Managing Medications

When a Tween Is Reluctant to Take Meds

How to respond when a tween insists he no longer needs medication.

Fielding your ADHD tween's reluctance to take medication
Fielding your ADHD tween's reluctance to take medication

If your tween claims that he no longer needs ADHD medication, allowing him to take his pills in private might change his mind. If not, get him to agree to try the following “experiment”:

For one or two weeks, let him go off meds. During this period, he will keep detailed notes on how he’s doing. You’ll take your own notes on how he gets along at home, and get feedback from teachers about the school day.

At the end of the drug-free period, if all the notes suggest that being off meds does not cause any trouble, your child will be allowed to stay off them. If any of the notes suggest that going off meds caused problems, however, your tween must resume taking them.

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