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22 Sep 2011

6 Year Old ADD
My 6 year old has been going through a difficult patch, which resulted in a number of assessments being done - emotional cognitive, neurological etc, and through it all, a whole bunch of issues cropped up - but the one thing that never cropped up - after 3 separate opinions was ADD or ADHD. Because there is a suspicion that he has early onset bipolar and TLE, I was sent to a psychiatrist - which - after one session - she has now said that he is ADD. I am finding this very confusing - he has been to a neurologist, and educational psychologist, a clinical psychologist as well as a play therapist. They all have said that he is focused etc, I have discussed his behavior in class directly with his teacher, and she has said there are no signs of ADD in her opinion, so how does the psychiatrist come to this conclusion. Is there such a diversity in the field that the other 4 specialists could be completely wrong (ADD being more a psychiatrist field of knowledge) - I do not understand enough about each area to disagree what the psychiatrist is saying, but on the other hand it seems strange that only 1 person seems to think that this might be the case (the other 4 through consensus and many joint sessions all went down the bipolar / TLE route).
Should I take him to a second psychiatrist or just follow through with the assessments now that the first one has requested (a number of them have already been done by the other 4 specialists, but she wants to redo them)
Any advice would be appreciated
Answer 346 views
ADHD Expert

01 Jan 0001

Dear Anon,

I can only begin to imagine the frustration you are experiencing. I would typically recommend a second opinion, however, having been to 5 different specialists already my concern is for your son's self esteem. Although getting to the bottom of the matter is imperative, he should;t suffer in the process. Being his mother, this call is best made by you.

I know all specialists insist on doing their own assessments, the reason for this is to observe the child's reactions and methodology when tackling a task. I also understand your frustration in having the same assessments done again. Having said that, doing the same assessments within a close space of time may yield inaccurate results due to what is called carry over: learning from the first situation and therefore providing a different answer in the second instance.

I would suggest one of two things: either email all the reports to another specialist and ask his/her opinion based on them, or make an appointment with another specialist making no mention of what any of the others have said to eliminate an chance of 'tunnel vision'.

Best wishes,
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