3855 Trueman Court | Hilliard, Ohio | 43026
Hilliard Pediatrics, Inc. - Dr. Tim Teller, MD
It is highly recommended that the school and teacher be notified if your child has been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder. This serves many purposes. First, both you as a family and we as pediatricians need the teacher's feedback about how the medicine is working. Strangely enough, many parents will tell us in follow-up that the school could not be happier with the turn around in school work and behavior but that they as a family do not notice any difference at all. Why? Because the medicine is working as needed in the school setting but has worn-off by the time the child is at home. In most instances, this is our goal (in children with many impulse and hyperactive problems, it is not). Secondly, if there continue to be difficulties with school work despite controlling the ADD/ADHD symptoms, the school will need to further investigate the possibility of a learning disability interfering with school work. More than 1 in 4 children with ADD/ADHD also have a learning disability. If one is identified and helped, school work will be helped. Thirdly, in some children with ADD/ADHD, the school will need to dispense the medicine for doses given after the child leaves home in the morning. Note that the school will not dispense this without a properly doctor-signed and filled-out special form. We have forms in our office for the Hilliard School District. If your child does not attend a Hillliard Public School, you will need to bring us the form from their particular school (ask the school nurse, the office at the school, or check the school’s website).
The following information is helpful from the school when it comes to follow-up visits or need for medication adjustments:
Some children with less obvious symptoms (especially children with milder attention deficit problems without problems with impulse control or hyperactivity) will require some further input about their progress at school from the school psychologist. We will further discuss it further if it is necessary, but having their trained observations can help us best decide how to help your child.
Whole books have been written about how to improve a child's experience at school and maximize their potential if they have ADD. Probably most helpful is a teacher with experience with children with ADD. Because 1 in 20-30 children have ADD, it is very likely that a teacher will have this experience. In the classroom, children with ADD will benefit from a number of interventions. Discussing these with your child's teacher will be helpful. These include:
Children with ADD can be a BIG challenge at home for the rest of the family. Although the following things are true with all children, those with ADD can greatly benefit from these tips:
Many times, a child is diagnosed with ADD, we have discussed treatments, and a specific medicine is prescribed all in one office visit. The next steps are filling the prescription, following the instructions above, helping your child take their medicine as prescribed, watching for changes at home, and periodically checking with the teacher and school to see how things are working there. After starting the medicine, we like to hear from you by phone in 2 weeks for an update on how things are going. Then we like to see children back once they have been on the medication for 4 weeks (realize that for the child that only takes the medicine at school that the time to come back for follow-up may be longer if a break or holiday is involved). Each follow-up visit we will:
Visits may need to be every month or so initially until a medicine and medicine dosage is found that is helpful while making any needed adjustments for side effects. Often, as a child is consistently found to have improvements without significant side effects on a certain medicine and a certain dosage, the follow-up visits will be scheduled every 3-6 months. If in between follow-up visits, an issue should come up about the medicine, its dose, or side effects, the ideal time to review this with us is at the time of prescription refills each month. A message can be left with the nurse and then discussed with the doctor, or the doctor can call you back directly to discuss any concern that needs to be addressed.
Many children with ADHD benefit from the help of other professionals. If you would like help learning techniques for dealing with your child's behavior, we can help refer you to psychologists, behavioral pediatricians, or counselors. Family therapy can be helpful. If concerns about depression or anxiety arise, we will recommend a referral to a child psychiatrist or psychologist. As it is discussed in the medication handout, children who do not respond well to the stimulants or Strattera for ADD will benefit from visits with a psychiatrist to discuss other options. Please recognize that we know that getting help for these issues is very important to you and your child. Often an appointment with a counselor or psychologist can be made in just a few weeks, but an appointment with a child psychiatrist or a developmental and behavioral specialist can take months.