Pediatrician or Psychiatrist - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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Pediatrician or Psychiatrist

Gelz68
Gelz68

I suppose it would matter on how versed a pediatrician is on the subject of medicating for ADHD but does anyone have any thoughts on having a pediatrician dose your child over a psychiatrist or vice versa?

25 Replies
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My daughter has had the same pediatrician since she was born... I trust him and he knows her well. She is now 7 and he was the one to prescribe her ADHD medication. I guess it just depends on the rapport you have with your child’s pediatrician and whether or not they are well versed in ADHD treatment options. I hope this helps.

Gelz68
Gelz68
in reply to RCJH8610

Yes that is what I was thinking. Our previous pediatrician was not comfortable with medicating so we are trying a new group next week. It would be nice to just have one doctor for everything.

We started with our pediatrician on a single dose of medication to control impulses. When we needed to increase becuase it was not helping very much he felt out of his comfort range.

Our lives change in an amazing way when we meet out psychiatrist. She was skilled at meeting our son and realizing he was smart and needed different medications. So he gave him 1 medication for focus and 1 for impulse control. This has been life changing for us. Since he has grown so much since we first started with her she always calls me personally and we talk and she makes adjustments as she sees fit.

She also wrote the school a letter to help me get his 504 plan. I am confident he is going so well due to the finely tuned type, dose and timing of these medication. Having to see a psychiatrist was so hard for me... I felt like another thing to do and label him with, but looking back I wish we would have started with her.

Hope this helps families realize the role a psychiatrist can play in a child's life.

Thanks

Wow thanks for this. This gives me alot of food for thought. It sounds like she knows her stuff. I am hoping we are fortunate as well. I heard that it takes months to even see a child psychologist around here. We will consider it if our appt with a new pediatrician next week warrants it. Thanks again!

RCJH8610
RCJH8610
in reply to Gelz68

Psychiatrists definitely are way more versed. I see a psychiatrist myself for ADHD and would not mind my daughter seeing her as well. Thankfully because I am taking Concerta, I recommended to her pediatrician that we start with Concerta and go from there. I’m not sure what he would have recommended had I not suggested trying Concerta. Best of luck and remember that any choice you make is never a bad one. Trust your instinct ❤️🙌🏼

Gelz68
Gelz68
in reply to RCJH8610

Thanks!

One more thing, when we had out first appt. with the psychiatrist she showed me a chart of medication by years. The one medication we were was the oldest which was not a good choice for our son. There is so much to consider: type, dose and timing and our psychiatrist really works with us on all of this. Even down to the discussion about waiting to give out son medication as he is walking out the door to get more time at school. Since our son manages his morning well we need more time in the afternoon during academic time. Hope this makes sense.

No worries about starting with a Pediatrician and seeing how things go and if you need a psychiatrist requesting it. It's all a journey.

Thanks, since we got the appointment quickly we will see how it goes. I think I can trust my gut to tell me if she is just throwing meds at him or if she really knows what she is talking about. We have done a lot of research on meds and you are right, timing, dosing etc. all play a factor. I plan on keeping daily log to see how he reacts, etc to the meds once he gets on them.

We started with the pediatrician; however, when my son didn't respond to the medications she recommended we go to a child psychiatrist. In our experience, the child psychiatrist was where we needed to be as we experienced several medication changes and dosage changes.

Gelz68
Gelz68
in reply to Cjkchamp

Thank you for sharing this!

I think your question nailed it - it really depends on your pediatrician. Ours is well versed in ADHD (and has a son & a brother with ADHD), and we really trust him. So, that is who we see for ADHD treatment. But I know friends whose pediatrician wouldn’t do the diagnosis & referred them to a psychiatrist- which took months to see, and a few more to get a diagnosis.

So, my thoughts are - give your pediatrician a try, and if it isn’t working out, then ask to be referred to a psychiatrist. Though always keep your pediatrician in the loop.

Gelz68
Gelz68
in reply to Pennywink

Thank you for sharing this! All input helps us in decision making.

Pennywink
Pennywink
in reply to Gelz68

You are welcome!

We started with our pediatrician. He was well versed in ADHD. We eventually consulted a psychiatrist when it became apparent more was going on w/ our son than just ADHD and it turns out he is also on the autism spectrum (level 1). This was missed by the pediatrician despite concerns having been raised by us a couple of times. Not to cast aspersions- our son's presentation is mild and easily missed. Between that difference, and the level of familiarity the psychiatrist has with all the medicines available and not just the "two families" of stimulants, I'm very happy to have met with the psychiatrist. He's been able to not only get the best "blend" of medication for our son, but to explain what to expect, how each drug works, and to know when to lower or raise a dose. The downside is our insurance does not cover this and it's been quite expensive.

I guess my 2 cents would be to start with your pediatrician, see if you feel that she/he is on steady ground with this, and see if what she/he suggests works. And if not, seek a consult w/ a child psychiatrist. Keep in mind- it can be hard to get an appointment so start looking sooner rather than later if it seems like that's the direction you are going to go in.

Thank you! I agree with you and have already started researching child psychiatrists in our area. We will see how the appointment goes next week.

Please keep us posted after the appt.

Will do! I am am sure we will have more questions for the community! Thx

We choose to go with a psychiatrist and feel confident in that choice for a couple of reasons, pediatricians are comfortable with pediatric doses of these types of medications for the mere fact that that treat and children's illnesses and don't specialize in Neurological disorders. A psychiatrist handles neurological disorders regularly and can feel confident in suggesting a psychiatric dose because they are experienced in treating these types of disorders regularly . We really did not get a lot of direction from our pediatrician during our med trial. We also were concerned about the monitoring of our child taking a controlled substance and was worried about them only wanting to see him every 6 months.

We started seeing a therapist and psychiatrist not long after due to other concerns. We were thankful we chose to do so and found the correct dosage through the psychiatrist. They were also able to prescribe a very helpful second medication that our Pediatrician never mentioned. And finally, our psychiatrist sees our son every 6 weeks to monitor heart rate and weight (which we have trouble keeping on) and that really eases my worry of him not being monitored closely enough with this medications.

Gelz68
Gelz68
in reply to Blace

That is great info. We will take this all into account. Thanks for sharing!

We tried having Pediatrician help with adhd meds. We gave it some time. We decided to inlist help of child psychologist. So far he has been very proactive in finding right med and right dosage. I would go with a Psychologist first in hindsight.

Gelz68
Gelz68
in reply to Emommaber71

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

My pediatrician does the prescribing. I have yet to find a psychiatrist that is any good. My pediatrician has known my kids their entire lives, and he's very well-versed in ADHD meds. I def think you should bring your pediatrician in on this- especially if you've had the same pediatrician for many years.

Gelz68
Gelz68
in reply to willandgrace

Thanks. This makes us feel a little better about going the ped route. We would rather have one doctor for all of his needs. We will see how it works out in a few days.

Our pediatrician referred us to a developmental pediatrician for our daughter. There was a long waiting list but when we have been seeing her for almost a year now and I couldn't be happier!! Developmental pediatricians have more intensive training and most specialize in issues such as ADD, Autism, etc. it depends on your insurance and whom you feel more comfortable with.

Gelz68
Gelz68
in reply to BlueMama1

Thanks!!

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