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Robert:  Can any private practice (ST, OT, PT, ABA, etc.) mandate any child be on medication before they are seen or to continue being seen if they do not need to be on medication and are able to regulate themselves despite the push to over prescribe medication to children by some medical professionals as studies show Cognitive Behavior Therapy is more effective than medication

  1. Robert, as background, is a website about special education law and advocacy, not about rights and responsibilities of therapists in the private sector. The primary laws that govern special education in public schools are the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

    The IDEA explicitly prohibits public school personnel from requiring a child to obtain a prescription for a controlled substance (i.e., Ritalin, Adderal) to attend school, receive an evaluation, or receive special education services. (20 U. S. C. § 1412(c)(25))

    Your question is different. You want to know if therapists in the private sector can require a child to be on medication before they can be seen. I don’t know. If a therapist believes medication will help the child make use of therapy and make progress, s/he should discuss this issue – pros and cons – with the parent.

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