West Michigan ADHD Resources

West Michigan ADHD Resources for Kids

Is it ADHD, normal kid stuff, or something else entirely?

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is a diagnosis that seems to be thrown around more are more frequently these days. If you are a parent who is questioning the possibility of an attention issue with your child, this is an important article for you to read.  While this article is not meant to make any sort of diagnosis, hopefully it will help point you in the right direction toward seeking help if your child needs it.

SYMPTOMS OF ADHD

Hyperactive Type

A child with ADHD (hyperactive type):

  • fidgets with or taps hands or feet, or squirms in seat.
  • leaves seat in situations when remaining seated is expected.
  • runs about or climbs in situations where it is not appropriate.
  • is unable to play or take part in leisure activities quietly.
  • is constantly “on the go,” acting as if being “driven by a motor.”
  • talks excessively.
  • blurts out an answer before a question has been completed.
  • has trouble waiting his/her turn.
  •  interrupts or intrudes on others (butts into conversations or games).

Inattentive Type ADHD

A child with ADHD (inattentive type):

  • fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork or other activities.
  • has trouble holding attention on tasks or play activities.
  • does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.
  • does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork or chores (loses focus, gets  side-tracked).
  • has trouble organizing tasks and activities.
  • avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to do tasks that require mental effort over a long period of time (such as schoolwork or homework).
  • loses things necessary for tasks and activities (pencils, books, papers, glasses, etc.)
  • is easily distracted.
  • is forgetful in daily activities.

If your child exhibits at least six of these behaviors from either list and the behaviors are seen in more than one setting, it may be worth pursuing an evaluation for ADHD. ADHD has been shown to have a strong genetic link, so if either (or both) parent has been diagnosed with ADHD, your child is more likely to also have ADHD.

WEST MICHIGAN ADHD RESOURCES

Where Should I Go if I Think My Child Has ADHD?

Starting with your pediatrician or family doctor is often a good first step. Some doctors are quite knowledgeable about ADHD and can handle everything through their office. If not, they should be able to refer you somewhere else.

The Pine Rest ADD Institute provides comprehensive evaluations and treatment for ADHD. BRAINS is another West Michigan area organization that provides both diagnosis and treatment for ADHD and other disorders. Dr. Oren Mason is a well-respected doctor in Grand Rapids who specializes in ADHD and other childhood disorders.

I Don’t Want to Medicate my Kid!

The biggest concern I hear from parents when talking about ADHD is over medicating their child. Quite often, parents do not even want to seek an evaluation for ADHD because they are so against the idea of putting their child on medication. As a parent, I completely understand the fear.

You don’t have to medicate your child who has ADHD. However, before making that decision, consider both options. Because ADHD is a disorder involving the neurotransmitters in the brain, medication is viewed an important part of treatment by many professionals. Ask yourself, if your child had another medical diagnosis, such as diabetes, would you still hesitate to give them medication?

Parents who are unsure about taking this route should talk to their doctor about alternative treatments. Though research has not supported their success, some families feel more comfortable treating their children with modifications to diet or environment, neurofeedback, and different supplements.

MORE RESOURCES FOR ADHD BEYOND GRAND RAPIDS

Whether you suspect your child has ADHD or has already been diagnosed with ADHD, it is wise to educate yourself on the disorder. Here are some websites  that may be helpful in your journey:

Does your child have ADHD? What treatments have you found effective?

Which doctors were helpful to you along the way?

West Michigan ADHD Resources

More of Kate’s Thoughts…
3 Ways to Teach Your Teen About Money
Home Alone: What Age is OK?
Motivating Kids who Just Want to Play Video Games
Vaping is on the Rise. Tips for Talking to Your Kids
Autism Spectrum Resources in Grand Rapids
Should Your Teen get a Cellphone?
6 Things School Age Kids Should be Responsible For
Top 10 Manners for Kids
How to Raise Confident, Independent Kids

12 thoughts on “West Michigan ADHD Resources”

  1. Very good article and information pertaining to the primary characteristics of ADHD and how to treat it. Proper diagnosis is critical to helping kids, adolescents & adults with this condition. I specialize in testing clients for ADHD in West Michigan and appreciate other places that provide these services as we all have the same goal of helping these folks live happier & more productive lives. : ) chrisquarto.com

  2. My son is 9 years old and has ADHD. I do not like medication such as Aderoll. Do you know I any natural supplement or other things can help my son? I will appreciate that. Thanks. Rafael Baez

  3. Michelle Dinesen

    Thank you for the article. My son was recently diagnosed through Brains and then diagnosed a little more through a therapist and we are exploring options. The best thing to do for a parent with a child with behavioral diagnosis is to try to be understanding. As parents, it is VERY hard to understand these diagnosis and the science behind them. We blame ourselves for the behavior and the sad thing is that other parents blame us for the behavior too and do not accept that it is a medical condition. I have 2 children and my oldest struggles with ADHD-I, ODD, and the therapist sees some ASD-mild(Aspergers) traits. It’s a medical condition and as much as you may nit like or understand his behavior, I struggle with it more. Please try to be patient 🙂 The behavior and reactions of my oldest and youngest are so opposite that it is easy to see there is something more with the oldest.

  4. Thank you for your article. For those who are hesitant to try medications first for whatever personal reasons, Harvest Health has some knowledgeable folks for alternative options to give a try.

  5. My 7 year old son was diagnosed with high functioning Autism, when I read the ADHD symptoms, it seems like that is a perfect fit. how do you tell the difference

    1. Melody V

      This response is from Kate- author of the article: That is a very difficult distinction to make because the 2 share many of the same characteristics. Because there is no blood test for either diagnosis, sometimes doctors will prescribe an ADHD medication to see how the child responds (if someone does not have ADHD their focus/ behavior would not improve with medication). Educate yourself, ask for another opinion, and advocate for what you think is best for your child as you know him best!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *