How Is ADHD Managed?

Community-Based Support Team

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Many people with ADHD collaborate with a team of health care professionals, social workers, and other community-based professionals to help them manage their ADHD. Review the health care team members below to learn more about their roles in ADHD management.

Consider working with a health care professional.

ADHD Health Care Professionals

Family doctors, pediatricians, neurologists

  • Diagnosis
  • Prescribing and managing medicine

Psychiatrists

  • Diagnosis
  • Prescribing and managing medicine
  • Behavior therapy

Clinical Psychologists

  • Diagnosis
  • Behavior therapy
  • Other therapy methods

Neuropsychologists

  • Diagnosis
  • Behavior therapy

Licensed mental health counselors, licensed marriage and family counselors

  • Refer for diagnosis
  • Other therapy methods

Clinical social workers

  • Teaching people with ADHD skills they can use to manage daily tasks

Occupational therapists

  • Assessing how children use their senses (eg, sight, hearing, touch) to organize and respond to information
  • Implementing therapy centered on using the senses

ADHD coaches

  • Teaching people with ADHD skills they can use to help manage daily tasks

In order to get the advice and information you need, you should feel comfortable with the members of your loved one's community-based support team. When choosing team members, think about factors such as their past experience with ADHD, their management methods, and how well they communicate. Also, check which insurance plans they accept.

Choosing a health care professional

It's worth the effort to find a qualified health care professional for your loved one. If you do a little interviewing up front, you may increase your chances of finding the right professional for the diagnosis and management of ADHD. You may find it helpful to talk to others about what they like—and don't like—about the professionals they've seen. Use their opinions to develop a list of what is important to you and your loved one. Your list may include questions like these:

  • How much experience does this professional have with ADHD?
  • What methods does this professional use to treat ADHD?
  • What insurance plans does this office accept?
  • Does this professional and his or her staff make my loved one and me feel at ease?

Collect the names of two or three professionals and schedule a time to have a discussion, in person or over the phone. You may wish to ask the health care professional questions such as these.

Support groups

Both people with ADHD and parents or caregivers of those with ADHD may find value in attending local support group meetings. Parents and caregivers may benefit from the emotional support and advice of others who are caring for someone with ADHD, and evidence shows that support groups for children may help develop participants' feelings of acceptance and self-worth.