Before your child begins treatment of any kind you should ask:
How much experience do you have treating children with similar symptoms?
What are the goals of this treatment?
What is the evidence that this treatment is effective?
How will we measure the effectiveness of this treatment?
How long should we expect our child to be treated?
What is our role in the treatment?
What are possible adverse events and when might they appear?
Questions for someone prescribing medication:
What is the generic name of this medication, and what do we know about how the active chemical ingredient works?
What are the alternative medications, and why did you choose this one?
If it’s effective, what will this medication do for my child?
How do you arrive at the best dosage for this medication?
How long does it take to work?
What are the potential side effects?
How will you measure the effectiveness of the medication?
What kind of monitoring will you do while my child is on the medication?
What’s the research on this medication?
How many patients have you treated with this medication?
How long should my child continue to take this medication?
If we choose to stop using the medication, how slowly must it be discontinued, and how do you monitor that tapering-off process?
Questions for someone recommending behavioral therapy:
What is the therapy called?
What was it designed to treat, and what is it used for?
What’s the evidence for its effectiveness?
Is the therapy manualized, and how closely must we follow the manual?
What is the specific goal of this course of treatment?
How many patients have you treated with this specific therapy?
What special training have you had? What does it involve? How long does it typically take?
When can we expect to see changes in behavior?
What is the parents’ role?
Do you typically involve other family members?
How will we measure progress?