Finding a doctor you love is hard, generally. Does the doctor listen to you? Do they take your input seriously? Respect your time and not run 2 hours behind every single day? Finding all of this for someone with ADHD is even harder.
Whether someone is diagnosed with ADHD by a general practitioner, a psychologist, or a neurologist, maintaining that relationship is so important. A person with ADHD is usually seen by a provider at least several times a year, if not monthly for prescription refills. If you don’t like your doctor or don’t feel like they are a good fit, these visits can be an annoyance at best or miserable at worst.
I have three children with ADHD. We have seen some really fabulous providers, and we have seen some not so great ones as well. We had a great team of physicians in Maine when one of my twin sons was diagnosed with autism at 2 years old. Our pediatrician was so helpful and listened to my input. I was the research queen and found all kinds of things I hoped would help. He listened to my ideas and helped me wean out the crazy things. When we moved to Florida, we were referred to a neurologist who was the same. The neurologist was ultimately the one who would diagnose both of my sons with ADHD and helped start us on a path of medication and therapies to make both boys as successful as possible.
We eventually aged out of his practice. Since then, my son, D, who has autism and ADHD, has seen several psychiatrists and psychologists. One of the doctors we saw did not listen and just wanted to add more medication to counteract the side effects from other meds. We ended up leaving his practice when he wanted to add something completely inappropriate that would make things so much worse. We now see a psychiatrist who listens and sees D as a whole person, not just a diagnosis.
My son, T, and my daughter, E, each see a general practitioner for support with their ADHD. Each one is on a different medication, and the providers they see ask for their input and they decide together what works.
When we first started on this journey, I was reminded that it is OK to question, OK to give input, and vitally important to be your child’s voice. No one knows your child better than you do. When your child is young, you are your child’s advocate. It’s OK to be thought of as “that mom.” That may have been the hardest lesson for me, but it has proven to be one of the most important lessons.
If you have insurance, start there. Get a list of doctors and start your research. Ask your friends for referrals. Do tons of research online and read reviews. Join online groups in your area, and you will find people who can offer a firsthand review of local providers.
Finding a good doctor can be daunting, for sure. Stick with the search, as it makes the journey of ADHD so much easier.
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