Summer 2002

Medication and your ADHD teenager

Children with ADHD present new challenges as they approach adolescence. They may reject taking medication. This presents a dilemma for parents, especially during the school year. They want their children to succeed in school and fear how they will perform without the medication that helps them focus and stay on task.

Alex was 15 years old and decided he did not want to take his medication for ADHD. He believed he could succeed in school without the medication. He did not like the way it sometimes made him feel.

His parents wanted him to take the medicine but also knew they needed his cooperation in taking the medicine.

They reached a compromise of sorts. The parents explained that they thought the medication really helped him with his schoolwork. They agreed that he could go to school without medication, but he had to earn A's or B's on his first interim report card.

Adolescents with ADHD can be a challenge. They want to make their own decisions and may rebel against medication. You can:

  • Talk to your pediatrician, psychiatrist, or psychologist about your concerns.
  • Include your adolescent in these discussions.
  • Give your determined teenager options, but set limits so he/she does not fail.

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