Quickest way to get diagnosis and meds

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-04-2003
Quickest way to get diagnosis and meds
Tue, 09-02-2003 - 7:54pm
Hi! I'm new to this board. Have three children - DS (11 yo), DD (9yo) and DD (6yo). Also have a hubby who was finally diagnosed with ADD as an adult - meds made a huge difference in his life. Anyhow, I'm posting about my middle daughter. This is our third week of school and my daughter's 4th grade teacher noticed she's reading below grade level and wants to do an ILP. But, my husband and I, now that this has been brought to our attention, are pretty convinced that it is ADD since she is displaying many many of the same symptoms as DH - no reading comprehension, forgets what she reads, starts many projects but rarely finishes, etc etc.

My question: what is the quickest way to get a diagnosis and then get her on meds? Were your children evaluated by a psychiatrist, psychologist, etc? Who is prescribing the meds - pediatritian, psychiatrist?

TIA, Linda

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-03-2003
Tue, 09-02-2003 - 8:23pm
Only a medical doctor can prescribe medicine - that means a psychiatrist or your family doctor. A psychologist or clinical social worker usually does the testing.

If you go to a medical doctor and describe your child's symptoms, they may just prescribe meds. Hopefully, there will be some kind of testing and evaluation more than one visit.

The thing about ADHD is that it can be so many other things - post traumatic stress disorder (for kids exposed to violence, like domestic violence), stress, anxiety, depression, or some kind of physical problem. Not suggesting AT ALL that any of these things are going on in your home - just that someone who is making this diagnosis ought to be responsible enough to thoroughly evaluate a child.

For us, we had our DS tested last summer by a psychologist - he didn't think our DS was ADHD due to his high IQ and math scores. Since learned these are two different things and just because a kid has a high IQ and math score, doesn't mean that he also can't be ADHD. We went to a child psychiatrist and I made a list of all DS' behaviors; she put him on the Concerta. Went back to the psychologist and he tested our DS again and did diagnose him with ADHD. And so our struggle goes... :-)

One of my friends who has a DD with ADHD was like you - Dad has it and they just KNEW their DS had it and she was on meds at age 5.

Good luck to you...and so glad you're taking a good look at your child.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-25-2003
Wed, 09-03-2003 - 1:22pm
Well there is no quick and easy way. However, you need to first go to your pediatrician or family doctor and get referred to a qualified psychiatrist. My son had his first work up done at a Children's Hospital - part of the countrywide chain of children's hospitals. Presently and for the last 8 years, his meds have been administered by a psychiatrist. He sees a LCSW for counseling (she's wonderful!) and we dont' even deal with a psychologist at the moment. It may take a few months to get everything done.

You'll need to fill out the behavior scales, as will her teachers, and anyone else who spends a lot of time with her.

and then meds - if the DX is ADD/ADHD. However, meds aren't an exact science either. Your husband's history should help cut through some of the garbage of trying this med or that. What works for him should work for her. If you're on a PPO instead of an HMO - your husband's psychiatrist should be able to refer you to a good child psychiatrist.

Good luck!