ADHD: Information on Medication Interventions
When should medication be considered?
1. There is a positive diagnosis of ADHD
2. Moderate to severe impairment in school and/or home
3. There is agreement between parents and child/adolescent to take medication
4. There are no major medical side effects known/no other medications being taken that a known to interact negatively with the new medication
5. There is no substance abuse problems with the child/adolescent
How do we explain medication (treating ADHD) to an adolescent?
1. Talk to the adolescent honestly/provide accurate information
2. Help the adolescent understand the advantages and disadvantages of the medication
3. Acknowledge and talk about the adolescents objections
4. Help the adolescent decide whether the advantages outweigh the disadvantages
5. Do not force medication on an adolescent
What are the positive effects of stimulant medication?
1. Increase in getting focused and maintaining focus for extended periods
2. Increase in self-control and decrease in hyperactivity
3. Increase in frustration tolerance and improvements in anger management
4. Improvements in organization and forgetfulness
5. Improvements in time management and “speeding” through tasks
6. Improvements in inhibitory control and speaking and acting out before thinking
What are the side effects of stimulant medication?
1. Loss of appetite
2. Difficulty getting to sleep or sleeping through the night
3. Stomachache and headache
4. Rebound effects- increased moodiness and restlessness when medication wears off
5. Feeling jittery or “wired”
Medication and Monitoring
1. Talk to the physician about dose and most efficient ways to monitor behavior
2. Monitor monthly until the dose is stable.
3. Use teacher ratings to evaluate effectiveness.
The above information was taken from an in-service presentation in Jackson
Schools ISD, Michigan by Arthur Robin, Ph.D. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity
Disorder: School Related Issues. Fall 2003.
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