...stepdaughter starts medication for ADHD tomorrow. She's been genuinely struggling in keeping up at school and her bio-parents really just want to see if this will be a useful tool for her. In third grade you're really starting to learn a lot of important basics that are building blocks for other things, and if you miss them then, you struggle to catch up later. I know this from personal experience...not saddling the kid with my baggage, just demonstrating that these things DO happen...
She's starting a teeeeeeny weeeeeeny dose. Her dad is VERY med sensitive like I am, so they want to try her on it very gradually. Can't remember which drug (go figure). She's a little nervous about it (she's working on managing her anxiety too, lol, although non-medication strategies seem to work well for her there...sorry, I shouldn't lol about that but it's funny to have so many people with similar issues in one house)...so I showed her my methylphenidate and explained that I take it for MY ADHD symptoms. And assured her that if it makes her feel bad, that nobody will make her keep taking it...that her parents just want to see if it's a tool that will help her feel a little better and feel a little better at school. She told me recently that she has to "sit at the back of the room to finish her schoolwork with the other stupid kids" so she's clearly already aware of her differences, but not in a good way.
She also said "WHAT IF IT MAKES ME MORE ANXIOUS!!!" and I said "maybe it will, maybe it won't, if it does, I can't imagine anyone will make you keep taking it". She said "BUT YOU DON'T HAVE ANXIETYYYYYY!!!". I said oh yes...yes, I do. (I don't generally dwell on my ADHD treatment with the kids...that would just be weird and inappropriate, but at this moment, sharing seemed helpful.) She said, "oh". Told her how I tried some medications for ADHD that DID make me feel more anxious, but that now I take one that does not. And that the only way to find out is to try it. She seemed okay with that...and willing to try. Honestly, her biggest concern, when I showed her my pills seemed to be "DO THEY TASTE BAD!?".
So I thought it was important for her to understand that a) she's not stupid b) someone she looks up to take medication for their ADHD c) nobody will make her do something that will make her feel bad and d) if it works, it might be a very good tool for her.
We'll see how it goes :)