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Should Teachers Have Access to ADHD Records?
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I am a parent of an 8-year-old ADHD child. His teacher asked me to sign a form giving her permission to contact his doctor and to have access to his medical treatment records. Is this standard practice or is this teacher overstepping her boundaries? I did not sign the form as I felt it was an invasion of both his and my privacy. I work hand in hand with his teachers, his principals and any other person whom he might have contact with at school, and they are all aware of his medications and dosages. It was not like I was hiding anything from her.
I counsel teachers to communicate with physicians about what they notice during the course of the school day when they have a student with ADHD in their classroom. They spend an extended period of time with the child and therefore are very good reporters and observers of the child’s response to medication as well as possible side effects.
You should limit the permission form, allowing the teacher to have verbal contact with the physician but not to have access to all medical treatment records. I typically ask teachers to complete a brief behavioral questionnaire twice a year, which allows me to track the effectiveness of medication. I also have some teachers who will e-mail me on a regular basis, reporting the child’s successes and raising any concerns.
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