Do you tell the school all of the medications difficult child is on?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by totoro, Aug 17, 2007.

  1. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I was wondering, with K just starting public school for the first time and us still working on the IEP/504. I am curious how many of you and what your opinions are on letting the school know what medications your kids are on???
    K will not need to be taking any at school, psychiatrist is going to make sure of that. I don't really have an opinion one way or the other. We don't have a school nurse?!?!?!?! YIKES

    I was just interested in what some of you have done in the beginning of all of this, do I supply a list of medications she is on and update each time it changes?
    Or just let them know she is on medications and if they ask to know let them? Some of the reports they have, have old medications she was on.

  2. Janna

    Janna New Member

    I give a list to the teacher and that same list to the school nurse. I would never not tell them all the medications, just because, what if an emergency happens and my kid has to go to the hospital?

    I would just casually tell them what difficult child is on. I don't think it's any big deal, but you want to keep them informed.

    Why don't you have a school nurse? Is that even legal? That's odd, never heard of that one.
  3. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Thanks Janna-
    That was what I thought I would do, the list to teacher and umm... oh yeah no nurse!!!
    Our District is looking for one... but has not had one for over a year!!! They had one that came once a week. Now nothing. Scary. Maybe a list to the front office.
  4. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Our district has a nurse, but our elementary school does not. Instead, we have a part-time health clerk. In her absence, the front office staff is supposedly trained to administer first aid and whatever medications are pre-authorized with the school.

    I tell everyone at our 504 meetings exactly what difficult children are on, and it is also recorded on their health and emergency cards -- for the very same reasons Janna stated.

    I also let them know when medications are being adjusted or changed, and I ask for feedback from teachers when we go through periods like that so that I can help the psychiatrist decide if it's working or not. The email updates I've gotten from teachers have been extremely helpful in understanding what's going on during the day with my difficult children.
  5. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    The school and is aware of medications. difficult child does not need to take them at school, but if there were ever some kind of reaction to anything I think it is important they know.

    I also inform them if we have a medication change. There is the period of change where in our case, the new medication didn't help. Caused him to totally flip out. Not himself. I feel the school needs to know that his personality is affected by new medications and for them to understand what is going on with him.

    There is not a nurse at our school. Special Education teacher, and I believe it is listed on his IEP.
  6. On_Call

    On_Call New Member

    I have always gave a list of medications and dosage amounts to the nurse - and to the teacher and counseling staff - and always updated them even if we were just tweaking a medication a bit. I figured that they are seeing difficult child in the place where he has the most trouble, so they would be the first to be able to tell me if a medication was helping/hindering or doing nothing at all - at least in the school setting.

    Wow, I hope your school gets a nurse. I can't imagine ours without one - actually we have two in the office all the time. Especially with elementary kids - scraped knees, bumped heads on the playground, sick tummies - these are just things that our kids have gone to her for!! Hee hee. Hope they find one and get him/her in place before school starts.
  7. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    Frankly, I don't know why a teacher would need to know what medications a child is taking. The nurse? Maybe. And maybe it should be part of the child's records in case there is an emergency. But really, why would it matter to a teacher? Knowing that there may be a neurobiological condition for which the child is receiving medical care should be sufficient. If the child had any other condition you likely wouldn't tell the school or, specfically, the teacher the name of the medications, simply that the child had a certain condition.
  8. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Thanks Ladies!!! I am glad for the feedback and for both mindsets on the subject. I am trying to open up and go in with an open mind open heart etc... Positive. Regardless of all the negative I have seen, know, heard about the school. I have also heard lots of good!!!

    At her Waldorf we would just say we changed her medications and ask them to watch for abnormal behavior, never gave them a list. But they were anti-medications, they would always say "Oh is she medicated?"...

    Thanks as always
  9. We were very private about difficult child's medications for several years. Then, it became very obvious to us that the side effects from the medications were impacting his performance at school. We then made certain at the 504 meetings that all of his teachers knew exactly what medications he takes as well as their effects upon him. Some accomodations were added to the 504 plan , including his permission to use a PDA in class due to disclosure of this information. The teachers have always been very grateful for the information and they have always been quick to let me know if they see any problems. I really don't think that anyone has held this information against him or used it in an inappropriate way - which was my initial concern.
  10. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Wow!! Great attitude ~ I think you will find the school officials must easier to work with if you go in with an open mind and a willingness to work as a team. I wish there were more parents like you.

    As far as the medications ~ As a teacher, I really haven't felt the need to know the specific medications my students were on. I did have a mom tell me that her son was switched to Adderall and asked me to watch for any problems. I did notice a major personality change and let her know but I would have done the same if she had just told me that there had been a medication change without giving me the specifics.

    Many schools don't have a school nurse. The high school that I teach in didn't have one for years and now we have a "clinic worker" that is paid by the PTA. I'm not sure what her qualifications are but I know that she is not an RN. I think she primarily hands out medications and calls parents when the kids come in with a fever or are sick to their stomach.

    If your school does not have a school nurse, then I would make sure that someone at the school (teacher or administrator) has a list of the medications in case of an emergency so that they can let the EMT's know what the medications are.

    I can't imagine anyone at the school holding it against your child in any way. What would it matter to them what medications your child takes?

    I hope that your difficult child has a great school year!

  11. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I would tell them. When difficult child started lexapro, I was told by the psychiatrist to watch for any signs of mania. In kind, I emailed her teachers and asked if they noticed x, y, or z to please contact me immediately. I also wanted their feedback on whether they noticed an improvement in her as school has always been difficult child's biggest trigger. I wanted to make sure that improvement I saw at home was also seen at school. From a therapeutic standpoint, I think it's important to know what's working where and how well.

    We didn't have a school nurse in our elementary school full-time for years. We had one nurse that floated between 5 elementary schools.
  12. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    Asking a teacher to watch for certain behaviors or changes in behavior because of a medication change does not require that the teacher know what medications are involved. Nor does the teacher need to know what specific medications and what dosages a child is taking to understand that the child takes medications that can cause adverse reactions which might impacted his/her performance in school.

    I would tell the school if my child were severely allergic to a food that might be served -- the peanut allergy thing comes to mind -- but I don't see the purpose of telling if there is a mild allergy. Another allergy I would mention is bee stings. Since the schools don't provide medication for the students, school officials really have no need to know if a child is allergic to a medication short of whatever OTC pain pill they might provide....which I believe they are required to get parental permission first before they give anything to a child.

    The schools deal with a lot of students. They really don't need to deal with medication and allergy lists from all of them.
  13. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree someone at the school needs to know. If not a nurse then other personnel. As a teacher I rarely know what medications my students are on-only when I have to give it on a field trip.
  14. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Just be careful, and that it is handled with legal security. I have had a handful of experiences with my difficult child where the teacher, fed up with difficult child, shouted at him, "did you forget to take your medications?" This was a huge embarrassment to him, and a big source of social teasing by his peers.
  15. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    Being honest with the school district was one of the biggest mistakes we ever made. But my son was in high school at the time and it was the first year after Columbine. by the way, we won the due process hearing that resulted from his being expelled for a incident the principal admitted never occurred. If you don't think having a "mental health" diagnosis might work against your child, you're naive.

    Exactly what benefit is there for the school nurse, let alone the teacher, to know what medications and what doses a child is one for any condition? No one notifies the school when her child is taking antibiotics. Do parents of kids with other conditions send in lists of drugs and doses just so someone knows? Unless the school needs to administer the drug at some time during the day, why does it matter?
  16. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Sara, it may be different in every school district, but in ours, we are required to fill out a health/emergency form that asks what medications/doses our children are taking. As other posters have stated, I always fill it out honestly because it is important for health care professionals to know what is in my children's bloodstreams in the very unlikely event they ever need treatment or are taken to a hospital without my being able to accompany them. These health/emergency forms are confidential and are not shared with teachers. I don't make it a practice to share medications/doses with teachers unless there is a need to know (for example, one of my kids is taking a medication that is sedating, and there's a chance he/she might fall asleep in class the first few days on the medication).
  17. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    I, too, would honestly fill out a form like that. And I, too, would warn a teacher if a child was taking a medication that was sedating. If there is a need to know, there's a need to know. Otherwise, there is no need to provide that information to the teacher.

    ETA: Funny thing about those forms: they come home the beginning of the year, sent back and never heard about again. Any changes, discontinuations, additions that are made aren't reported nor have we ever been asked to send in updates. That could be as dangerous as no information in the proverbial emergency situation.

  18. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I am with Sara though - be careful!!!! Even a slip of the tounge to one person that does not legally need to keep it confidential, and you have rumors, gossip, and eventually the child being ostracized and made fun of. If I were you, and told the teacher, I would make them sign some sort of confidentiality agreement. The teachers I experienced were the worst gossips of them all about my son, his medications, and his dxs.
  19. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    Not to mention illegal discussion that might occur. A friend of my son's reported a conversation discussing privileged information she overheard between the school secretary and an administrator about my son.

    First, no conversation about a student should take place in front of other students.

    Second, the secretary did not have "need to know" status and shouldn't have been discussing my son at all.

    Third, most of what was said was simply untrue. What they were doing was simply gossiping about my son in front of other students.
  20. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Yes, like your son Sara, my son was in the third grade when Columbine happened. The first infraction that occurred with my son after the Columbine incident, and the principal had drawn up the paperwork to send my son to an alternative school. It took me 3 weeks of fighting to get him back into regular school. Unfortunately, I still think sometimes we underestimate the stigma of mental illness, and the power it can still have to cause people to discriminate.