Step 2: Paperwork & Prescriptions
-- Complete the paperwork. Go to the school's front office and ask for a medication authorization form. Schools cannot give this form out without a request from a parent or guardian, because they aren't permitted to recommend ADHD medication.
Most forms have three parts. Part one, to be filled out and signed by the parent, authorizes the school nurse or aide to give your child medication. Part two is completed and signed by the physician. It asks him to provide information on the diagnosis, medication, time, dosage to be dispensed, and possible side effects. Part three is the school's approval of the form and it's completed by an administrator.
-- Get a separate prescription bottle. Many schools require a separate bottle from the pharmacy. Your child's prescription might look like this in order to accommodate both school and home administration:
Methylphenidate, 10 mg. tablets, #90
Label: School Use
Place 20 tablets in bottle
One tablet at noon
Label: Home Use
Place 70 tablets in bottle
One tablet three times a day
Step 3: Prep the Nurse
-- Talk with the school nurse. Take the form completed by you and your physician, plus the meds in the container labeled for school use, to the health room. The school nurse or assistant should let you know when meds are running low, but you should also monitor this yourself. Ask the nurse to alert you if your child misses a dose and if there are any questions or problems that need to be addressed.
Even if your child doesn't take a dose at school, inform the nurse which ADHD treatment your child uses. In an emergency, she'll know to avoid administering any drugs that might interact dangerously with it.
-- Prepare for when you forget. One of these days, your child will forget to take her morning dose, so plan ahead by having an extra supply of medication in the health room. Include instructions from the doctor saying that the nurse can give your child a dose if you call to report that you missed the morning dose at home.
To discuss managing ADHD meds at school with other parents, visit the ADHD at School support group on ADDConnect.