ADHD Diagnosis

young girl using a stethescope to listen to her doctor's chest

Who can diagnose a child with ADHD?

There are several types of professionals who are qualified to make a diagnosis of Childhood ADHD. A pediatrician, some primary care physicians, neurologist, child psychiatrist and child psychologists. Not all physicians and pediatricians, or the aforementioned specialists are experienced with diagnosing and treating ADHD, as everyone’s training and experience vary greatly. Dr. Eileen has over 12 years of experience in diagnosing, treating, and educating families on child ADHD.

Is there any benefit to having a formal evaluation and diagnosis of ADHD if my child exhibits some signs and symptoms if I don’t want medication?

In short, yes. Having the proper evaluation and accurate diagnosis can help your child and family manage expectations. Without medications, children with ADHD can still benefit from behavioral modifications, academic provisions, and integrative holistic approaches to improve their symptoms.

What are the diagnostic criteria for ADHD?

  • Symptoms need to be present before age 12
  • Symptoms are present in more than 1 setting (like home and school, and/or work)
  • Symptoms interfere with daily functions
  • Symptoms are not caused or explained by another neurodevelopmental or mental health condition.

The assessment process for ADHD:

A step-by-step guide on what to expect at your child’s pediatrician visit:

  1.  Clinical Interview: all assessment begins with the clinical history, or report from the patient and caregivers about the signs and symptoms concerning the child.  This includes areas regarding the child’s past medical history, development, general health, family support, and lifestyle. 
  2. Physical Exam: this is the gold standard of good medical practice to examine the child to rule out other health conditions.
  3. Questionnaires/Diagnostic Rating Scales: these rating scales are to be completed by caregivers, teachers, coaches to measure symptoms of ADHD.  It is helpful to have these rating scales filled out and brought to your doctor’s office so that all the information is there for accurate assessment.

While in many other offices, patients gets rushed out of the door with a prescription for medication, Dr. Eileen reviews the clinical history, physical findings, and questionnaires in-depth with each patient and their families.  This is done so everyone can come together to form an action plan that helps the child with their daily functions. 

This conversation will discuss both non-medical and medical options, answer questions and concerns, ancillary support and resources, and goal-oriented steps to help your child attain better focus and performance at home and in school.

Dr. Eileen Shi

Board-Certified Las Vegas Pediatrician

Your pediatrician should always be your child’s advocate and believe your child always comes first. Little Roots Pediatrics families on their wellness journey with Concierge Pediatric care. We integrate evidence-based care with holistic health principles to provide the most up-to-date, direct-access pediatric care.