As parents we take our children to schools we trust to educate and groom them. So when the same school in the form of a teacher suggests your child has a condition, like ADHD or anxiety that’s impacting their learning which can be managed with medication, often as parents we are conflicted. Dr Doris Greenberg, a developmental pediatrician who is associate clinical professor of pediatrics at Mercer University School of Medicine says, “Parents worry that medications will affect their children’s personalities.My child has a spirit and a sparkle, and we don’t want this taken away.”
Here’s a guide to how you should react:
Ask in-depth and then listen carefully to what it is that is making them come to the conclusion that there may be an intervention needed, and why they believe it’s necessary.
Share your observations
Once the teacher has shared what they have observed in your child that is making them come to the conclusion that intervention may be necessary, share what your observations you have about your child. At this point you may highlight whether you have seen what they are raising or not.
Ask clarifying questions
Understand what exactly it is that they recommend and what they believe this would achieve. “It’s important to understand how the diagnosis is being made, and why medicine is even being considered”, explains Dr Greenberg.
Acknowledge fears or doubts
Whenever medical intervention is suggested for a child, its natural that you may worry about the impact on them so share that with the teacher. Dr Wilens the author of the book Straight Talk about Psychiatric Medications for Kids says, “What parents are most worried about, of course, is safety. Is this going to hurt my kid, what are the side effects, what are the worst things that can happen?”.
Get a professional opinion
Once you have heard what they teacher has said assess the situation and get a professional opinion and whether medical intervention is necessary and whether it is the only option. “Before talking about medication,it’s important to understand — and to be sure the family understands — how the diagnosis is being made, and why medicine is even being considered. We don’t treat people who aren’t impaired — just because the kid wiggles,” explains Dr Greenberg.