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Does the school need to know if your child is on ADHD medication?


My stepdaughter took her 5 year old son to a psychiatrist who evaluated her son and put him on Intuniv medication for ADHD. He is starting kindergarten in a few weeks. Does she need to inform the school he is taking medication for ADHD? And if she does, will the school require her to get her son classified? I don't know what kind of an evaluation the psychiatrist gave her son to make this determination, but he did recommend she get her son a complete educational neurological psychological evaluation. Does anyone know if she is required to let the school know her kindergartner is on ADHD medication?

15 Replies

Great question! If the medication is not taken during school hours, she does not need to tell the school.

It would be a good idea that you sister considers getting her son a 504 plan to assist him with things he will need now and in the future to be successful.

For example, there is usually state testing and many children with ADHD struggle with doing long academic tasks with staying on task. So one of the accommodations he can have is to break up the testing into smaller parts.

Another thing for your sister to consider is that the medication ( depending on when it is given) usually wears off before the end of the day. So if he has high academic demands in the late afternoon, when the medication is not in his system there the child might struggle more.

Hope this helps, glad she us trying the medication and hope they see good results.

Let us know if you have any more questions.

Thank you! The child will be on medication during school hours. He is in kindergarten so it's not a long day. Also he is taking a time release medication. Will she need to inform the teacher?

No problem..

I have been thinking about your questions a lot. She can not tell the teacher, again there is no law that says she has to tell. But here is a list of pro's and con's ( I understand she is new to this life, I was there many years ago and I am also a teaher)


No one will know

He can seem like he doesn't have any issues to the other parents

She would not need to talk to the nurse or other staff about his medication


What if he misses a dose ( can't tell you how many times this has happened with a busy morning and running out of the house) he will be a very different child

What happens when the field trip form comes home to be filled out and they ask about medication?

Will they ( parent and teacher) really feel like a team to provide the best educational experience for him?

When an issue comes up ( believe me this ride is not smooth) maybe peer interaction, a disipline issue, etc.. it is important for the staff to know that he has impulse issues and is taking medication.

What if they need help with assignments not turned in becuase when the medication wears off issues come back.

Hope this makes sense, believe me we all wish we didn't have to tell people but we do..

Take care,

Yes everything onthemove said. I told my daughter's school everything, signed releases so they could talk to her counselors and doctors and update them all regularly- it's just my opinion, but the more information the better....for my child, I have found the teachers, her IEP counselors, administrators and school counselors to be really appreciative and better able to assist my daughter! Good luck to you!

I also told our teacher and school staff.

While going through the medication trial, the teacher's insights into my son's behavior and how each medication changed it were invaluable in determining what was & wasn't working. She also had a better idea for what the range of "typical" behavior is for that age group.

It also helped, as during the medication trial, the school wanted to express support and concern for why my son was being taken out of school to go to the doctor's so often.

Most definitely, I worked in a elementary after school program. Kids behavior changes when the Medication starts to wear off not in a good way, so you can be more aware. One if the other aids jokenly said can we give them more? We we're Never allowed to despense Medication.

I have a 5 year old boy who when I told the school he was on medication it was ok, but when he had behavioral issues the 1st thing they said was "maybe it is his medicine"

I definitely agree that he should have a 504 or an IEP as this will help get him assistance in school.

Good luck!

Completely concur with OnTheMove. My son started his journey on an IEP when he was 3, long before we had an ADHD diagnosis from his doctor or had him on meds. Having that partnership with the school district, the schools he went to, and his teachers, has proved invaluable throughout. I even make a point to reach out to his teachers before the school year to establish a dialog with them so that we can work in tandem to ensure he's successful. Since he's a different kid in school than he is at home, it's nice to be able to receive that feedback from the teacher in terms of behavior so that we can make an informed decision on whether or not his current meds aee doing their job.

He's on a 504 plan (since 2nd grade - going into 3rd next week!), and I've already emailed his new teacher to introduce ourselves, and refer her to last year's teacher to discuss strategies she may have developed that could be beneficial to managing him and his behavior in the upcoming year.

On a side note, purely for safety reasons I think it's absolutely necessary that the school know what meds he's on, so they can be aware of any possible contraindications should he ever go to the nurse or have to be rushed to the hospital for any reason and have to relay info to a medical team before I can get there.

Best of luck to your friend and her little guy! I wish them all the success!

This is all excellent very helpful information. I posed this question because the child's mother is not planning on telling anyone at the school her son is on medication. Her reasoning for getting the doctor to put him on medication is to make him more low key in school and talk less because he actually doesn't fit the profile for ADHD and I am concerned about how this will affect her child if she's not forthcoming with the school. I know this may sound odd but I have an adult son with Aspergers Syndrome and a coexisting condition of ADHD and my son needed medication without a doubt and today he's doing very well. I was on the schools committee of special education and I can honestly say her child is precocious, active and highly creative and very well behaved. I do have never observed impulse control issues or inability to focus. Given she has no intentions of informing the school he's on medication for ADHD and has never tested by an educational neurologists i am concerned.

Believe me... this is a journey and when she is ready ( even if pushed) she can disclose the medication. It is really hard to admit and talk about it.

We all want "perfect" children and when we don't have that it is a struggle.

I agree..the sad part is I don't believe my grandson has ADHD and his mother wants him on medication BEFORE he starts kindergarten so he can be the model student like his older brother. He doesn't fit the profile and we spend a lot of time with him and my husband and I have never observed impulse control issues and other profile characterizations of ADHD. He's challenging for her to handle but he's fine when he's with us. We believe there are underlying causes in the home environment which make the childs mother want him on medication. This is also why she doesn't plan on informing the school. She wants him on medication but she doesn't want him classified. I feel bad for the poor kid. To me it seems irresponsible to put a kid on meds at such a young age that doesn't really need them just to make parenting and school easier when there are parents and children really struggling that need help.

I am very big on being transparent to the school. My son is in kindergarten also and I told the school/teacher everything. Provided them with paperwork that went through OT and doctors evaluations. More they know the more I think it will help.

I am hoping she informs the school and has her son properly evaluated. Thank you everyone! This is a great parent resource.

The school pressured me into putting my son on medicine. So I did and told the school. Then I took him off one of the meds due to side effects. Now they are constantly pressuring me to put him back on it. I will not be so forthcoming with his medicine going forward.

in reply to Dsmith05 son was on medication during his early years because his ADD impaired his ability to learn. Because his ADD was not as severe as other kids on the scale I was able to slowly wean him off in H.S. once he learned diffetent strategies to focus and stay organized with help from teachers and at home. He went through college with nothing and is now 30 and on no medication. This of course doesn't work for everyone. Each child has unique needs. I found what works best are parents, school, counselors and doctors need to work together as a team and parents need to know and understand their childs disability and federal and local agency laws and regulations. Work together and stay informed. Every child deserves a free and appropriate education.

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