Who prescribes your child's meds?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Who prescribes your child's meds?
Mon, 06-23-2003 - 6:21pm
I ask because my 7-year-old has finally gotten a official diagnosis of ADHD (I have known this was coming for many years) and his psychologist has recommended meds. She said that the protocol is for her to write a letter with her diagnosis, evaluation and findings to the child's pediatrician and has the pediatrician prescribe the meds while she monitors behavior. That was Friday, today I called his pediatrician and he wanted nothing to do with meds and said we would have to change to a child psychiatrist. I'm really frustrated because (1) now we're back to square one after months of therapy (2) the only child psychiatrists in the area are booked until November and I really wanted a trial of meds to be done before school starts 8/5 (3) He made is seem like a psychologist has little credibility in diagnosisng ADHD, so why did he refer us there is the first place?. If the meds don't work or make his behavior worse, I don't want it to happen while he's adjusting to school starting.

I'm planning on calling another psychologist in the area because the nurse at the pediatrician's office told me that as far as she knows he prescribes meds, when appropriate, through the psychiatrist in the office (he's the one booked until November, but the psychologist is open next week)

Sorry my question got so long. I hope it made sense. Oh, one more thing. We did a trial of caffeine to see how he would react since he gets no caffeine in his diet (hates soda and rarely eats chocolate) and he was wonderful. He was actually pleasant to be around. I'm really optimistic meds would help him.

Thanks, Laura

Laura, mom to B & E
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-26-2000
Mon, 06-23-2003 - 7:13pm
WE went a route similar to yours, it seems. I started at the ped's, but they were SO busy (he is a sole practitioner and it was 'sick kid' season). So I ended up with a pyschologist who worked with a psychiatrist who had been referred by my ped's nurse.

The pyschologist did an evaluation and came up with the ADD diagnosis. From there, I went to another ped who 'specializes' in ADHD. (I was desperate for help from somewhere). I could not stand the 'specialist', and as soon as I got home, I called my ped back and asked how long before he would begin seeing ADHD cases again. The told me it would only be a couple of more weeks, and by then it was already a foregone conclusion that DS would repeat 1st grade. So time was not so important anymore.

I had the psychologist fax a copy of the eval to the ped. I also took in Connors ratings forms for my Ped's records as well as report cards, work samples, conduct grades, etc. He had no problem with prescribing meds, and I've been working with him ever since.

Perhaps you need to look for a different pediatrician? Or just a plain family doctor? The "specialist" that we saw was ready to prescribe medication after only meeting me and my child once. At least with my ped, he's known us since my boys were born.

As a side note, I don't think that all psychologists are created equal. When I was talking to the assistant principal, she asked who had done our eval, and made a comment like "oh yes, she's good" kind of implying that there are some that just put an ADHD stamp on every kid that comes to them.

Good luck. There are plenty of people who go through a psychiatrist, but I'll go out on a limb and say that most at least start with their ped. If things get complicated, then often the ped will refer to a psychiatrist.

My 2 cents. Good luck to you and your DS.



PJPIIadoration.jpg picture by Kimberly_sahm

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 06-23-2003 - 8:40pm
We first had the diagnosis done by a child psychologist. Our pediatrician ALSO acted like she wouldn't consider it and I was very angry. I had known we needed help and finally were getting somewhere and she wouldn't go with it. So we agreed to see a behavioral, developmental pediatrician. She got us in as fast as she could because we were so upset. She tested him and found he had ADHD also. SHE did the prescriptions for quite some time. THEN we transferred it over to our regular pediatrician again, as she'd just follow what the other one suggested. BUT after awhile, our regular pediatrician said she would charge for every time we were getting a new scrip written (each month) which seemed silly. So we now just call the developmental ped. and she writes the script and mails it to us each month. Unfortunately around here there are VERY few child psychiatrists and it's a shame!!
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
Tue, 06-24-2003 - 9:40am
Seeing the psychologist next week sounds like your best bet, at least you then have a foot in the door where the psychiatrist works. If he prescribes meds even through the psychologist I would think he would have no choice but to see you if things go wrong.

Psychologist's can DX children, however, I haven't seen much from them to encourage me that they have any real clue about the drugs.

Ours has stated flat out that the med my DD is currently on should not be working for her. It is working wonderful!!! The psychiatrist really is the one that knows all about the meds and the reactions to them. Our family Dr. won't touch her meds with a 10' pole, as he does not know enough about them.

A lot of peds won't precribe ADD meds, if you don't find the right one quick enough, it can take a lot of appts till you finally find the one that works and the correct dose. The peds usually don't have the time to spend on that.

HTH Susan

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-22-2003
Tue, 06-24-2003 - 5:13pm
Hi, Laura! Our pediatricians prescribes my son's meds, and she did right from the start after he had testing. She has been wonderful. The only thing we had to promise was to keep it locked up, and of course we can only get a one month supply at a time (and you have to go IN for the script, no mailing or calling in). We see her every couple of months for weights and measures and to see how he's doing. ADHD is a pretty common childhood syndrome so I'm suprised your doctor won't prescribe for it. I could see if the therapist said your child needed an antipsychotic or had a more complicated psychiatric illness (not to minimize ADHD), but ADHD they should be able to deal with. Child psychiatrists are hard to get into!!! Find another doctor!
Avatar for keke0116
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 06-24-2003 - 8:51pm
We've always had a child psychiatrist prescribing the meds. The psychologist made the diagnosis, but the psychiatrist does the meds. Our pediatrician is probably totally capable of doing so, not only is he a great doctor but he is the parent of an ADHD child! But, it's not his 'specialty' and we always felt that we were best going to the experts.

With that said, with my recent news of taking Kevin off meds, I called the camp to inform them of our decision so they could keep an eye on things and alert me to any sign of a problem. The director is a licensed child psychologist AND the father of TWO ADHD kids. He and I spoke, and in his opinion, he would NEVER allow his kids to be on meds unless they were prescribed by a neurologist. (I'd heard this before but never went that route.) He said that only a neurologist does the testing, monitoring and prescribing, and understands the chemical balances and imbalances and all of that, and as an expert (as well as a parent) HIS opinion is that only a neurologist is capable of making the right prescription.

Interesting take on things ... and right now, Kevin is not taking meds, but before I put him back on, I'm going to try that route and see what they say. I like and trust the docs we've used thus far, but for the past 5 months, I've felt that Kevin was more of a science experiment 'cause they keep changing the meds without getting good results. That, for sure, is not acceptable!



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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-30-2003
Mon, 06-30-2003 - 4:51pm
Hi, my 8 year old just started therapy and meds for adhd. What we do with him, because we could not find a psychiatrist, is he sees a psycologist for therapy, and gets his med prescriped from a psychiatric nurse who is in the same building and sees him only to monitor the meds. Good luck.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-23-2003
Tue, 07-01-2003 - 1:25am
Dear mom,

Have you ever consulted a pediatric nurologist? That is who prescribes for my 9 year old daughter. I consulted him because I felt that the ped., the psychologist and the psychiatrist only looced for ADHD. The nurologist did a very thurough work up and I felt confedant in his DX and presrictions.

I wish you and your son the best of luck!


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 07-03-2003 - 6:19pm
We also had a similar situation.

When I told my Ped that we wanted an evaluation, he sent us to a child psychologist. After 4 months, my 7 year old daughter Kayla finally got the ADHD diagnosis, and a recommendation for meds. The psychologist was great, but can't perscribe of course. So we went back to our Ped, and he told us he doesn't perscribe meds for ADHD. I got the feeling that he just sent us to the phychologist thinking he would say that Kayla didn't need meds. Anyway, the Ped has a specialist in his office who comes in 2 days a month to perscribe meds and evaluate ADHD children. So we wait another 2 months for yet another analysis appointment. When I got there, he hadn't read the psychologist's report, but went ahead and perscribed a med after observing Kayla for about 1/2 an hour. That doesn't sound quite right does it?

So now, after 6 months, the specialist is retiring, and the normal Ped is taking over all his ADD/HD cases. He's told me that he's not really interested in perscribing medication for children in Kayla's circumstance. (That is, not "severe") He thinks meds should only be used to help children concentrate in school situations, and not to have her on meds in the summer etc. I guess I will be finding a new Ped. I normally like him, if he can't understand what it's like to live with someone with ADHD, and have a happy family life too, I don't think he'll be able to help with the right med for the right reason.

Also, they have a new policy which requires an appointment every single month! I'll do it but it seems like they've got their hand out for money.

- Wendy

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-29-2003
Tue, 07-29-2003 - 2:37pm
I was in your same boat. It Took my oldest being kicked out of school for a week to get him help and he was just in k. My ped. told me to go to a psch., they told me to go back to my doc. I ended up with Pine Belt Metal Health Care. My son recieves counsling and his meds through them. I admit it is not easy at times,but my child is worth it. Here is a suggestion if you have a major hospital in your area contact them and see if they can point you in the right direction. Good luck in finding someone. crynurse