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The ADHD Book of Lists: A Practical Guide for Helping Children and Teens with Attention Deficit Disorders, 2nd Edition by Sandra F. Rief

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1.21 If a Child or Teen Is Taking Medication: Advice for School Staff and Parents

What Teachers Need to Know

  • Parents do not easily make the decision to try their child on medication. They often are fearful of the long-term effects. In addition, they are frequently made to feel guilty by well-meaning relatives, friends, or acquaintances who are uneducated about proven treatments or biased against the use of medication because of misinformation.
  • The school's role is to support any student receiving medication treatment and cooperate fully. School personnel need to communicate their observations so the doctor can determine the child's response to the medication. These observations and frequent feedback to the doctor are necessary particularly in the titration process when a new medication is started. This is critical for the physician to determine the right medication and dosage—one that is providing the desired symptom improvement with minimal side effects. During the titration stage, in which medication dosage (and sometimes timing) is increased every few days until the optimal dosage is determined, teachers will be asked for their feedback each time the dosage is adjusted.
  • The teacher is an integral part of the therapeutic team because of his or her unique ability to observe the child's performance and functioning (academically, socially, and behaviorally) on medication during most of the day. Teachers will need to monitor and observe students on medication carefully and report ...

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