and ADD in a neuro developmental clinic. We had the best results of helping kids to achieve their best WITHOUT DRUGS!!! They need to be assesd by someone that know what they're talking about. ADD AND ADHD usually stems from parts of the brain that aren't maturing properly. This can be fixed quied easily, but assuming they have ADD or ADHD, and putting them on drugs is not going to help, it will make it WORSE!!! Unfortunatly the dr's and pediatrician don't know enough about it unless they have been specialy trained. Your kids will need to have a brain mapping done to see what activity is going on in their brain at different stages of engagemen i.e reading a book, working on a maths questions, having their eyes closed etc.
This is a serious issue. One that can affect the rest of thier lives if not dealt with in the correct way.

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Thank you for this information. I was so frustrated and unable to find good advice on just where to begin to get my child tested for ADD. Thank God for this post!! Thank you so much for taking the time to write all of this HELPFUL information. I am going to look into a Nuero Pysch now!! God bless you for this!

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Hi Monica, depending on where you live, a good place to take a child for an assesment is at a neurofeedback clinic where they do Biofeedback. If you're living in Sydney, I can recommened a wonderful woman to see. Otherwise, there is a group on facebook called, Neurofeedback - EEG Info. Try to find this site and go from there! :). Good luck!!

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Here is a documentary on ADHD called "The drugging of our children" It is really good and you can watch it and then know what to ask the doctor... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26e5PqrCePk

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I started my son with his evaluation with a group in NJ called Sunny Side for his learning disabilitys where he got at home help. When a child turns 3 years old you go through your school district and they evaluate the child and through their testing they put him in classes he needs help in the most.

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Ask your G.P to refer u a Growth & Development Specialist. They will conduct the relative tests.

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my son has ADHD we took a very long road for the diagnosis, social workers for behavior, child psychologists, diet fads, school councilors everyday was tough.

My son now takes medication for the symptoms and he is happy to do this he is still lively on the medication and will return to his normal self after 8 hours (after school) this has done him the world of good with reading and writing.

My advice will be to start at the GPS who will then refer to a specialist who will get to know your family and help you with the tough tasks and good behavior strategies all in all life will be easier for you and your child.

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Use a pediatric neuropshychologist.

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I have a 4 year old son that I'm pretty sure has ADHD. He started preschool this year, so I asked his teacher to keep an eye on him and let me know if she thinks he does have it (since she's around kids all day). At our parent-teacher conference she said she is pretty certain he does have it. She sent a referral over to someone at the elementary school he will be attending, and I expect to be getting a call soon to get the ball rolling. If your child is in preschool (or any daycare or school, for that matter) the teacher / daycare provider should be able to point you in the right direction. Good luck!

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I took my stepson to a ped neurologist who dx'd him with aspergers and adhd. Because of the behavior problems we have had with him, he is seeing a ped psychiatrist which is also treating the adhd. I would either get your child into a ped neurologist or a ped psychiatrist. Ask the school if they have seen problems with your child. If they have ask for an evaluation.

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My son was diagnosed with ADHD in the second grade. I "always knew" this would be an issue we'd face as he was a very busy child. But I was CERTAIN that ADHD was not a "real" issue, and that only lazy parents medicated their children. Even before he was diagnosed I tried supplements, gluten and casien free diets, elimination of artificial dyes. There was a minimal effect, which was so insignificant that it was likely a placebo effect.

After a teacher suggested I have him tested, I was hesitant, but I went ahead and worked with our pediatrician. He was diagnosed with ADHD combined type and ODD.

We decided to try medicating him. Our family was so disrupted with the behavioral issues... my son (at age 7) continually talked about how he wished he "didn't exist" and how he "should never have been born." How could I NOT give it a try?

I'm so glad we did. He doesn't feel so dark anymore. He knows he's actually good at some things. He still struggles with writing, but with the diagnosis, I now have the tools I need to work with his teacher to find accomodations and solutions.

I really like our pediatrician; I know she KNOWS us, and I know she has the best interest of my son as a priority. While it took a couple years to settle in on medication, she listened to us, and used her knowledge to find the best solution for him.

Many prefer a child psychologist or psychiatrist. Keep in mind that a psychologist cannot prescribe medication. Our insurance does not cover mental health, and we are not in a place to utilize this route. I have no complaints about working with our pediatrician. Before we switched to the med we are currently on, she called a psychiatrist that she trusted to confer, as she had little experience with the medication.

The key is to find someone who listens to you, someone who cares. It's not an easy road, but it's worth the effort. Sometimes we have to put our pride aside and take a leap of faith. I'm glad I did.

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Your story sounds a lot like mine. My son who is 7 also talks about wishing he wasn't here. It breaks my heart and I have been trying to figure out what is wrong with him. Thinking he had ADHD I questioned his teacher last year and she told me she couldn't say either way, not that she didn't know but wasn't allowed too! I was shocked! Our pediatrician can't deal with medicating for ADHD so I have him in therapy, for self esteem issues and he is to see a psychiatrist at the end of the month to further discuss the diagnosis of ADHD. I am thankful that there are people willing to talk about their situations because I didn't know where to start with this, considering his school was so unwilling to help. Thanks for sharing your story and I am glad to hear your son is doing better!

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We had some of the same issues with our son. I was also advised by the school that they couldn't tell me that they thought he had a learning disability or ADD, but that they had concerns. I think they are afraid that they might be labeling a child. We discussed the concerns and they advised me what course of action I could try to have him tested. They advised me to talk to my pediatrician. We talked to him and he sent us to a neuro-psychiatrist and they did lots of testing. In the end they didn't find anything - but told us it might just be too early to tell and that we should bring him back for testing in a year. He was 7yrs old and in first grade when he was first tested - and he is now 8. We plan on bringing him back this year. From what my son's teacher said - the teachers hate that they cannot tell a parent what they think could be going on. She had a little boy that was very difficult to deal with on a daily basis because he was all over the place in class - and she couldn't come out and tell the parent - "I think your son has ADHD." She had to wait until the parent came to her and asked for help. It's sad to think that little boy might slip through the cracks if he has a parent at home that maybe doesn't understand why her child is acting up and in some instances maybe just doesn't care.

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Talk to your childs pediatrician about finding a psycologist in the area. They are usually qualified. also, take him in for a second opinion if your not sure!

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23 years old with a stuttering speech problem

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Federal Laws require the State to provide for evaluation of children under the Birth to Three Program. Google "Your State Birth to Three Program". For children three and older the local educational agency is required to provide a complete evaluation of the child at no cost to the parent under the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act. No teacher should be telling parents to go somewhere else for evauation of disabilites instead of Referring the Child for Evaluation to the child's local public school. Watch out for school administrators, they wish to deny rights to save money.

cut and paste web address http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=a2fc07907ab51b1936e3895d01661ab9&mc=true&node=sp34.2.300.d&rgn=div6#se34.2.300_1301
, go to sections (the funny double S is read "section") below

34 C.F.R. (Code of Federal Regulations) Part 300:

§300.301 Initial evaluations.
§300.304 Evaluation procedures.

Public agency is your state or local school.

NOTE: If your child needs a professional evaluation that the school is not qualified to provide, it is still at no cost to the parent (school pays) including if the evauation required a doctor of any type. Schools may not be qualified to diagnose many disabling conditions and they are not entitled to practice medicine without a license. School administrations, generally, will try to pull the wool over your eyes. Whatever the school says ask for their statements in writing, and if they won't give it to you then you write it down, who said what and the date. You can send them a letter with that info to protect you and your child.

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I need to find a local childrens physiologist in my area so im not driving all the way to Akron i live in warren ohio any suggestions? I need to get my son tested to ADHD the doctor had gave me a referal now i gotta find a good physiologist around me.

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believe it or not go on amazon . com and order a book from Dr Amen. called the SIX forms of ADD. It was very helpful to know that there arent only two kinds, ADHD and ADD and it helped with different meds and which one helped with which type. I had NO idea there was 6 different types and had been treated all my childhood with Adderral and it turned out to be the "brain injury: kind of med.. the book is extremely helpful, interesting and helps people to be more empathetic towards people who have what ever type of attention deficit disorder and its in lamens terms. please check it out and it is only $11- for soooo much information

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We took our son to a developmental pediatrician who was very thorough in the evaluations and diagnosis. It took a total of 3 visits: 2 for testing and 1 to go over the results for a total of 5 hours.

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I took my son to The Child Study Center in Ft. Worth, TX. The Dr. was very helpful and impressed that I had done a majority of the work for him in that I had all the checklists and study already filled out by me and my son's teacher. My son had an anger outburst at school that resulted in me having to purchase a new glass door that made me follow thru on the meds. I was doing it by diet before and it helped some.

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Google Pediatric Neurological Psychiatrist that specialize in ADHD diagnosis. Check references and good luck.

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i took my sons to a fully qualified phychiatrist that specializes in ADHD.

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developmental councelor

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The Texas Tech University held a study and found that Advocare's product, SPARK, beat out Riddlin 3 out of 4 times in helping children with Autism and ADHD. The fourth time they actually tied! I don't know about you, but I would never medicate my child with something that gets beat out and then tied. I'd give them what works. If you are interested in the study I have attached the site. If you are interested in ordering the SPARK I have attached that site as well!

The Study:
http://thechampionslockerroom.com/2009/06/18/adhd-and-how-spark-can-help/

Where you can order some:
www.advocare.com/1011237

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My son started Reception this September and had similar symtoms of ADHD, however he was assessed and they found out he was just really clever, and bored. Please just be careful, explore other avenues first, dont go straight for the 'there is something wrong with them', it could just be something simple like it was for my son

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Hi Heather, depending on where you live, a good place to take a child for an assesment is at a Biofeedback clinic. If you're living in Sydney, I can recommened a wonderful woman to see. Otherwise, there is a group on facebook called, Neurofeedback - EEG Info. Try to find this site and go from there! :)

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It depends on where you live. I am in Maryland and I took my son to Kennedy Kreiger Institute. They are very nice there and they are great with the kids. All they had to do is see my son once to tell me that he has ADHD. They ask you questions and the child questions. They look at their body structure.

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I would talk to your ped's dr about your concerns and ask if going to a behavioral specialist will give you some insight.

Ask your ped's dr. whom they would recommend and why. Find some other parents that are having similiar issues and whom they see.

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I have 6 children. 3 step and 3 mine 2 of my children are adhd and 1 step child is adhd. I started using some of the self tests on the internet and making journals of their activities and things they ate throughout the day. Eliminate the foods the articles about ADHD tell you to steer clear of. If the problems still persist and they are causing you to stay on the child constantly I would try to tough it out wout meds until it is time to start school. Doctors where I live usually say unless the child has a really bad behavior that they see it as parents jobs to deal with their children up until Kindergarten then they will help with meds bc the other students and teachers should not have to suffer bc of our childrens behavior. I see it as being a lot to do with the way kids are raised these days, they did NOT have ADHD meds several years back. I have my 3 on Concerta 36 mg for the boy 5th grader and 36 mg for the girl 1st grade and 54mg for the girl 5th grader. She requires more help paying attention she is really fidgety with things on or in her desk so it helps her. However, they eat breakfast every morning before taking their med and they usually snack on lunch and may eat dinner or may eat it later. The med really changes their appetite. You can try to determine if your child really has it then take them to your pediatrician or a child psychologist for diagnosis and medication. You can do like we do on weekends we may half the med or not give it to them so they can be themselves. My 5th grade boy hates to take it bc he has heard his father (not in the picture) and his gma (dads side of family) say the meds are BS. I want my child to have the best life future and education possible so I feel as if he needs a little medication to help him be successful. By the time he gets to middle school maybe 8th grade going into 9th high school I will take him off of it and make him understand that there are many kids that have to behave and that have to have self control all day. I do not want my children growing up addicted to a medication bc this is the popular drug among college students right now. Noone want there kids on meds.....

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Not sure where you are but we went to the Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas for our then 5 year old DD to be evaluated for Dyslexia....when they were finished with the testing we were told that she was also ADHD as well as Dyslexic...we had no idea we were even being tested for that but it sure answered alot of questions. I'm just not sure if they do just ADHD testing without there also being some other type of issue. This is a free service provided by the hospital it just takes a while to get in...you may want to see if there is someplace similar in your area.

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i live in dallas. what dept in the hosp would i need to call?

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My son turned 3 yrs old in May, and we have seen the pediatrician and I also have been working with a team of people since he was 3 mths old. There is a wait list but you should talk to your pediatrician about it, it's called the ICAN assessment. We are scheleduled to do the assessment in Sept. We live in Kamloops so they have two psychologists come from Kelowna to be in on the assessment.

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i had my son checked out for ADHD when he was 4 years old, as his teacher thought i should do. he does have ADHD. i would say wait until they enter school. teachers deal with many different children over the years and they can see the differences from child to child. also do lots of research online.

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First, you should talk to your child's pediatrician and let them know why you may suspect ADHD. They will be your first line in referring you to a specialist. I know that my son was suspected as having ADHD along with having an autism spectrum disorder. My son's pediatrician gave me a questionnaire for me and his teacher to fill out. The pediatrician then had a scale that she scored our questionnaire forms and then evaluated the results. It was determined based on the scoring that he didn't appear to have AHDH but most of his "issues" are related to his ASD. If he had scored where he would exhibit AHDH then she would have discussed medication options and counseling. It is always a good idea to talk to your pediatrician about your concerns about your child's health. They may know of some options if they can't help.

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Honestly, if you think your child has ADHD and they haven't hit puberty then they probably do not have ADHD. It is usually something that does not come to light until they hit puberty. My son is very active but he also will sit still when I tell him to. Children who have ADHD will not do this. I have done a lot of research because of the fact that I had ADD and my brother had ADHD when we were younger. I did not have any problems until I was 11 though and neither did my brother. I think people tend to diagnose active children (especially boys) as having ADHD when they really are just being kids. Children were not meant to sit at a desk all day just learning. Learning is supposed to be fun. I remember when I was little and we would play all the time in kindergarten and even in first grade, we had so much fun but we learned at the same time. I think there is too much emphasis on making children learn and learning earlier and earlier. We need to quit just believing what doctors tell us and as parents do our own research. Look at the side effects (long-term and short-term) of what the meds are that your doctor is prescribing your child before you start giving it to your child. I was never put on meds, my parents did their research and found a teacher who taught the best way that I learned, I was never put on meds. Just a suggestion.

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This is not at all based in science or fact. In fact, the opposite is true; in order to be diagnosed with ADHD, children need to have exhibited symptoms for at least 6 months before the age of 7. If it's showing up at puberty, or teenage years, it's likely something different.

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No Amy, it is not based on science, it is based on the fact that I had ADD and my brother had ADHD growing up, as I explained in my response. But I have been told this by a few different doctors so.... like I said, based on my experiences. It was not something else, it was ADD and I still have it to this day, only now I know how to handle it and what I need to do to learn or do things so that I can accomplish whatever it is that I am trying to do at the time. And as far as the misdiagnosing, over-medicating, and learning being fun for kids all of this is my opinion. People tend to trust what doctors tell them and I'm sorry but (as you suggested what I was told by doctors was wrong) they should not. People should get a second and a third and even a fouth opinion before putting your child on drugs that could alter his height, weight, mood, and long term health. It is also a FACT that I learned best from a teacher that had the ADD and who taught the way that I learned best. I think if more parents did this then there wouldn't be a need for as many children to be on medication. Teachers usually teach the way that they learn best (I am a teacher so this is based on that fact) and if you can find a teacher that teaches the way that your (general comment, not directed at you personally) child learns best then there should be no need for medication.

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Ok my niece whom I have custody of is goin to be 5. She has been diagnosed with ADHD, sensory processing and oppositional defiance disorder! She until was 15 months lived in a not so good environment but I won't get into that. So is her dr ad pysch and therapist all wrong because she hasn't hit puberty??? I know how to handle her. We have a very disciplined and structured plan for her daily. And it helps but she also needs the medicine to make it though the day in kindergarten.

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Danielle, I have custody of my 5 year old granddaughter and she too was diagnosed with Asperger, ADHD, and ODD. She got the DX at the early age of 3 almost 4. I have had an critical issue with the behavior more than anything. I have had to fight doctors and therapist because I do not think she has ADHD because can sit for a long period of time at a computer or reading a good book. She needs medication to get her thru school and also to try to keep her calmer. the older she gets she more she is started to see she is a SPECIAL child and she tries hard to let me know when things are not working in her favor. She does not like taking all the medication she is on but again she notices that is works sometimes. Asperger is something I want to say she has that is causes the ODD and behavior problmes. I have done alot of research on this issue and that is what I came up with that I feel she totally has. Asperger is not something that every child that has it, will act the same and does well with the same treatments. I had to learn to go with the gut feelings on alot of things because there are not alot of doctors out there that specialize in this type of behavior or disorder. I have went as far as finding someone that has it and talking to them. I love my granddaughter dearly and will go to the end of the world with her, she is my heart :). I am always here to listen if you need anyone. Kelly

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Danielle, I would suggest researching sound therapy, neuro feedback therapy and light therapy. They are all therapys that Dr's wont tell you about because they want to keep kids on drugs to keep their wallets full. I don't know where you live, however have worked with kids that sound similar to your 5yr old niece that can be helped. It has nothing to do with puberty. It has to do with her brian maturation and the fact that there may have been some truma to her earlier on. Depending on the level of damage, things can be done to help!! Good luck. :)

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Danielle ~ First of all ADHD, sensory processing, and oppositional defiance disorder are all different things that require different diagnosis' and different types of therapy . And this question was asking about ADHD not about senroy processing and oppositional disorder. I am not trying to say that all doctors are wrong or that all children have been misdiagnosed. My point was that there are different things that you can try before you put your kid on a medication that could be harmful to them. If parents took the time to research ADD/ADHD and the long term and short term side affects of the medicaions used to treat these disorders and took the time to get different opinions there might not be so many children that are misdiagnosed and there might not be so many teens with behavioral disorders and health problems because of that possible and plausible misdiagnosis. My parents did the right thing, they tried putting me in a class where I would learn best and it worked and from then on I knew how to handle my disorder without the need for meds, I still continue to do this. People have tried coffee, they have tried changing their diets and for some people this has worked, there are natural remedies that could be used or at least tried and people don't seem to care enough to try these because giving a kid a pill is much easier than changing the way a family is run or a diet. My point was that it shouldn't be a thing where you walk into your doctors office and say, "I think my son/daughter has ADHD" and the doctor says, "okay, well let's give him meds." This happens much too often in my opinion and parents should be more concerned with their childrens health. Obviously in this country (America) we have a problem with parents not caring about their childrens health all you have to do is look at the obesity rates, the misdagnosis that happen so often, the abuse, the care that the children receive, etc., etc., etc., and it just concerns me whenever I hear about ADHD. I just read a report that said that there are other conditions that mimic ADHD symptoms that is why it is pertinent to go to a reputable doctor and make sure that he runs the battery of tests that should be run and does everything he should do to make sure that it is actually ADHD before putting a kid on a medication. And in my opinion, if it was my kid, I would get at least 3 opinions before I ever put my kid on a medication he/she didn't necessarily have to have. I would also try all of the natural remedies and therapies I could, I am so opposed to putting kids on medication unless it is absolutely necessary and Danielle in your case it is necessary my comment therefore wasn't directed at you and furthermore it wasn't directed at you because I was strictly talking about ADHD and ADD not other factors that might have an impact on it. I hope this did not sound rude because it is not how I meant it, I was strictly stating my point of view. That's what COM is all about, stating your opinion and giving advice based on YOUR EXPERIENCES and when you can, giving the facts that you know. :)

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Your Dr. was not wrong but this is what I have been told and I have found through research. ADD is the old term for ADHD....Just had this conversation with my son's Counselor and she explained to me you can have "Inattentive ADHD " "Hyperactive ADHD" or combined but ADD is now used an abbreviation for ADHD because it is easier for people to say. The research says this "ADD stands for Attention Deficit Disorder. This is an OLD term, which is NOW officially called Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, Inattentive Type." Therefore they are one in the same. My son is in 7th grade and does not want to take medicine becuase he wants to manage it himself. I am going to do everything I can to help him. I take Vyvanse and it makes a world of difference for me but that does not mean it will be whats best for him. If your child is diagnosed with ADHD I would recommend doing a lot of research on becuase everything he/she does can make a difference and you should prepare for a "Lifestyle Change".....such as Food, sugars, sleep, organization, schedules counseling and your behavior as well. I have not ruled out medicine but I refuse to give him medicine and relying on that alone.Kids like to have a routine and know what's expected of them. The best thing I have done so far is create a schedule/chore list for my kids, they can mark off as they complete each task and don't have to constantly hear me nagging them or have to ask me what's next. My daughter is 5 and she loves the list (it has pictures next to each task so she knows what it is until she can read it all). Rewarding has also helped a TON....at the end of each week they are rewarded for the chores they have marked off it works great for us :) I know way too many parents that give medicine to their kids and wait for it to start working becuase they do not want to have to deal with it.....sad but true!! A positive attitude from you will go a long way with your children. Good luck to all of you and many prayers to parents of teenagers lol

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A good child psychologist can do it.

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My daughters school had brought it to my attention and then I talked to my daughters doctor! Now we see a doctor who deals with children like her!

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my son is 6 years old and has been diagnosed with ADHD but im not convinced that he has this and hear so many people say that children are being wrongly diagnosed. my son seems to be doing well academically and is quite clever there have been incidents at school where he has hurt some one but when i talk to him he tells me different im finding this realy hard as i never know what to exspect when i collect him from school. he can be a good boy at home and problems seem to start when he enters the school gates he is constantly talking about certain boys in his class and these names always come up when an incident arises i my self just think my son can be easily led into situations and naughty at times i also dont agree how they diagnose children with this as my son was diagnosed with two questionaires one from the school and one from my self. please if any body can suggest who i go to and get him properly diagnosed thank you

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