Tip to Get Started If You Want to Consider Trying Medication

Welcome to Tea & Tips, where we respond to burning questions from parents and educators -- taking aim on one topic at a time, guiding you to improve communication, confidence and calm.

So here's another question about medication...

This is a parent who's considering medication, and their child is challenged with homework and organization. And the question is, "Do I start with a pediatrician or do I go ahead and talk with a specialist?"

So how would you answer that?

Well, first I would say there are a couple different issues here. And we've talked about this previously in another video, but to really think about what you are trying to achieve with the medication. So if you're talking about organization, is it something that can be improved by medication? Because if you put a kid on medication, it's not going to automatically give them an organized backpack. You still have to have the skills, but will that medication help them learn and be receptive to the skills? Potentially. So first you want to understand what you're trying to achieve.

And then I think you start with a pediatrician.

Yeah, I think that because most of our kids have a relationship, and there's always an advantage to having a doctor who knows your child and knows you as you're having this conversation. Because, for some of us, it's a difficult conversation.

And then if you feel like your pediatrician doesn't understand ADHD well, or maybe it's complicated and you're trying medication and you're not hitting it on the first or second try, then you really do want to work with a specialist. Some pediatricians these days do specialize in working with kids with ADHD, so that's a whole different realm. But you really want to know, if it gets complicated, and sometimes it does, that you've got someone who understands the range of medications that are available so that you can find the one that's the best fit for that child and for the changes you're trying to achieve.

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