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Hi Jackie,

I'm wondering whether you've read [U]Healing ADD[/U] by Daniel Amen, M.D. You may be able to get it at your local public library. This book gives rating tests for parents, as well as for older kids to do. For people who are anti-medication, Amen's approach can be very helpful. He breaks ADD down into 6 subtypes & talks about both standard medical approaches (meds) as well as alternative approaches to dealing with ADD.

I can't say enough about Dr. Amen, who does cutting edge research on brain & behavior using fMRI to objectively demonstrate how various illnesses & glitches affect brain function, and then also to show how certain meds, & in some cases, supplements, restore brain function. But you can use his principles without the testing, if desired.

Most kids are diagnosed by their pediatrician, or by a psychologist or psychiatrist, on the basis of history as well as parent & teacher rating scales. Some psychologists use more objective, computerized tests like the TOVA or the IVA to see how well a child can focus. If one chooses the medical route, & esp. if one chooses traditional child psychiatry, there is generally a fair bit of pressure put into recommendations for meds, if ADD is found. In all fairness, the stimulant meds are very helpful for some kids with ADD. However, for other subgroups of kids with ADD stimulants can have a downside.

Good luck & best wishes.

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