It was before 8 a.m. on Tuesday. My students were signing the daily sign-in sheet, completing the morning work assignment on the board, eating breakfast, looking at library books, and, of course, some were just milling around the room visiting. One of the last buses arrived, and three of my students entered the room. I was at my desk glancing at an IEP needing revision soon when I hear words that sound worse than nails on a chalkboard to me: “I haven’t had my medicine today! I’ll probably be a little rowdy!”
Let me start by saying that I am in no way against behavioral medication and truly believe that it helps a number of kids be successful. I don’t think it should be the first behavioral intervention, however, and find it very upsetting when some of my students believe they are not responsible for their own behavior after missing medication. Needless to say, this is not the first time I’ve had a student give me the old “I can’t help it; I haven’t had my medicine!” spiel. It is true that not taking medications can affect behavior, but I am a firm believer that students must still learn to make good choices.