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Therapy for Medication Adherence

What ages does the Center for CBT treat for medication adherence?

Kids and Teens

How do I know if my child needs treatment for medication adherence?

We all know taking medication as a child isn't fun. The issue becomes when the child's difficulties with medication adherence impede their ability to follow a medical plan. Key signs that your child may need intervention to improve medication adherence are:

  • Difficulty with pill swallowing (i.e., refusal to swallow pills, child says they cannot swallow pills but can swallow other foods)

  • Behavioral outbursts related to taking medication

  • Refusal to swallow or take medication

What is the treatment for difficulty with medication adherence?

  • Treatment at the Center for CBT for difficulty with medication adherence typically begins with a comprehensive biopsychosocial evaluation to understand where difficulties may arise and why. If there appears to be a medical concern impacting adherence, we will refer to appropriate providers (most commonly a speech and language pathologist). Skills training for parents is at the heart of motivating a child to adhere to medical items.  Therefore, much of the treatment will be focused on teaching you (the parents) how to remove barriers to adherence and increase compliance. 

  • In addition, we may request in-person behavioral practice with your child.  In-person practice may include having your child gradually take tiny sips of a medication or parts of a pill and create a tangible reward to associate with this process. This reward program may vary depending on your child’s age, developmental abilities, personality, and preferences. 

  • Furthermore, your clinician may consult with your child’s medical providers to explore medication options that make treatment easier to start, such as switching a pill medication out for a liquid version. 

  • Treatment length and duration is dependent upon the child and the specifics of their concerns. Although medication adherence can be a tricky obstacle to tackle as a parent, the Center for CBT provides the most effective and researched treatments to supply all the tools and supports needed to reduce your child’s struggles and increase their comfort with taking the medication they need. 

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