Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

An accurate diagnosis is of critical importance when it comes to ensuring effective treatment for a child with suspected Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), in part because many other mental and physical issues can cause similar symptoms. 

The Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics and General Pediatrics teams at the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital have combined efforts to assist parents, schools, and physicians in the diag­nosis of ADHD through our integrated ADHD Diagnostic Clinic.  The clinic serves patients from our Howell and Brighton pediatric primary care clinics.

We uses the latest tech­nology in the diagnosis and assessment of ADHD from behavioral, medical, and educational research areas to arrive at a meaningful diagnosis and enable your healthcare team to create an optimal treatment plan for children and adolescents suspected of having ADHD.

What to expect from your child’s ADHD evaluation

Our multidisci­plinary diagnostic program is designed to assist in making the clinical diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.  U-M psychologists, nurses, and pediatricians spend 2½-4 hours in a series of structured assessment activities designed to assess wheth­er or not a child has ADHD. 

In addition to a well-child medical exam, youngsters are given a neurodevelop­mental examination and neurological screen­ing.  A thorough medical history examining family variables and potential genetic influences is taken from parents.  Psycho­logical measures including cognitive assess­ment, behavioral evaluation, and a direct observation of each child in the academic setting to assess on- and off-task behavior is also conducted.  Finally, a series of measures are sent for the parents and school to complete prior to each youngster's assessment at the clinic.

Diagnosing ADHD

At the present time, the state of knowledge related to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is such that there is not "one" test which will confirm or dis­confirm the presence of this condition.  Our thorough assessment leads to a "clinical diagnosis" which is based upon input from a number of areas including behavior in the classroom setting, functioning in the home environment, impulsivity, attention difficulties, and hyper­active behaviors.  Based upon results of behavioral observations, test results, and medical examinations, our multidisciplinary team of psychologists and pediatricians will review find­ings to determine whether the youngster meets the criteria for ADHD and will then make recom­mendations for treatment.

Treatment for ADHD

Should a youngster be diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, several options become available for parents, schools, and/or referring physicians.  The results of your child’s evaluation will be used to develop a treatment plan that includes recommendations for addressing symptoms at home and school.  Consultative services are available for schools to provide educational programming and teacher methods to deal with ADHD.  Finally, should medication be view­ed as a necessary component of the treatment process, you child’s pediatrician will be contacted for medica­tion treatment options, double-blind trials, medication monitoring, and ongoing follow-up.  This ADHD Diagnostic Clinic is designed to provide assessment, diagnostic and behavioral services; primary medical services will be provided collaboratively with your primary care provider.

Take the next step:

For more information, or to make an appointment with our ADHD Diagnostic Clinic, contact Howell Pediatric and Teen Clinic (517-548-1020) or the Brighton Health Center (810-227-9510).