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Tips for Finding an ADHD Specialist

You suspect your child may have ADHD–just as you do. Finding a specialist who can conduct an evaluation for your child, or one who treats adults, can be a difficult endeavor. In many communities, it’s common to have to drive an hour or more to a professional or a hospital or university clinic for ADHD treatment

Working with a professional who is experienced in evaluating and treating ADHD is important, especially one who is up-to-date on research related to treatment. What’s more, finding the right specialist for your needs is necessary in order to have a tailored approach to treatment.

Professionals who treat ADHD

ADHD can be treated by a doctor who has continued his education on ADHD and mental health. There are many pediatricians and general practitioners who have undertaken the steps necessary to better understand and treat ADHD in order to meet their patients’ needs. 

However, those physicians may not be qualified to address both ADHD and the co-occurring mental health conditions that accompany it. For most people it is best to work with someone who specializes in ADHD and related brain-based conditions. These specialty professionals are typically:

  • Physicians, especially psychiatrists, pediatricians, and neurologists
  • Psychologists
  • Social workers
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Licensed counselors and therapists, such as professional counselors, marriage and family therapists
You can learn more about these professionals at Professionals Who Diagnose and Treat ADHD.

Tips for finding an ADHD specialist

A good place to start your search for an ADHD specialist is with your current health care plan, or your child’s plan. You will be able to find a listing of participating providers on your health care plan’s website. These providers will accept your health insurance and are often available without a referral from your primary care doctor or your child’s pediatrician.
Another resource, if you do not have health insurance, is to check with your local county or state health department for mental health services and clinics in your community. Frequently, such clinics can accept patients on a sliding-scale basis. 

To find an ADHD specialist close to you:
How did you find your ADHD specialist? What tips would you share with someone searching?

This article appeared in ADHD Weekly on May 25, 2017.

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