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There are many different places to find information about ADHD, or Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, including at a local library, online, public health agency, school district, and mental health clinic. While these resources can all be helpful, it is important to remember that any diagnosis of ADHD, which stands for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, should be made by a trained and licensed mental health professional. These individuals have the expertise to understand whether someone is experiencing ADHD, or some other mental illness, such as autism, Asperger's Syndrome, or ADD (attention deficit disorder).
Online, the National Institute of Mental Health has ADHD information, including a description, symptoms, causes, diagnosis and other relevant data. The site is sponsored by the U.S. government. When looking up any information about ADHD online, remember the Internet can have a lot of wrong information. Therefore, before making any decisions, or acting on the basis of something read online, make sure the site is one you can trust. This is also true of information at the public library. Not all information is vetted before being put out to the public, though much of it is from sources librarians trust.
A local school district may be one of the best sources of information about ADHD, especially for those who have children in the district. If this is the case, it may be a teacher or school administrator that first approaches parents about ADHD and the possibility their child may have it. The school counselor should be able to provide information about the condition. Also, if something is suspected, the school will likely recommend the child see a mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist, to get a proper diagnosis.
If it gets to this point, your mental health provider of choice will likely be your best source of information about ADHD. This individual has the experience, training and credentials necessary to make diagnosis and prescribe treatment. There may be practical things recommended to help improve the situation without drug therapy. The use of medication will be a decision the parents may have to make after hearing from the mental health provider. In addition, the provider should be able to recommend, and likely provide, a substantial amount of reading material about ADHD that has been thoroughly vetted.
Finding the most current information on ADHD research, either for practical use, or for use in an academic report, may be slightly more difficult. This information is usually published in medical or mental health journals. This information will typically include a lot of technical jargon, but there summaries, or abstracts, are often provided that the general public can understand. These can often be found at a local library, or through an online academic database search.
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