My son just turned 14 two days ago, and was diagnosed with Aspergers, ADHD and ODD last November. He is supposed to take medicine twice per day (once at home, once at school) to help him focus and to control anxiety. The problem is that he doesn't take his medicine unless someone reminds him-ever. He and I have tried putting the medicine where he will see it every morning at home …and that has helped some, but at school no one reminds him, so he does not take his medicine there. I have two questions: 1) is it reasonable to expect him to take full responsibility for taking this medicine, and 2) if so, how can I help him to do that? Thank you!
Re: 1) Is it reasonable to expect him to take full responsibility for taking this medicine, and 2) if so, how can I help him to do that?
Is it likely he will meet that expectation consistently? Probably not.
There are now a much larger choice among medications that can be used to treat ADHD. Many of the newer ones have the advantage that they only need to be given once a day and can last for up to 12 hours. In addition to not having to take a lunch time dose, the sustained release forms of these medications have the benefit that the medication is often still working after school, as your child is trying to do his homework.
The long acting stimulants generally have a duration of 8-12 hours and can be used just once a day. They are especially useful for children who are unable or unwilling to take a dose at school. Here is an up-to-date list of the current ones:
• Adderall XR
• Focalin XR
• Metadate CD
• Ritalin LA
The prices of these medications seem to be based more on the number of pills in the prescription, rather than on the total number of milligrams. So, instead of taking one 10mg pill twice a day (60 pills), it is usually less expensive to get a prescription for, and take, one-half of a 20mg pill twice a day (30 pills). Based on the average wholesale price for some of the ones listed above, doing this could save you about 15-30% a month, respectively. The savings based on the retail pharmacy price usually seem to be even greater, often up to 50% a prescription.
Alternatively, you might consider recruiting the assistance of a staff member at your son’s school (e.g., school nurse) to give him his afternoon medication. Initially, the nurse could find him in class to give him his meds …then after a couple weeks, he can be instructed to stop by the nurse’s office for his afternoon dose.
My Out-of-Control Teen: Help for Parents