On- or Off-Meds When Undergoing Evaluations?


"My 10-year-old son is going to be evaluated for learning disabilities, and the testing center has told us to be sure to give him his ADHD medication on the morning of the test. Is this right? Or should such evaluations be done off medication?"

Dr. Larry Silver specializes in treating children with attention deficit disorder (ADHD).

The purpose of the neuropsychological testing is to learn whether your son has learning disabilities or related cognitive problems. It is important that the results accurately reflect his abilities and disabilities, without reflecting any ADHD symptoms that might interfere with learning. For this reason, I’d advise you to give your son his regular dose of medication the morning of the test.

Larry Silver, M.D., is clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and director of training in child and adolescent psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine. He is a former acting director and deputy director of the National Institute of Mental Health, as well as the author of Dr. Larry Silver's Advice to Parents on AD/HD and The Misunderstood Child: Understanding and Coping with Your Child's Learning Disabilities.
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