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Teacher asked if I would be willing to stop Ritalin.

MissOz profile image
21 Replies

So classes started yesterday, and the new teacher who seems really nice and patient asked me if I would be willing to stop medication (she must be really against it), and said she is willing to work harder with my daughter. (This is a private school).

I would be willing to stop for a week so the teacher can see a difference, but at the same time I don’t know if this would be beneficial to my daughter. She’s on first grade and she must learn how to read and write by the end of school year.

No parent wants to medicate his/her child, but for most of us, if we got this point it is because we absolutely had to.

I don’t want my daughter to struggle or feel even more different than the other kids.... I don’t know what to do

21 Replies
ElinaK35 profile image

From what I understand, you can't just stop certain medications... children need to be weened off to avoid side effects and stress to the nervous system. So I would definitely speak with her doctor prior to this trial.

Adam081911 profile image

I agree with ElinaK35 - The new teacher only worked with your daughter for 2 days... You can't just stop giving her meds just because the teacher will work harder. (It sounds good to hear that she will work harder:) I wish my son's teacher would say that.)

What if a teacher next year says different opinion? We cannot just stop and go, stop and go....

I'm not a doctor or expert but if you want to try, just forget to give her Ritalin one day...

The teacher will notice a difference. If I or my husband forget to give our son a pill (Ritalin) in the morning, his teacher can always tell....

Your teacher sounds like a decent, caring person though. Usually teacher is the one push parents to give a child meds.

MissOz profile image
MissOz in reply to Adam081911

I agree with you. She meant well but it was too soon for such an important request... she doesn’t know my daughter at all. I was definitely taken aback. I was under the impression though, that Ritalin is flexible and used on a “need basis”, reason why many kids stop during summer and weekends. I am wrong?

Adam081911 profile image
Adam081911 in reply to MissOz

Good point about weekends and school breaks. I think you should bring this question to her doctor on Monday as I am not an expert. She can give you a clear explanation about how meds work.

Onthemove1971 profile image

This is so inappropriate... Did you ask her when she went to medical school? Sorry this makes me really upset. She has no idea what she is talking about. Just curious, what is her background in teaching is and how much she doesn't really understand about ADHD. I think I would set up a meeting with the principal to make sure she is not doing this to other families. She is way overstepping her boundaries. This is a medical conditions and teachers should not be doing this.

MissOz profile image
MissOz in reply to Onthemove1971

Thank you. I have come to realize that people have VERY strong opinions about medication. They are against it before doing any research at all. I must admit I was like that. Until I read books, watched videos, and educated myself.

Being honest, I myself don’t know the extent of my daughter’s disability. She started taking Ritalin 2 months before the school year ended last school year. The previous teacher never approached me with any major issues, as she too was against medication and believed “mindfulness” is the answer. After I observed my daughter in that class I made a decision to give her medication (her pediatrician had already tested and prescribed the medication), and I felt that the teacher should have told me before how hard she had to try to stay on her peers’ level.

While in that class (kindergarten) my daughter wore noise canceling phones, and went outside to a “quiet” place to read. I don’t know if this is good either....to be the different one.

I will speak with a neuro-pediatrician on Monday and I will tell her everything. She was diagnosed by observation and the test Wisk-IV by a pediatrician and psychologist. She was also “asked” to leave ballet and dance classes before because she wouldn’t pay attention and follow commands.

Her speech therapist thinks she may have pragmatic language disorder and anxiety. In any event, it’s not only an attention problem. There is more to it, and we are trying to find out. This is a long journey!

Onthemove1971 profile image
Onthemove1971 in reply to MissOz

We are here to share in your journey and learn together.

Thank-you for opening up about your daughter with us.

Not sure why she needs to be outside, if it were my child, I would question what is going on or why they are making these decisions without consulting you first.

Do you have an educational plan ( 504 or IEP- Individual Educational Plan) for her? This is kinda like a road map for them to follow. This might give you some peace of mind that she was not being put outside to learn alone. Putting her outside could really cause a lot of issues for her.

These plans are written by school psychologist so you could get some help with tips on ways to help her in school.

Hope all of this helps.

Sounds like you are doing a great job at trying to educate them and stay calm.

Best of luck.

MissOz profile image
MissOz in reply to Onthemove1971

We are currently living in Europe. No 504 or IEP here... we will go back to the U.S in a year or two and I will certainly check into that...

Onthemove1971 profile image
Onthemove1971 in reply to MissOz

Then do they have Special Education teacher to help the genersl teachers? That is how we do it in the US.

Pennywink profile image
Pennywink in reply to MissOz

Though Europe is improving, I think there some additional stigma that ADHD is an “American medical fad”.

Maybe this organization can help?


Pennywink profile image

I agree with consulting your prescribing doctor first. I would also ask her what plan she has in place to try harder with, and what her experience with working with ADHD students is. There are ADHD accommodations that can help in school, though probably not as nearly as affective without medication.

It sounds like she means well, but is probably overstepping her boundaries. Depending on your child, it may even seem to work a bit at first - my son is super eager to please at the start of the school year, but eventually the off task behavior begins.

My other concern would be if it isn’t working, would the teacher admit it, or just keep trying. And how much will this be pulling her away from other students who need her? And how would affect the struggles you see at home?

MissOz profile image
MissOz in reply to Pennywink

I agree. I can see her intentions are good, but since she doesn’t know my daughter at all, this was a very premature request.

BookishMomma profile image

I agree with PPs. It's up to you and your child's doctor, not the teacher. I would thank the teacher for her concerns and say you'll discuss it with your child's doctor at the next appointment and leave it at that for now. And if you want to buy time, you can just *happen* to have the next appointment in a month or two, after your daughter has gotten a chance to settle in. Those docs are so hard to get into, you know! ;) SHEESH. The beginning of the year is hard enough for kiddos with ADHD, without switching up meds right away!

MissOz profile image
MissOz in reply to BookishMomma

I agree. First I will talk with the neuro-pediatrician on Monday. I was taken aback by her request, at the same time I appreciate her willingness to work harder. In any event, I don’t want my daughter to suffer and work 10 times harder than she has to, and be the odd one out. People don’t understand that ADHD affect not only attention, but self-esteem, ability to make friend and so forth...

Momof3adhds profile image

Hi MissOz,

First I want to say I know how you feel. I have 3 ADHD kids and i'm a strong believer in private school. With my first I was in denial and wouldn't have her tested or medicated. The teachers in grade school were wonderful. What we found is that everything works... but only for the first 2 weeks. This meant that the teacher had to find a new approach to teaching my child every 2 weeks. With a teacher that dedicated my child did great. So I would ask how much special education background this teacher has and how good of a network she or he has.

We all know there are side effects to medicine that we don't want for our kids but you have to balance that with what's best for your child. And no one knows what's best for your child better than you. I would say weigh your options and trust your instincts. I'll be praying for you. And by the way that first kid of mine is a happy mother of 2 now so whatever you choose it will be ok if your child knows you're in their corner.

MissOz profile image
MissOz in reply to Momof3adhds

Thank you. I have an appointment with a neuro-pediatrician on Monday. I hope to get some answers.

Granny59 profile image

What is her reason for the request? She does not know your daughter well nor does she have a Medical degree. Only a physician should change your daughters meds. Please follow physicians instructions.

MissOz profile image
MissOz in reply to Granny59

I will. Thanks. We have an appointment with a neuro-pediatrician on Monday.

kondasa profile image

What is the reason behind the request? Is it because she is anti-medication or wants to use your daughter as an experiment to see if she can teach an unmediated child?

If her teacher is seeing a side effect that is alarming that is being caused by the medication then I completely understand why she would bring it to your attention, otherwise I am shocked that she did.

My daughter was on stimulant medication in first grade with the teacher's support. By the end of the year my daughter was becoming a zombie in class and the teacher contacted us to let us know that the side effects were outweighing the positive effects of the medication in class--but didn't tell us we had to remove her. We did decide to remove her and asked her second grade teacher to let us know if focus was a problem, at which point the second grade teacher said she seems to think she doesn't need the medication to thrive in her class, but that we can keep reassessing based on progress.

For us, the goal is to not need medication, so we are happy that the teacher wants to understand her for a few weeks without medication... but I wouldn't do that at the expense of her success with peers or in school. If we get a sense of her struggling in either area we have no issues putting her back on medication.

MissOz profile image
MissOz in reply to kondasa

Thank you for your opinion. I can only assume she is against medication, as she doesn’t know my daughter from Adam, as they say. My other thought is that the previous teacher was also against medication and she may have shared her thoughts with the new teacher.

My daughter started taking Ritalin in April. As I said in other posts, there is a chance she could have a very mild case of autism, as she is not developing back and forth communication. So, I myself question so many things...

vivian2222 profile image

Hello, Please do not stop Ritalin without talking to the doctor first. I am a nurse and I have to tell you that One potential symptom of withdrawal from Ritalin is the onset of depression. Especially if your daughter is taking a high dose or she has been on the medication for long time. There are a lot of teachers against ADHD medications but the majority do not understand how these meds can help kids to have a better understanding and a better life in school.

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