Managing Prescriptions for a Child Growing Up with Special Needs

managing prescriptions

Cerebral Palsy is a lifelong condition based upon an injury or malformation of the brain that often occurs during pregnancy, delivery or after birth. Sadly, this moment in time leads to a lifetime of challenges that evolves over time. This is important for two reasons: (1) your efforts today may not be of the same type tomorrow and (2) your child will live a lifetime of evolving changes, changing the demands placed upon every parent As such, managing prescriptions of a child growing up with special needs, including Cerebral Palsy, requires ongoing adaptation by parents.

Each child with Cerebral Palsy will have wide variance between his or her symptoms when compared to another child with CP. The common reality, though, is that early therapy and treatment is critical in almost every single instance. As such, your child’s evolving prescription needs will change as they grow older. Collaboration, in addition to quality preparation, can make this process a more easy and transparent effort that promotes safety, responsibility and confidence.

Ideas for Managing Prescriptions of Your Child Growing Up with Special Needs

  1. Catalog the daily/weekly prescriptions taken on a simple sheet of paper. If your child has emotional challenges as they age, he or she may be receiving anti-depressants, anxiety relievers or other brain-focused pharmaceuticals. While not often, these prescriptions could conflict with those drugs prescribed by your child’s general physician. With additional specialists in the fold, it’s best to not rely upon your memory or to assume that the medical professionals have been able to interface properly. Instead, we encourage doing something quite simple:

Monday AM:

  • Prescription 1
  • Prescription 2
  • Prescription 3

Monday Midday:

  • Prescription 1
  • Prescription 4
  • Prescription 5 (inhaler for example)

Monday Evening:

  • Prescription 1
  • Prescription 3
  • Prescription 6 (sleep aid for example)

Having this documentation at the ready when speaking with a medical specialist can not only quickly aid in avoiding dangerous drug interactions, it can also provide peace of mind that your child’s medical history is being properly documented and updated. You know what medication your child takes every day, perhaps because you are laying it out or administering it yourself. This list might reveal a redundancy when you’re seeking a consultation when considering changing doctors, as well as provide a benchmark/guide for teachers, babysitters, family, camp officials and more depending upon where life takes you each month (or year!) It may seem simple, but it only takes one error or a inefficient use of medications to make the 10-15 minutes of writing to be worthwhile.

The above is a very elementary and base-level way to track your child’s medications. If you are looking more advanced, developed templates to track your child’s prescriptions and more, check out this site that features a variety of documents and forms for children with Cerebral Palsy and more.

  1. Determine what medications you would like your child to try to take themselves to empower the process. This can be accompanied with the general idea of explaining, where appropriate, what each medication is prescribed for so that all medicine feels like a part of a bigger process. In turn, your child not only better understands each component (and why it’s important), but also makes future efforts more tolerable and understandable. This can be a real value for children with evolving symptoms, but also, at minimum, make your child feel that their treatment is a team effort.
  2. Explain to your child the risks of going off a medication ‘cold-turkey,’ without anyone knowing. The Internet is rife with websites on the effectiveness or perceived non-effectiveness of medical treatments and prescriptions. While there is success for some people to switch medications, the process of going off of a certain pharmaceutical is almost universally paired with professional oversight for the safety of your child. It can be significantly dangerous for a growing child to independently decide they will abandon a certain medication without telling anyone; depression, amongst other symptoms,, can quickly set in when the body is improperly weaned off of certain prescriptions. Openly explaining this to your child to ensure that their choices align with your awareness is critical to avoid problems while maintaining an open dialogue to their feelings regarding treatments, therapies and more.

Each of these ideas must be matched of course with the abilities of your child.  While some of these ideas may not apply to your child and his or her ongoing care, we hope that you’re able to find relatable elements and guidance within them.

Do you have suggestions for us how on ways you were able to collaborate and work with your child in managing prescriptions, therapies and more for your child with Cerebral Palsy? Let us know at the Forum!