With mental health professionals unable to cope with the increasing demands of ADHD diagnosis and treatment, primary care doctors are doing more and more in this area.
ADHD is being diagnosed in 300,000 new children each year in the US, on top of the 3,000,000 already diagnosed with this condition. In this large number, it is estimated that 35-45% of ADHD children also have a Learning Disorder [LD], that may not be caught initially.
Why is it important to know if LD is present in a child who is failing at school?
Because the doctor will manage your child’s care differently. For example, you may be given a prescription for your school to initiate a psych evaluation for LD. If LD is present, it triggers an IEP [Individual Educational Program] referral – a program designed and available to all children with this or similar LD conditions.
If on the other hand, LD is not present with your child’s ADHD, most of the time medications are the usual paths of treatment.
Getting an early diagnosis of LD allows your child’s care team of the doctor, the parents, the school and a trained psychologist to aim for better school performance. Better school performance usually leads to good self esteem, lower chance of substance abuse [weed, etc.], healthier relationships with family and peers. Don’t we all want that?