Comprehensive Evaluation and Treatment for ADD and ADHD is Required

Why Not Comprehensive Treatment for ADD
“The doctor came in the room pulled out a questionnaire and asked me to fill it in. I answered the questions as best I could and less than five minutes later I had a prescription for Adderall, a diagnois of ADHD and the doctor had left the room.”             

Musings of a bewildered ADHD Patient

The above scenario sounds preposterous, right? It may be a bit of an exaggeration but the experience of this bemused ADHD patient happens every days and is not all that dissimilar to the experience that many families and patients have when they first go to see a physician with ADHD like symptoms.

Though ADHD is a chronic condition that affects billions of adults and children worldwide; most parents and patients are barely evaluated when they are given a diagnosis of ADHD. A teacher or educator has probably been the driver of the doctor's referral and the diagnosis is often a given before the patient has even entered the clinician's office.

Under many circumstances, the health care provider performs a short and inadequate examination, does not explain in any detail the course or scope of ADHD symptoms to the parent or patient, he/she does not discuss medication alternatives, side effects or contraindication and most patients are rarely made aware of anything but the pharmaceutical treatments available for this problem. This is simply not right!

I have said many times on this blog that I am not anti-medication, I believe that treating ADHD, like treating any medical problem involves a comprehensive approach that includes appropriate diagnosis, education, a review of all available interventions and continuing evaluation regarding the success or failure of any treatment plan.

The Herman Miller Healthcare plan has reported the following regarding chronic illness. “In order to effectively and efficiently treat chronic diseases, there needs to be a continuum of cooperation, from doctor to home, from specialist to patient and from intervention to prevention." but this philosophy appears to be non-existent and a non-starter in the ADHD healthcare community. Comprehensive evaluation, education and intervention rarely, if ever, happens.

ADHD has reached epidemic proportions in this country. Estimates have reported that almost 10% of children and over 4% of adults have a current diagnosis of ADHD. We need to consider ADHD as a chronic condition that requires both a comprehensive approach to diagnosis, and a treatment plan that is also comprehensive and includes other interventions in addition to and besides medication. The treatment of ADHD must include education regarding diagnosis, prevention, lifestyle interventions, behavioral therapy and other potential treatment options.

I hope to in future post address where we stand today with regards to new, old and controversial treatments for ADHD. I believe that treating ADHD with a full court press, no holds barred, “pull out all the stops”, diagnosis and treatment plan will make a difference in the lives of millions of people diagnosed with this condition.

Parents, educators, physicians and individuals with a diagnosis of ADHD must know what is involved in a ‘kitchen sink’ approach to ADHD Treatment. Only with this type of information can parents and the medical community move ADHD diagnosis and treatment to a more thorough, complete, safer and more effective level.


  1. Yes I agree in many cases the approach is defective and needs to be improved.calling them mentally handicapped and not giving them a normal life is mean.

  2. Posts like this make me glad I have the mental health care providers that I do...when I went in for "evaluation" they had me talk to three different providers in three different disciplines (psychologist, MSW, ARNP) over the course of a few weeks...the conversations and lists of questions were extensive...some of them were repetitive and annoying which is good because they could all compare the "data" I was giving them.

    Medication was only offered as a list of options for proceeding, and only prescribed at my request. This was at a community health center, not some fancy place.

    Less subjective types of testing may be available someday...but in lieu of that, I felt good about my experience.

  3. There are many parents these days that take their children for chiropractic treatment and care. It has been observed that children can take advantage of this treatment method starting from birth till throughout the childhood. Handling a child with ADHD in your house can be a problematic work but it has been observed that chiropractic treatment can help a lot with the symptoms of ADHD.

    Children suffering from the problem of ADHD or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder can act out in various ways. They may control themselves, not obey commands and bully other children. These children might get violent and may have rough behavior like throwing things around.

    According to a survey by American Chiropractic Association in 1991, the number of chiropractic patients of sixteen years of age and younger has increased to 8.5%. Chiropractic services is the most common alternative method of treatment performed on children and it is completely safe.

    A study conducted in 1975 compared the effect of chiropractic treatment and drugs in children suffering from ADHD. The study showed that chiropractic services was twenty four percent more effective than normal drug prescription. It worked over the wide range of symptoms which are common in neurological dysfunction syndrome. So, chiropractic treatment works good with children having ADHD.

    It has been observed that children who suffer from the problem of ADHD have successful results with chiropractic treatment. It has also been noticed that children who have vertebral subluxation and do not show any symptoms of ADHD should still have chiropractic services. The best method of treatment in case of ADHD is chiropractic services. It is completely natural and so it does not have any side effects. This makes it very safe for your child. With proper treatment and care, the symptoms of this condition can be helped to a great degree.

  4. Chiropractic care has been used for mental health problems with varying degrees of success for many year. This care falls into the realm of what traditional physicians call Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). The use of CAM has increased over the past two decades, and surveys have shown that up to 44% of patients with neurological type problems use one form or another of non-traditional medical treatment. The studies available on the success of Chiropractic care and ADHD are very limited and some consider the available studies to be "promotional" in nature. That is, they promote the use of Chiropractic care. The same criticism however could be leveled at studies performed by the pharmaceutical companies. The benefits of chiropractic care for ADHD is probably related to the individual counselling and treatment given by each individual Chiropractic provider to whatever problem symptoms is treated. A chiropractor who counsels the family on appropriate Executive function and behavioral interventions for ADHD symptoms should be and will be as successful as a Psychiatrist who does the same.

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