How ADHD is diagnosed
Treatment success starts with the correct diagnosis. ADHD is a complicated disorder that is easily and frequently mistaken for other disorders. The wrong diagnosis leads to months of trial and error with inappropriate medications, intolerable side effects, worsening symptoms, poor performance in school or work, and loss of hope. The specialists at the KEGE Center for ADHD take the time to get the diagnosis right the first time which means faster results for you or your child.
All new patients to the KEGE Center for ADHD start with a comprehensive 120-minute psychiatric evaluation with a board-certified psychiatric provider. During this evaluation, a primary diagnosis is made with a high degree of certainty. Additional assessment is conducted to determine the presence of any of the co-occurring conditions associated with ADHD, such as insomnia, mood disruption, anxiety, and others. Research suggests the presence of one or more co-occurring conditions in 70% of children and 47% of adults with diagnosed ADHD.
Your provider will:
- Conduct a 120-minute, face-to-face interview by video or in-person with you. For children, the interview includes the parents, the child and a review of teacher feedback.
- Actively listen to understand your concerns, presenting symptoms, and goals with treatment.
- Assess and rule out of medical causes of symptoms through laboratory testing or complete referrals to medical specialists when necessary.
- Provide thorough education of all treatment options including medication, non-medication alternatives, and behavioral therapy or coaching.
- Develop a personalized treatment plan for your child.
- Discuss what you should expect from the chosen treatment and what to do if things don’t go as planned.
- Schedule convenient follow-up appointments for medication management in-person or by video visit.
- Many psychiatric practices have long wait times. Don’t wait weeks or months for an appointment for an evaluation. KEGE Center for ADHD can usually see you within one to two weeks. Get started now with a psychiatric evaluation.
Do I need laboratory testing (aka "blood work")?
Your KEGE Center provider will order laboratory testing (blood work) at the start of treatment for a variety of purposes, including to rule out medical causes of psychiatric symptoms, to record baseline data before prescribing medications that may lead to lab abnormalities, and to screen for general medical problems. Depending on the medication prescribed, routine blood work may be needed to monitor drug levels, A1C, blood cell count, lipid levels, and kidney/liver/thyroid function. In otherwise healthy patients, annual blood work is adequate for monitoring.
All labs are ordered electronically through Sonora Quest or Labcorp. The cost is typically covered by most insurance plans.
If I was diagnosed elsewhere, do I still need an evaluation?
Yes. All new clients to KEGE Center receive a thorough psychiatric evaluation by an ADHD specialist. We want to make sure the diagnosis is accurate and that no other conditions were missed. It is very helpful to your KEGE Center provider to see a copy of any previous progress notes and evaluations for a complete discussion of the current diagnoses and the plan forward.
Quite often we see patients who started treatment elsewhere and after months or years of medication trial and error, their symptoms continued, worsened and/or new symptoms emerged.
Does my child need to attend the evaluation?
Yes. Your child must attend all scheduled appointments. If you want to meet with your provider without your child present, this can be done during the child’s appointment or an additional appointment can be made for a fee.
Why can't I just go to my pediatrician or primary care doctor (PCP)?
Primary care doctors and pediatricians are quite often the first providers to hear concerns from patients about ADHD symptoms. These providers have very limited time to make a diagnosis and prescribe medication. When they do… Is it the right medication? The correct dose? Is it the right diagnosis? Were there any considerations for the likely co-occurring conditions associated with ADHD or were they only targeting inattention or hyperactivity?
You have to ask yourself, if PCPs make regular referrals to specialists, i.e. cardiologist, neurologists, surgeons, etc, when seeking a diagnosis or for cases requiring more focused care, why not refer for psychiatric care?
As you can read on this site, ADHD is complicated and so is its treatment. This is why KEGE Center was started. Our ADHD specialists have a full 2 hours to completed a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation to reach an accurate diagnosis of all disorders present, discuss medications and treatment options, and educate you and/or your child on what to expect going foward.
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NEXT: Medication Management
Significant improvement of core ADHD symptoms can be achieved with medication. Is medicine the only way to treat ADHD?