Tips for getting your child evaluated and diagnosed
If you think your #child might have a #mentalhealth or learning disorder, getting an evaluation and diagnosis is the first step. But how do you find a professional to diagnose your #child? Here are some ways to find the support your #child needs.
Where to start
- Talk to your child’s #pediatrician. This is often the best place to start. The #pediatrician knows your #child and can rule out medical problems. Some #pediatricians can also evaluate and diagnose your #child, but others do not have the necessary expertise in #mentalhealth. In that case, they can put you in touch with other clinicians who are qualified to do the evaluation and diagnosis.
- Work with the #school counselor. #School counselors are trained in #mentalhealth and may already be working with your child at #school. They can make referrals to clinicians who can provide an evaluation and diagnosis.
- Check with local universities and teaching hospitals. If you live near a big university or hospital, you can check to see if they have programs offering children’s #mentalhealthservices. Nearby nonprofits may also be able to help.
- Use your insurance provider’s database. Most insurance companies have online databases that you can use to search for nearby children’s #mentalhealthproviders.
- Ask other #parents. Getting a recommendation from another #parent you trust is a great way to find a reliable clinician. You can also find online #parent groups based in your area or ones that focus on the specific condition that you think your child might have.
- Consider telehealth. More and more providers are offering options for online evaluations, and insurance companies may also cover telehealth care. This can be especially helpful if you don’t live near many providers or if you need to work with a specialist.
For more information about the kinds of professionals who can diagnose children’s #mentalhealth problems: Guide to #MentalHealth Specialists.
Professional organizations often have directories you can search and other helpful resources. Some even have free hotlines. Here are some organizations that may be able to connect you with a clinician:
- #AmericanPsychologicalAssociation, www.apa.org
- Association for #Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, www.abct.org
- #AmericanPsychiatricAssociation, http://finder.psychiatry.org/
- American Academy of Child and #Adolescent Psychiatry, (AACAP) https://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families_and_Youth/Resources/CAP_Finder.aspx
- National Child Traumatic Stress Network, https://www.nctsn.org/about-us/network-members
- Children and #Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD), https://chadd.org/professional-directory/
- Selective Mutism Association, https://www.selectivemutism.org/
- National Eating Disorders Association, https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/
- Autism Speaks, https://www.autismspeaks.org/
- Substance Abuse and #MentalHealthServices Administration, (SAMHSA) https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/
Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.
Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.
Having gone through a recent bout of #depression and #suicidalthoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space. #http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle
What to ask
It’s important to find a #mentalhealthprovider who is a good fit for your child’s needs. They should also have experience diagnosing the kinds of challenges your child is experiencing. For example, if your child’s teacher says they have trouble paying attention in class, you would want a clinician who has experience diagnosing #children with attention issues.
Here are some questions you can ask to learn more about any clinician you are considering:
- Can you tell me about your professional training?
- Are you licensed, and, if so, in what discipline?
- Are you board certified, and, if so, in what discipline?
- How much experience do you have diagnosing #children whose #behaviors are similar to my child’s?
- How do you arrive at a diagnosis? What evidence do you use?
- When do you consult with other professionals?
- Do you provide the treatments you recommend, or do you refer to others?
- Do you accept my insurance?
- What are your fees? Do you offer sliding scale or payment plans?
- For telehealth providers: How do you handle security and privacy for online sessions?
Return to Connect to Care for more information about getting #kids help.