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Questions to ask professionals who diagnose or treat AD/HD

Knowing what questions to ask -- about AD/HD diagnosis, treatment, and even insurance coverage -- is the key to getting the answers you need.

By GreatSchools Staff

Questions to ask yourself before the appointment

  • Why do I think my child may have AD/HD?
  • Will my medical (or behavioral health) insurance cover the cost of an AD/HD assessment and/or treatment?
  • Are there other unusual events or circumstances happening in our family that may be affecting my child?

Questions to ask the assessment professional

  • How do you diagnose AD/HD? What tests or measurements do you use? Do you follow the American Academy of Pediatrics Practice Guideline for Diagnosis and Evaluation of the Child with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder?
  • How do you gather information about symptoms in more than one setting? Do you consult with school staff?
  • Over how long a period of time will the assessment last? How long is each session?
  • What age ranges of children do you have experience assessing?
  • Are you knowledgeable about programs at public schools for children and youth with AD/HD?
  • What is your training and work experience in the field AD/HD?
  • How long have you been doing assessments for AD/HD?
  • If you confirm an AD/HD diagnosis, what type of report do you provide? Is there an additional cost to receive a report?
  • If working with a clinical psychologist: If medication is involved, do you work with a specific prescribing physician?

Questions to ask the treatment professional

  • How is medication used in your practice?
  • How often will you need to see my child for routine office visits?
  • If medication is prescribed, what might be some of the side effects?
  • What other therapy in addition to medication might you suggest?
  • Is counseling part of the treatment plan?
  • If I do not want to put my child on medication, would you attempt to find other possible solutions?
  • What are some typical results you have had with your clients?
  • What are your fees? Do you have a sliding scale? Which Insurance plans you accept?
  • What can I do at home to help my child?
  • What can my child's teachers and psychologist do to help my child?

Review questions after the appointment

  • Was this professional easy to talk to?
  • Were all of my questions answered satisfactorily?

AD/HD by other names and acronyms

While attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) is the official term and acronym used by today's mental health care professionals, it is sometimes referred to by other names and abbreviations. For example, it is sometimes called:

ADHD (without the slash in the middle)

Attention deficit disorder (ADD)

Attention disorder

While we are pleased to present information and resources, it is against our policy to recommend or endorse any one specific individual, product, organization, or website. Because parents know their child best, they are the ones who determine the appropriateness of a school or provider based on a match of their child's needs, their own preferences, and the program or services offered. These questions are intended only as guidelines in the decision-making process.

© 2008 GreatSchools Inc. All Rights Reserved. Originally created by Schwab Learning, formerly a program of the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation


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