*We are not medical professionals, and choosing whether or not to try ADHD medication options with your diagnosed student is a personal decision. We can give advice about keeping your student healthy and focused while on stimulants, or we can suggest alternatives to medication if you don’t want to explore that at this point. This information comes from our experiences with previous and current students.
At Stride, we are not anti-medication (nor are we suggesting you medicate your student). People often ask us if our movement and organization are alternatives or “treatments” for ADHD. Our belief is that students should not start medication without the additional, necessary supports in place. Sometimes families start medication and expect radical, perfect results where their previously distracted student finds the focus to enthusiastically complete all assignments. Realistically, medication can be one of many pieces in the composition of a successful ADHD student.
In an ineffective situation, we might see a student take medication for ADHD, but just because they can focus for the first time doesn’t mean that they have the skills in place to be successful and direct that focus on the appropriate subjects. They might not yet have the discipline and the routines in place to effectively prioritize their attention. Unfortunately, unethical situations often occur when a student starts new medication and the family reports that it’s not effective, so the student is prescribed an increased dose. This can result in almost vacuous students.
In the ideal situation, strategies and routines are in place around the medication, such as:
– Healthy diet and hydration
– Sufficient sleep (and a consistent sleep schedule)
– 30 minutes of exercise a day
– A detailed, weekly plan for school (like a list of homework assignments and due dates, but also this includes staying on top of teacher website updates, scheduling meetings during teachers’ office hours, etc.)
If these points are met and your student is taking ADHD medication, it can result in a happy, healthy, focused student. With all these routines, the executive function pieces combined with medication are likely going to yield positive results.
*If you have questions about specific medications and doses, reach out to us and we’ll connect you with local psychiatrists who can provide you with more technical, educated answers.