Many parents having difficulties with their child wonder whether the child might have Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (also sometimes referred to as Attention Deficit Disorder). Many adults also wonder if they have AD/HD. In this age of pharmaceutical treatment for all kinds of mental health issues, people may wonder if some kind of pill might alleviate the problem and make life easier for everyone. Conversely, some people fear the diagnosis means professionals will start pushing medication when they are concerned about using meds. When it comes to AD/HD, medication can actually be very helpful to those who are in need of it, or there are also therapy and coaching interventions and strategies that can be helpful as well. But before you get to all of that, the problem is, how do you determine whether the problems you or your child are having are actually caused by the condition known as AD/HD and not by something else? Is it AD/HD or is something else going on?
Correct diagnosis is essential in the early stages for treatment to then be targeted and effective. When diagnosis is off the mark from the start, treatment is then incorrect, problems don’t alleviate, and people are even more frustrated than when they started the quest for help. Treatment based on a misdiagnosis of AD/HD might end up doing more harm than good for you or your child.
Many of the symptoms typically associated with attention and hyperactivity difficulties are problems that can also be seen with other mental health issues, such as: general, test, or social/school anxiety; depression; learning disabilities; emotional and behavioral disorders; family stress; medical conditions, and psychosocial or environmental stressors, to name a few. This makes it impossible to have an accurate diagnosis without an evaluation. An evaluation should ideally include testing and not only behavioral checklists, because while such checklists are an important part of an evaluation, in and of themselves they can result in misdiagnosis – since as we’ve just seen, the behaviors could all be there (and thus all ‘checked’) but be there and being caused by something other than AD/HD.
If your child is having trouble in school or you are having your own difficulties and your attempts to solve the issues have not been successful, it is probably time to speak to a professional about what’s going on. Some warning signs that might indicate a problem with attention or some other mental health issue for your child include: failing to give close attention to schoolwork, difficulty in sustaining prolonged attention, not listening when spoken to directly, being easily distracted, frequent fidgeting, excessive talking, and having trouble waiting turns. For adults, problems at work, problems with being on time, organization, and finances might also be indicators of the need for a closer look at what’s going on and what is standing in the way of feeling competent and successful in your life.
Once a diagnosis is made, the options for treatment include a wide array of possibilities, including individual therapy to develop strategies to manage AD/HD, coaching, and medication. Schools will generally also provide classroom and learning accommodations for students diagnosed with AD/HD.
To Schedule an Appointment for an AD/HD evaluation, you can use our convenient online scheduling option by clicking the Schedule an Appointment button at the top right. To speak with a doctor further, simply Call Now (919-572-0000) or use our Request a Call Back button at the top right.
EVALUATIONS: To learn more about our AD/HD and other evaluations, visit our general Psychological/Educational Evaluations page, or Comprehensive Evaluations page with a description of what each evaluation entails.
AD/HD THERAPY FOR CHILDREN: To learn more about therapy for children with AD/HD, visit our Child Services page. To learn more about our child therapists, use our Psychologists and Staff drop-down tab above.
AD/HD DIAGNOSIS: Visit our Diagnosis, Medication & Psychological Testing page for more information on the diagnosis of AD/HD.
Psychiatry at Lepage Associates.