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Finding the Right Pediatrician for children with ADD/ADHD

Finding the Right Pediatrician for children with ADD/ADHD

  • 07/28/2021

What is ADD/ADHD?

ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) are neurodevelopmental disorders that can affect children. ADD does not officially figure in the DSM 5, which is the manual that provides the diagnostic criteria for these disorders. As a result, ADD is now regarded as an outdated term, and most doctors only utilize the term ADHD.

What are the subtypes of ADHD?

The term ADD was technically eliminated from official diagnostic criteria, but if we take a look at the subtypes of ADHD, we’ll understand that only the terminology was changed and the diagnosis still exists. There are three main subtypes of ADHD:

– Predominantly inattentive type (Equivalent of ADD, sometimes called type 1 ADHD)

– Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type (Equivalent of ADHD, sometimes called type 2 ADHD)

– Combined type (ADD/ADHD, sometimes called type 3 ADHD)

What are the symptoms of ADD/ADHD?

Depending on the subtype of ADHD, different symptoms can be seen. There are mainly two scopes of symptoms:

– Symptoms of hyperactivity: impulsivity, anger outbursts, excessive energy, and difficulty controlling behavior.

– Symptoms of inattention: difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness, distractibility, poor school performance.

– Or the association of both scopes of symptoms.

For a diagnosis to be made these symptoms have to last for at least 6 months and they have to affect the child’s functioning.

What medical professionals take care of ADD/ADHD?

ADHD is a unique disorder in that it can be managed by a variety of healthcare professionals. Usually, primary care doctors suspect the diagnosis and depending on the severity of the case and the doctor’s familiarity with the condition they can choose to manage it themselves or refer the child to another doctor. Family doctors, pediatricians like Dr. Laura Burgos in Sugar Land Texas and Dr. Jennifer Macia in Bellaire, Texas can manage ADHD in children. 

What are the available treatments for ADD/ADHD?

Many treatments are available to treat and manage ADHD. Aside from the pharmacological treatment that can be prescribed depending on the severity of the case, other therapeutic tools can be suggested. For instance: behavioral therapy, special nutrition interventions like the oligoantigenic diet, mental health counseling, and school or teacher participation. 

What are the medications available for ADD/ADHD?

The most popular types of medications prescribed for ADHD are stimulants, which include amphetamines and methylphenidate. Doctors can also prescribe non-stimulant drugs and antidepressants. When finding the right pediatrician for ADD/ADHD, make sure they explain in detail the adverse effects associated with the drugs, and that they consider your opinion when deciding on a treatment plan.

How can parents help their child with ADD/ADHD?

The best treatment for ADHD is called a multimodal treatment, which involves medication, lifestyle interventions, skills training, and behavior changes. Therefore, the parents play an essential role in the management of ADHD. 

When finding the right pediatrician for ADD/ADHD, make sure they give you the tips necessary to handle your child’s tantrums and to reinforce positive behavior.

Adopting regular routines is helpful, so is encouraging the child to play a sport. Another important factor in managing ADHD is finding a teacher who’s familiar with the disorder, and don’t hesitate to discuss homeschooling if you believe it’s the best option for your child.

How to find the right pediatrician for ADD/ADHD?

Finding the right pediatrician for ADD/ADHD is the first step toward the successful management of this disorder. A good pediatrician will work with the family as a team, educating them on the available treatment plans and the adverse effects of the drugs. The right pediatrician is also willing to bring other specialists like child psychiatrists or behavioral therapists on board, and they will encourage the family to connect with other ADHD families, support groups, or special organizations that manage children with ADHD.

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