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What are Realistic Expectations after Starting ADHD Treatment?

What are Realistic Expectations after Starting ADHD Treatment?

What are Realistic Expectations after Starting ADHD Treatment?  

By Lauren M. English, PA-C


Families are evaluated for multiple diagnoses and/or disorders when being seen at Connections. At times, we receive a lot of questions about what to expect after we begin our management plan. Hopefully, the following information will help individuals understand what to expect after we have started our road to managing ADHD and/or other coexisting disorders and what not to expect in order to avoid disappointments.

  • Possible side effects from medication include stomach aches, headaches, sleep problems, sadness and decreased appetite. We see these side effects improve over time with consistent medication and eating nutritional meals to counteract some of the side effects.

Expectation: If my child eats breakfast at school, then they should be good to go for the morning to prevent the burning stomach ache or nagging headache at 9 a.m.

Truth: Some medications they may be given have already kicked in by the time they are in line for breakfast, and their appetites have already decreased, which will cause them to miss their protein-filled breakfast. Thus, the cycle begins of stomach aches and headaches.

  • We should see an improvement in one’s academic performance.

Expectation: My child should begin to make all A’s.

Truth: ADHD medication allows a child to perform at their intellectual ability; it does not academically enhance the child. If A’s are what they are capable of making, that is fantastic; however, if they are making D’s before medication and now making low B’s, or even C’s, that is worthy of praise as well.

  • We should see an improvement in behavior and cooperation.

Expectation: I’ll no longer receive disciplinary notes from the teacher about my child.

Truth: A lot of the behavioral components regarding ADHD may also be intertwined with another coexisting disorder, which may require time to work on through new techniques that have been assigned by a counselor.

  • Our child’s self-confidence will improve.


Expectation: Our child should no longer feel anxious and/or become depressed after we have started ADHD management.

Truth: Other coexisting disorders may also be present and may need medication management or behavioral therapy to treat both.

We follow up with our families shortly after our management plan has begun to make sure we are on the right track or make any adjustments. During that time, we ask multiple questions to investigate how well we are progressing and how we can better assist our families.

If you ever find yourself questioning your child’s progress, forget information, or need a little reassurance, please reach out to your health care provider with these concerns.


At Connections, we offer behavioral and mental health evaluation. Following diagnosis, we work with you and your child to determine the best course of treatment and therapy for them. If you would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at 601-261-5159.

Information on this page should be utilized as a guide, not medical advice. If you feel you need to speak with someone regarding behavioral therapy or counseling, please contact Connections to make an appointment.