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ADHD or ADD: finding a good therapist
Q: My son's school is trying to tell me my 5-year-old son has ADHD. I think it is just ADD, and he does not have problems at home; just at school. I don't want him on medication, so what I really need to know is how to find a good behavioural therapist.
Jennifer Putnam
A: Many teachers have raised the question with parents that their child may be hyperactive or have an attention problem or both. I believe concerns like this need to be checked out with an evaluation.

Schools often offer to evaluate for ADD and ADHD, but I feel this is an evaluation parents should obtain outside of school. School counselors are very overworked these days and often have limited time for a complete and thorough evaluation. If your school is the exception, then you might want to consider an in-school evaluation.

ADHD and ADD are serious disorders and you want the best evaluation possible plus expert advice on treatment. A good evaluation takes anywhere from four to six hours. It should include a developmental history and parents and teachers should complete questionnaires that have been developed to diagnose ADHD and ADD. The psychologist should also observe your child himself and converse with his teacher.

There are two ways to find a competent child psychologist who is experienced in this area; one is to ask your pediatrician for a referral to a child psychologist; the other approach is to contact your local ADHD organization—most communities today have parents coming together to form an organization to help each other. I hope this information will be of some help to you.
Kenneth N. Condrell Ph.D Child Psychologist