Do You Give Your Kid “Medication Vacations” from ADHD Drugs?

Surprising research says the answer likely depends on whether you’re a dad or mom.

An interesting study of Texas parents of kids diagnosed with ADHD points up marked gender differences in how they give those kids “medication vacations” from ADHD drugs. Research published in the Journal of Attention Disorders shows that dads are far more likely to give male children such breaks than they are their daughters, while moms—who are less likely overall to provide med breaks—apportion them evenly.

The online survey of 259 parents showed that 60 percent of them provide med breaks, defined for the survey as 24 hours or more without ADHD drugs; dads give such breaks to 76 percent of sons and 53 percent of daughters, while mothers do so for 30 percent of kids regardless of gender. The researchers theorize that fathers may be more likely to consider ADHD symptoms as a normal part of boys’ development than are moms. The researchers also noted that interruptions in ADHD meds can make the disorder harder to manage.