"My first priority is always to make sure we understand all aspects of the situation. This includes a thorough diagnostic evaluation, which might include specialized ADHD rating scales and questionnaires, a review of childhood symptoms, school history, and an extensive medical history."
It can be a challenge to distinguish ADHD from other issues such as anxiety and depression which can masquerade as inattentiveness and distractibility, so it’s important to see someone who knows all these issues well.
Once I’m satisfied that we’ve made the correct diagnosis, the next step is to select from the wide variety of treatment options and strategies. I’ll want to spend some time going over the advantages of each.
Medication can be an important part of treatment. But I tend to be conservative and to try to prescribe the least amount of medication necessary and to take careful measures to avoid side effects.
At times I’ll also recommend gene testing to help guide me in choosing the right medication. This testing is done in the office with DNA sample taken from a cheek swab. The sample is sent to a certified lab for analysis. Genetic analysis, done on the DNA from the swab, has helped many of my patients find the right balance between effectiveness and side effects.