View Full Version : Who to turn to for diagnosis
My son is 22 and suspects he has ADD. He has many of the classic symptoms with lack of focus and disorganization. He has occasionally taken Ritalin to study for tests which he has found remarkable helpful. My question is what type of health professional is best to turn to for an accurate diagnosis and possible long term treatment. He is currently living in Boise Idaho and any local references would be appreciated. Thanks
06-11-06, 09:17 AM
I think he will need to go to a GP for a referral to a specialist...I know that's the case where I am
06-11-06, 12:14 PM
MDs usually only identify Hyperactives.
They might say "how were you missed as a child?" or, "Kids who outgrow ADD don't have it as adults."
I think the best way is to prove the diagnosis with TEST RESULTS from an Educational Psychologist.
Typically, they do these tests:
1. Tower of London (a test of "executive function")
2. Trails A (same)
3. Trails B (same)
3. Continuous Performance Tests (measures inattention and impulsivity)
4. Raven's Matrices <?>
5. Auditory Memory Testing (measures ST Memory)
6. Short Term Memory (Working Memory) Tests
7. WAIS (Adult IQ testing)
Then the Psychologist does the WRITTEN REPORT with the TEST RESULTS.
It will show EXECUTIVE DYSFUNCTION and WORKING MEMORY that is "Low For IQ".
The report says: "This young man has ADD/ADHD."
Then your Son takes that REPORT to his MD, and gets his Ritalin.
MDs are very poor at identifying all but the worst cases of hyperactive ADHD (aggressive/hyper young boys).
Most Inattentives or Unfocused, Underacheiving, and Dreamy people are missed.
NB. That is why there is a huge segment of us who are in our 20s and 30s and just being Diagnosed now....
06-11-06, 06:12 PM
can you explaine more about the tests queens u cos i love to know more on that dorm
06-11-06, 09:17 PM
Where I live the GP can't prescribe stimulants at all. A specialist Pscyhatrist is needed to help out there to diagnose, and followup after diagnosis. I am not sure, but maybe after a while the Pscyh can allow the general Dr to prescribe as long as you are still seeing the Specialist yearly at least..that reminds me, I will go check
07-19-06, 09:33 PM
really you had to do all those test my doctor just asked my 25 or so questions the more you answer yes the more likely you have ad/h/d
07-22-06, 08:49 AM
This can be difficult-- I suggest you go on-line and access the Amen Clinic website. They are in California, but they have a screening test that you take. They then suggest treatment options. Good luck!
It is worth noting that Dr Amen's dignostic methods are controversial, uproven, and mostly ignored by the medical establishment.
In any case, the treatment for ADHD is basically the same at Dr Amen's clinic as at any other clinic.
You may wish to ask your MD for a referral to a neuropsychologist for testing in the form of a full neuropsychiatric evaluation (it takes most of a day for the evaluation), and from there , go to a psychiatrist (or back to your MD) for treatment. This is the tradiational route for diagnosis and treatment. It may be to your benefit should you need to find another doctor in the future if you move, etc... Since the lack of valid "checkuppable" diagnostic data from Dr Amen's clinic might force some practicioners to have you re-evaluated, at additional cost to you...
Furthermore, a 25 question quiz is hardly diagnostic. If that is what your doc gave to you to evaluate you for ADHD, you probably want a referral to a neuropsychologist for a more thorough workup.
07-22-06, 10:45 AM
important note-if you are a Dr. Amen fan, read with open mind. I am asking questions, not bashing him. There is a big, big, difference. If his program works for you, great. Please, don't take offense, I am an enquiring mind. If we live afraid to ask questions, we have no freedom.
I have not seen any reliable, validated studies done on Dr. Amen's method. I am a skeptic by nature and question everything. Doing research for my thesis taught me how to look at information and use scientific inquiry. I am not bashing Dr. Amen, just asking questions that come to mind. If his program works then there will be answers to these questions and studies will validate his theories with reliable evidence. This is what science is about, and protecting the consumer from medical care that does not work. Time and objective studies are the only way to ensure effective, first, do no harm medical treatment for any condition.
Where are the independent, double-blind studies?
Is there anything that is not anecdotal?
Why does he sell supplements and all that other stuff?
If you have more than one type of ADD on his list, the recommended treatments are contradictory-Why is this not addressed?
Do other practictioners do Spect scans etc?
Why do you need a scan if he uses pretty standard ADD treatment. The diff? He adds in supplements.
Does the cost of diagnosis justify the tests?
Why is his method not acknowledged or used by the mainstream medical community-even at progressive teaching hospitals.
:soapbox: My big question-How do you heal something that is probably genetic? Plus, what if this is an essential part of our personality? Would we be who we are without ADD? What if society really could accept all people for who they are. To "heal" my ADD is to say that is saying that I should not be this way.
I believe Dr. King's "I have a dream" speech exemplifies how I feel about ADD and other disabilities. Why should I have to change what and who I am to "fit in"? Would many of our "problems" be problems if we were not labeled, but accepted?
Our friends have a Downsie daughter-chromosomal-can't heal. The world would lose out if she was not a part of it. She is creative, loving, caring, talented-a Special Olympics speaker, has goals and dreams. Too bad the education system only saw her as a retarded kid. I would not want to change Sharon.
Disease-that is what I want cures for.
07-22-06, 11:25 AM
I think the formal process of being diagnosed with ADD is important. I am 38 and about 7 years ago because of mounting frustration in my career hopes due in part to ADD I spent the money and time to take the tests. After being angry for about 5 years and unwilling to go further that grudgingly admit I had ADD, I decided to get help.
I was for many years doing things that helped me get by, some I was aware of and some I was not. One of my greatest fears was being sucked into taking medication. I knew that many other things like, omega 3 intake, exercize, and my relationship with God were a key to my ability to cope and sometimes shine and thrive.
Mentally, the choice to go on medication as well as work out the quirks that settled in my personality due to ADD and other maturation roadblocks with a knowledgeable Psycologist is helping. Time...It is taking lots of time.
I am beginning to see that these choices to move forward are in my control. The sun is rising with the hope that I will beable to move forward in an ADD world that frustrated me fairly consistantly.
With hope that your son might be encouraged,
I agree. I was being treated by my MD for my symptoms, and he was speculating if I had ADHD, bipolar disorder, or if it was just anxiety. I was having such a hard time of it, and not really knowing what was going on seemed to add to my problems in the form of increased anxiety. After a year of getting nowhere with my condition, I went to a neuropsychologist, got a formal neuropsychological evaluation and a diagnosis, then went to a psychiatrist for more diagnostic work as well as treatment. Life has improved a lot. (it's not perfect, but things are a lot better).
If nothing else, a formal diagnosis removes a lof of the uncertaintly and gives your "enemy" a name, so that you can better act proactively on your own behalf. It empowers you.
As much as anything, this has been a journey into myself. I've learend a lot , and it has benefited me in a lot of ways.
Right now, my life is centered around making the most of the good parts, and working around the bad parts. I have no complaints, overall. I'd not be so glib about it if I had not gone for a diagnosis becauee I'd still be wondering what it is, and why, how, etc. At least now, I have better knowledge of my condition, and the news is not completely bad.
On the subject of "labelling". Some people avoid getting a diagnosis for themselves or for their child for fear of being impaired by the social stigma of a "label".
It is possible to repeatedly tell someone that they are impaired and have no hope for the future , until they believe it and give up altogether. That is what labelling is, and it does occur, and it is harmful. For this reason, many doctors who spot patients with a variety of disorders avoid telling the patient, unless there is some specific complaint, in order to avoid the trauma of labeling the patient. Many parents chose to not tell their child they were diagnosied with things like ADHD, or Aspergers syndrome for fear of labeling the child at too young an age. It's a tough choice to make for someone else, and in some cases is certainly the right thing to do.
But, when it means avoiding facing the facts of a real and present disorder, labeling is not the issue. It is denial that is the issue. The personal and financial cost of denial is so high that you don't want to consider it as an option. A proper diagnosis is the first best step to treatment. It is a fact.