10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Putting Your Child on ADHD Medication

Unsure whether your child needs meds for ADHD? This checklist will help you make an informed decision. Here’s what you need to know.

It’s a personal choice

There are many myths about ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder), including that kids with ADHD are lazy and disorganized. But there are many factors and feelings to consider before you decide whether to go with ADHD medication for your child. It’s a very personal choice, according to Elizabeth Harstad, MD, MPH, a developmental behavioral pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital and an expert for Understood.org. Before you decide to medicate or not to medicate for your child’s ADHD, ask yourself these questions.

Are you confident in the ADHD diagnosis?

Just because your child is hyperactive or has difficulty paying attention doesn’t mean your child has ADHD. Make sure your child has had a thorough ADHD evaluation before considering ADHD medication. These are the other conditions often mistaken for ADHD.

Are you familiar with all types of ADHD treatment?

While medication is generally the most effective form of treatment for ADHD in children, there are other options, such as behavior therapy or individual counseling, that you may want to consider.

Do you see a significant potential benefit from medication?

Which aspects of your child’s challenges would be helped by ADHD medication? Which would not? You may want to discuss this with the prescriber.

Is your child on other medications that could potentially interfere with new meds?

Make sure you talk to your doctor about how the two medications may interact. These are the signs you’re taking too many prescription drugs.

Are you willing to put in the effort required to fine-tune the medication?

It may take some time and energy to find the right ADHD medication and dosage. Are you prepared for that? (Don’t miss these secrets your pharmacist won’t tell you.)

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