What can we help you find?
< All Topics

4.14 SCL – Self Medication Programs


The Self Medication Assessment ensures that the individual is able to safely accomplish medication administration and health-related activities. Every individual with developmental disabilities (DD) has the right to self-administer their medications. The county board (CB) and the service provider are responsible for the safety of the individual with DD.


A Self Medication Assessment must be incorporated in the ISP. The team is responsible for considering the individual’s safety. If on occasion s/he cannot safely self-administer medications, certified staff will need to provide assistance or administer medications for the individual during those times. Examples of such occasions include, but are not limited to, when the individual experiences an episode of mental illness, becomes physically ill, or goes to a new environment and cannot transfer skills to the new environment immediately.

The self-administration assessment needs to be completed at a minimum of every year, with a review done at ISP annually. A new assessment should be completed in the event of, but not limited to, the following occurrences:

  • The individual experiences a significant health change
  • The medication packaging changes (bubble pack to bottle; pill to liquid, etc.)
  • There is a change in the usual medication routine (new location, new provider)

The assessment is to be completed in the setting where the individual takes his/her medications or receives medication administration. This is to determine if the individual is able to safely take their medications in their own environment.

It is recommended that the Self-Medication Assessment be completed by one person who knows the individual well and is familiar with the individual’s subjective mode of communication. For SCL when an individual receives Health Services Coordination, the assessment will be completed by the assigned HSC nurse.  When possible, it is recommended a second observer be present to ensure results are indicative of the individual’s capacity to safely self-medicate, should there be any question. Answer each question on the form with a “Yes” or “No.” Follow the instructions on the form to determine where to go following a “Yes” or “No” response.

Once the assessment is completed, the ISP should specify how medication administration will be done. See the form for statements that could be used. Check the appropriate statements to include in the ISP. The plan coordinator will ensure that self-medication assessment information appears on the ISP accordingly.

Individuals with DD have the right to do as many steps of medication administration as they can do either independently or with support, even if they are not assessed to be able to self-administer with or without assistance (5123: 2-6-02 (C)).

Multiple Self-Administration Assessments may be used for an individual. For example, if a individual requires certified staff assistance due to multiple medications at 8 a.m. but can self–administer one medication at 12 p.m., or can use the glucometer, separate Self–Administration forms must be used.

If two people do not agree with the assessment based on safety concerns, a third party should be consulted through County Board.  If an individual is determined to not be eligible for self-administration, the team may recommend a program to learn the medications, routes, purposes, times, etc. so that the individual may build the knowledge and skills to be able to self-medicate in the future. The Program Coordinator/Nurse are responsible for developing the individual goal plan for skill development in self-medication standards.

Signed by:

Rebecca Sharp Porter
Chief Executive Director

Last Revised: 4/30/21

Table of Contents

Stay In Touch!

Never miss the latest news and updates from Open Door

You have Successfully Subscribed!