There are varieties of professionals who are qualified to evaluate children for AD/HD. The most important thing about who you choose is not much what their degree is, but rather that they have ample experience evaluating children for AD/HD.
Professionals who evaluate for AD/HD are:
- Developmental pediatricians
- Child Psychiatrists
- Pediatric neurologists
- Clinical psychologists
- Pediatric neuropsychologists
- Educational psychologists
While every professional will use the criteria listed in the mental health professional's book of disorders, Diagnostic and Statistical manual of Mental Disorders IV-TR, (DSM-IV-TR), each will have their own tools and procedures and each will have their own treshold for what level of symptoms they think meets criteria for the diagnosis.
There are some pros and cons in selecting which type of evaluator will assess your child. Pediatricians tend to have limited time. However, your pediatrician likely knows your child quite well and has a long standing history of observing him. Psychiatrists, neurologists, and developmental pediatricians will all likely to perform a longer evaluation, but the only form of intervention they have to offer is medication. Pediatric neurologists and educational psychologists provide testing, but typically do not offer treatment. Clinical psychologists, many of whom can provide testing if necessary, can evaluate and provide treatment.
SOURCE: ADD & ADHD Answer Book by Susan Ashley, PhD