When seeking an evaluation or treatment for ADHD, it is important to see a qualified, licensed healthcare professional. In addition to ensuring that a particular professional has the required training, it is also important to work with a professional who has experience in dealing with this disorder.
There are several types of professionals who typically diagnose ADHD. These include: physicians (especially psychiatrists, pediatricians, neurologists), psychologists, social workers, nurse practitioners, and other licensed counselors or therapists (e.g. professional counselors, marriage and family therapists, etc.).
In addition to those who may diagnose ADHD, there are numerous other professionals who may have a role in providing treatment and other services for individuals with ADHD and related disorders. These may include various types of therapists or specialists (such as occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, behavior therapists, educational specialists, etc.).
While all of the above professionals can provide treatment for ADHD, only certain medical professionals can prescribe medication and perform thorough physical evaluations to rule out other possible causes of symptoms. These professionals are physicians (M.D. or D.O.), nurse practitioners, and physician assistants (P.A.) under the supervision of a physician. All professionals -- including medical/health professionals and educational professionals -- should work only within their scope of experience and expertise. It is important that all of the members of your treatment team communicate with each other on a regular basis.
The following resources may be helpful in finding providers:
If you cannot afford services or do not have health insurance, please read the section on Public Insurance and Public Benefits Programs or contact your state department of health or mental health to locate a community mental health center near you.