Is your child exhibiting some of the classic signs of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, including hyperactivity, inattention and acting impulsively? Have you finally decided that it’s time to see your family doctor or pediatrician to get help for your child? ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed behavioral disorder in school-age children, with roughly 10% of all children affected. If your child is diagnosed with ADHD, your doctor will probably recommend a few treatment strategies and a small bit of advice, but unless you do your research beforehand and come prepared with a list of questions to ask your doctor, you may find it difficult to adequately assist your child in coping with the disorder. To help you prepare for your appointment, below we will list a few tips that will help you prepare for your upcoming appointment, and provide you with a list of 10 questions parents should always ask their doctor.
Does My Child Have ADHD? Preparing for Your Appointment
The most important tip for parents when planning for their child’s appointment with a doctor is to thoroughly research ADHD. This includes the causes, symptoms and treatment options, along with helpful information provided by other parents about their successes and setbacks when raising an ADHD child. Research the ADHD medications and their side effects, and find out what type of behavioral and cognitive therapy is available in your area. You may also want to research other behavioral and emotional conditions that your child may suffer from, including anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder. Find out what works best for ADHD children in school, including the school accommodations available to help your child succeed academically. The better prepared you are for your appointment, the more prepared you will be to interact proactively with your child’s doctor and ask the right questions.
Does My Child Have ADHD? 10 Questions to Ask Your Doctor
Parents concerned about their child’s ADHD symptoms can benefit greatly by preparing a list of questions to ask their child’s doctor. Some of these questions include:
- What types of treatment are available? Is one treatment more effective than the rest? Which treatment strategy do you recommend for my child, and why?
- Will my child need medication? How long will he/she have to take this medication? Are there side effects when taking this medication? How do I help my child cope with medication side effects?
- Is my child’s ADHD condition temporary or permanent? Will my child ever grow out of this ADHD condition?
- Does my child need therapy? What types of therapy can benefit children with ADHD? Can you recommend a psychologist in my area? Do I need a referral to see a psychologist?
- Is there a diet that is better than others for ADHD children? What should an ADHD diet include? Which foods may be harmful for my ADHD child? Does my child need to be taking supplements.
- Is there another condition besides ADHD that could be causing my child’s symptoms? Should my child be checked by a mental health professional for alternate behavioral and emotional conditions?
- How will ADHD affect my child in school? What should I ask my child’s teacher when I meet with him/her? Will my child need special accommodations?
- How will ADHD affect my child in life? Will the disorder affect his/her emotional well-being? Will ADHD make it difficult for my child to make friends?
- Should we as a family make any lifestyle changes to help our child? If so, what lifestyle changes should we make?
- What are the best ways to discipline our ADHD child? Are certain disciplinary techniques more effective than others?
Preparing a list of questions such as these can be very beneficial for parents when meeting with their doctor. Keep in mind that in most cases your appointment time will be limited, so make sure you list the most pressing questions near the top of the list to ensure they will be addressed during the course of the appointment.