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For many parents, placing their child on ADHD medication is a big, scary step. While medication can work wonders for many children, enabling them to succeed and thrive where nothing else can, every parent needs to make the decision to medicate carefully and responsibly. Often, that means discussing fears and doubts with an ADHD professional.

One concern I see often in my ADHD coaching practice is parents’ fear that their child will be dependent on medication forever. I’d like, therefore, to shed some light on what truly ideal timelines for ADHD medication should look like.

Decide on Initial Medication

First, let’s make sure we understand the answer to this question: when do we medicate for ADHD? Not every child with ADHD requires medication. If a child:

  • Is functioning relatively normally at home and in school
  • Struggles here and there like all children, but is generally happy and thriving
  • Feels generally like he’s succeeding
  • Has parents (and teachers) equipped with the ADHD parental tools and skills needed to manage him in a healthy way,

that child might not need medication.

ADHD professionals recommend medication when a child can’t cope and thrive normally. When their inattention makes it prohibitively difficult to make friends or complete tasks. When their hyperactivity disrupts their and others’ lives at home and/or in school. When their struggles with focusing cause them to constantly fail in school.

Find Proper ADHD Coaching To Help With Medication Recommendations

In short, ADHD does not equal medication. A child can be helped by medication only as long as he or she can’t thrive or succeed without it. That means that the same child may have periods where his doctor, therapist, and/or ADHD coach may recommend medication, and periods where those professionals will suggest easing off it. Every child will have unique circumstances.

An example: say your child struggles with focusing in class and keeping track of her books and materials. Her teacher is an old-school disciplinarian without much background in handling learning differences. This year, to avoid failing, your child might well need medication.

The next year, however, you might find your child’s new teacher to be empathetic, understanding, and willing and able to work with your child through her struggles. At some point, you might decide that she can manage without medication. This teacher has made it possible to succeed without it.

Perhaps your child might need medication to get through the rigors of college, but once he finds a job in a field that plays to his strengths, he can let the medication go. Visit if you are looking for bathroom remodeling contractors in California. Perhaps your socially-struggling child might be placed on medication, but once you provide her with comprehensive social-skills training, she can navigate her friendships without it.

Medication can be an essential key to your child’s success. Keep reevaluating – different times in his life might call for medication more than others. Perhaps medication will leave his life after his school years. Or perhaps he’ll utilize it on-and-off throughout his life, depending on his needs. For many parents and children, an ADHD online course will help provide answers to many common ADHD questions.

Read more about medicating for ADHD safely and effectively here.

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