While every visit with your child’s doctor is important, the second doctor visit for ADHD to discuss, further evaluate and treat your son’s or daughter’s ADHD is probably one of the most important.
It is during this doctor visit for ADHD that your doctor should have all the blood work and psychological screening tests back and ready to discuss them.
The second doctor visit for ADHD should be the one in which your child’s daughter or son is either confirmed as having ADHD traits consistent with the real diagnosis or…will have been discovered to really be suffering from one of the greater than 60 things that can mimic ADHD.
During the second doctor visit for ADHD visit you should find out:
- If your child’s blood and urine tests are normal
- Whether your child has one of the things that can act-just-like, look-just-like and be mistaken for ADHD (like thyroid disease, for example)
- If your child’s behavior and symptoms match those expected of a child with ADHD of the same age, as defined by the American Psychiatric Association guidelines
- What treatment plan, if any, your doctor advises. Will it be behavioral training, medication, or both?
- How you and your doctor will be able to tell when therapy is or is not working
In addition, before starting any therapy, you, your child and should discuss the following during the second doctor visit for ADHD.
- The side effects of all forms of therapy to be used-counseling and behavior training can have side effects just like ADHD drugs
- How long will it take for therapy to cause an improvement in grades, behavior or social skills
- How will you and your doctor decide when therapy has reached the maximum benefit-the point at which time no further improvement can or should be expected
- How long will your child have to attend counseling or behavior training or take medications for his or her behavior
- What happens if the chosen therapy fails to work?
Many experts consider therapy (of all types) to be successful if the targeted behavior improves at least 75%.
That essentially means an ADHD drug or behavioral training has effectively treated ADHD when an ADHD child’s behavior is better 75% of the time in 75% of the usually affected settings or environments; when his or her grades have improved by 75%; or when their ability to socially interact –make and keep friends-has improved by at least 75%.
Of course, I am absolutely sure that all parents would like to see a 100% improvement in all of the behavioral traits that are affecting their child’s ability to learn and grow just like any other child of the same age.
In order to help you reach that goal…here are a few tips on how to interact with your child’s doctor during this all important second doctor visit for ADHD
- Use the points outlined above to write down questions and carry that list with you when you visit the doctor…to be a strong advocate for your child…you need to know as much as possible about the results of his or her blood and psychological tests
- Avoid biasing your child’s doctor by assuming that you know the “real” diagnosis
- Try not to alienate your child’s doctor by making it sound as if he or she doesn’t know what they are talking about if you disagree with the assessment.
- If this happens, promptly ask for a referral to another doctor trained in ADHD evaluation
- Above all…try to keep an open mind…ADHD can wear many faces, can appear to come and go, can change in intensity and quality from day to day and in plain words…can be very confusing and frustrating.
For more information on ADHD evaluation and misdiagnosis, please visit www.ADHDbehavior.com and take a look at the article The Ten Most Common Reasons Professionals Misdiagnose ADHD.
You may also find this article interesting: 19 Signs Your ADHD-labeled Child May Not Be ADHD or Was Misdiagnosed
Frank Barnhill, MD is the author of "Mistaken for ADHD", A parent's guide to the proper diagnosis of ADHD and prevention of misdiagnosis and mislabeling a child as a failure in life!
Dr. Frank publishes an information-rich blog that deals with All Things ADHD and discusses what to do and expect on each doctor visit for ADHD.
Frank Barnhill, MD is the author of "Mistaken for ADHD", A parent's guide to preventing their behavior-disordered child from being misdiagnosed as a failure in life!
Join our growing on-line community of concerned parents, teachers and healthcare providers at www.ADHDbehavior.com