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Expert Q&A

My child’s school counselor recommended medication when we met to discuss LD testing. Is this necessary?

I need to have my son tested for a learning disability; but when I talked with the high school counselor at his school, she mentioned medications that might be used to treat my son. I only wanted him tested and to get more help learning. I don’t want to medicate my son. What will happen if I refuse to do this and he does have a learning disability? Is it my choice as a parent? Or do I look stupid for asking for help and this is their answer?

By federal law, school staff are not allowed to recommend or require that parents medicate their children. That decision is reserved for the family in consultation with their physician. If the school staff feels that a child has a condition that might warrant medication, they can suggest that the child be evaluated for the condition; but they may not discuss medication. Equally importantly, schools may not condition eligibility for special education or participation in any special education program on agreement to take medication.

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