Most parents who suspect that their child has ADHD have many questions about signs, symptoms, and where to turn for help. Getting a diagnosis and ruling out other medical or psychological problems is the first step in treating ADHD. There are many places parents can go for help, including medical doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, and clinical social workers. All of these professionals can diagnose ADHD and help children deal with their condition with either medical or non-medical treatments.
The first step in determining whether or not your child has ADHD is taking your child to their pediatrician or family doctor. Physicians can diagnose ADHD and prescribe medication if it is necessary for your child's certain symptoms and circumstances. Physicians can not, however, provide counseling, training, or other behavioral modification programs that are also useful for dealing with ADHD. For this type of treatment a referral to a psychologist, psychiatrist, or clinical social worker is necessary.
You may need to be referred to a psychiatrist if you want to pursue a combination of medication and counseling for treatment. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in psychiatric issues and can diagnose ADHD as well as treat it by prescribing medication and by counseling.
Psychologists can also diagnose ADHD and treat it with counseling. Psychologists can not prescribe medication, however, but they can refer patients to medical doctors for prescriptions if they think medication is necessary. Clinical social workers also specialize in counseling and can diagnose ADHD as well as provide non medical treatment.
The treatment that is right for ADHD variates from child to child but studies show that counseling combined with medication has the highest rate of effectiveness. It is important to get a combination of treatment methods and the methods you choose should be the ones you feel the most comfortable with and will most benefit your child.