If you are worried about your child’s behavior, trust your feelings. Ask your child’s doctor for help. Many parents start by taking their child to see a family doctor or pediatrician. Some families go on to see doctors who specialize in childhood problems such as ADHD. These doctors are called “child psychiatrists” or “child psychologists.” Tell the doctor about the behavior that worries you. The doctor will tell you if the cause may be ADHD.
The doctor will also want to look for other possible causes of the behavior. Sometimes children who are dealing with divorce, death, or other problems act in ways that look like, but aren’t, ADHD. For this reason, your doctor will ask about things that are happening at home. The doctor will also make sure there are no other diseases or disabilities that might be causing your child’s behavior.
Medicine and “behavior therapy” are the most common treatments for ADHD. Medicine for ADHD can help children pay attention, finish tasks, and think before they act. Behavior therapy involves meeting with the doctor to work on new skills to make it easier to deal with relationships, rules, limits, and choices. Both medicine and behavior therapy are safe and proven to work. These treatments used together give the best results.