How to Find an ADHD Specialist

Family with child visiting a psychologist.

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurological disorder that can make it difficult for people to focus and control their behavior. It affects around 3% to 5% of the population and is one of the most common chronic disorders in children.

If you or your child has ADHD and you’re looking for a specialist to help, where do you start? There are many different types of specialists, each with their own area of focus. Here are some tips on how to find the right one for you.

Starting Your Search for an ADHD Specialist

First, ask your regular doctor for a referral. He or she will likely have a list of specialists who are familiar with ADHD and can help treat it.

If you don’t have a regular doctor or want to explore other options, there are several ways to find a specialist. One is to look online. There are many directories of doctors that include information on their areas of focus and specialty. Another option is to ask friends or family members for a referral. They may know of a specialist who has helped them or someone they know.

Finally, you can also call your local mental health center or ADHD support group. They often have lists of specialists in the area who can help.

No matter how you find a specialist, it’s important to interview several before making a decision. Ask them about their experience treating ADHD, what methods they use, and what kind of results they’ve had. It’s also important to feel comfortable with the specialist and feel like they understand your needs. With the right specialist, you can get the help you need to manage your ADHD.

Efficacy of ADHD Treatment

ADHD treatment can be effective in reducing symptoms and improving functioning. Stimulant medication is the most well-studied treatment for ADHD and has been shown to be effective in reducing symptoms in 70% to 80% of people who take it.

In addition to medication, other treatments, such as behavior therapy, can be helpful in managing ADHD symptoms. Behavior therapy teaches people with ADHD skills to help them manage their symptoms. It can be effective in reducing impulsivity, improving organization, and increasing self-control.

ADHD treatment typically lasts for several months to years. It’s important to work with a specialist who can help you find the right treatment for you or your child and monitor symptoms over time. With proper treatment, people with ADHD can lead successful and productive lives.

Types of ADHD Specialists

There are many different types of specialists who can help treat ADHD. Here are a few examples:

  • Neuropsychologists: Neuropsychologists specialize in assessing and treating problems with the brain. They can help people with ADHD identify and manage their symptoms.
  • Clinical Psychologists: Clinical psychologists specialize in providing therapy for mental health disorders. They can help people with ADHD manage their symptoms and learn how to cope with them.
  • ADHD Coaches: ADHD coaches are trained to help people with ADHD achieve their goals and manage their symptoms. They can provide guidance and support, and help you stay on track with your goals.
  • Pediatricians: Pediatricians specialize in the health of children and can provide treatment for ADHD in children. They can also refer you to specialists who can help treat ADHD in adults.
  • Specialist Doctors: There are many different types of specialist doctors who can help treat ADHD. Examples include neurologists, psychiatrists, and developmental pediatricians. It's important to interview several specialists before making a decision.

Who Is the Best Person to Diagnose ADHD?

If you're wondering who is the best person to diagnose ADHD, the answer is usually a psychiatrist or other mental health professional who specializes in ADHD. However, your regular doctor may also be able to make the diagnosis.

It's important to get an accurate diagnosis so that you can get the right treatment. If you think you or your child may have ADHD, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional. They can help you figure out what's going on and whether ADHD is the right diagnosis.

Should I See a Psychiatrist or Psychologist for ADHD?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best treatment for ADHD will vary from person to person. There is a misconception that psychiatrists only prescribe medication and psychologists do the therapy. However, this isn't true.

People with ADHD may see a psychiatrist for therapy and to be prescribed medication. Or, a person might see both a psychologist (for therapy) and a psychiatrist (for therapy and medication). Other types of mental health professionals, such as social workers, can also provide therapy.

If you're not sure who to see, talk to your regular doctor or a mental health professional. They can help you decide which type of specialist is right for you.

How Do I Choose a Psychologist for ADHD?

When looking for a psychologist to treat your ADHD, it's important to find someone who understands the condition and has experience treating it. You may want to ask your regular doctor for a referral, or you can look online or through directories of doctors.

It's also important to feel comfortable with the psychologist you choose. You should feel like they understand you and your situation, and that you can trust them. If you don't feel like the psychologist is a good fit, try finding someone else. There are many professionals who specialize in treating ADHD, so you should be able to find one that works for you.

How to Find an ADHD Coach

If you're looking for help managing your ADHD, you may want to consider hiring an ADHD coach. Coaches are trained to help people with ADHD achieve their goals and manage their symptoms.

There are many different types of coaches, so it's important to find one who is a good fit for you. You can find a coach online or through directories of professionals. It's also important to interview several coaches before making a decision.

Coaches can be helpful for people who want extra support in managing their ADHD. They can provide guidance and support, and help you stay on track with your goals.

How to Find an ADHD Specialist Online

There are many online directories of doctors that include information on their areas of focus and specialty. You can use these directories to find a doctor who specializes in ADHD.

The websites below are a few examples of directories of doctors:

It's important to note that not all doctors who specialize in ADHD will have experience with every type of treatment for the condition. So, it's important to interview several specialists before making a decision.

How to Help Someone Find an ADHD Specialist

If you're looking for a specialist for someone else, there are a few things you can do to help them find the right doctor.

  • Talk to the person about their needs and what they're looking for in a specialist.
  • Help them research different doctors and ask questions about their experience with ADHD.
  • If possible, accompany them to appointments with potential specialists.
  • Encourage them to keep trying until they find the right doctor who meets their needs.

Finding the right specialist for ADHD can be tricky, but it's worth it to get the right treatment. With the right help, you can manage your ADHD symptoms and live a successful life.

A Word From Verywell

There are many different types of ADHD specialists, including psychiatrists, psychologists, and ADHD coaches. The type of treatment that works best for you depends on your unique circumstances. If you're not sure who to see to help treat your ADHD, talk to a primary care doctor or a mental health professional. They can help you decide which type of specialist is right for you.

4 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What Is ADHD?

  2. Kolar D, Keller A, Golfinopoulos M, Cumyn L, Syer C, Hechtman L. Treatment of adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorderNeuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2008;4(2):389-403. doi:10.2147/ndt.s6985

  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Parent Training in Behavior Management for ADHD.

  4. National Alliance on Mental Illness. Types of Mental Health Professionals.

By Arlin Cuncic
Arlin Cuncic, MA, is the author of "Therapy in Focus: What to Expect from CBT for Social Anxiety Disorder" and "7 Weeks to Reduce Anxiety."