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January 14, 2009 2:59 PM   Subscribe

Who treats kids with ADHD? Child psychiatry, general psychiatry, family practice, ???

Where can I find info about who children with ADHD see? One study I found listed them under Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Family Practices, and Other, but I'd like to get more specific than that. Specifically, what percentage of kids see a child psychiatrist? General psychiatrist? Neurologist? Other providers? The more specific the data, the better.
posted by curagea to Health & Fitness (7 answers total)
Um, "Yes". All of the above, whether properly or not.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 3:07 PM on January 14, 2009

A neurologist, I believe.
posted by lgandme0717 at 3:24 PM on January 14, 2009

Response by poster: I was looking for something like a study and/or statistics...
posted by curagea at 3:25 PM on January 14, 2009

It really depends on how the family sees the disorder.

First, my family thought it was a psychology problem - We saw a psychologist, who treated and prescribed Ritalin (possibly through a proxy - Not sure how that worked as I was pretty young).

Then, after some research, my family started treating it like a neurological disorder. I continued to see the psychologist, but also saw neurologist. The neurologist took care of the ADHD (prescribing Ritalin and then later other drugs instead), while the psychologist addressed other issues and the ADHD really never came up other than when it was the cause of whatever problem.

After moving, we dealt with it through family practice, who continued the same general course of treatment as described above.

Throughout it all, it really mattered little to me who was treating it, although I will say having a psychologist that understood ADHD helped with dealing with it quite a bit.
posted by Rendus at 3:33 PM on January 14, 2009

Psychiatry and neurology. But, you'll see it in psychology some as well.
posted by Netzapper at 3:40 PM on January 14, 2009

Psychiatry or a GP for medication, though I would fall on my knees and exalt to the heavens if more GP's would refer out for a proper screening. For study habits and building up other skills, a psychologist--generally a school psychologist will be involved in their academic life, and if the school district is somewhat well-funded, will take care of some basic study skills stuff.

I only see the really wicked cases make it to a neurologist, but I'm not a very well-off area as far as health insurance and preventative care is concerned.
posted by Benjy at 7:13 PM on January 14, 2009

The vast majority of ADHD in children is treated by GP's/pediatricians in the U.S., unfortunately because there is a severe shortage of child psychiatrists. I don't know if there's actual data on this, but a pubmed search should help you find it if there is.

My co-author is a child psychiatrist and I have interviewed lots of ADHD researchers and they frequently complain about GP's throwing drugs at stuff which isn't ADHD but looks like it. What often happens is that a teacher or counselor "diagnoses" it and the GP says OK and writes the script and the child is medicated.

Now, most parents won't agree to this unless the kid is having a real problem of some sort and there's actually *something* wrong and they've tried everything they can think of short of medication-- but PTSD and many other problems can look like ADHD in kids and you are supposed to rule out that stuff before diagnosing but it often isn't done.
posted by Maias at 5:40 PM on January 15, 2009

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