March 3, 2024

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Study shows that ADHD medication doesn’t help kids learn

Study shows that ADHD medication doesn’t help kids learn

Study shows that ADHD medication doesn’t help kids learn

For decades, most doctors, parents and teachers believed that stimulant drugs helped children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) learn.

However, in the first study of its kind, scientists at the Florida International University (FIU) Center for Children and Families found that drug treatment had no discernible effect on how well children with ADHD learned in the school classroom.


Study shows that ADHD medication doesn't help kids learn


About 10 percent of children in the United States are diagnosed with ADHD.

Of these, more than 90 percent were prescribed stimulant medication as the primary form of treatment in a school setting because most doctors believed that medication would lead to better academic performance in the children.

“Physicians and educators have long believed that medication helps children with ADHD learn because they accomplish more after taking medication, ” said William E. Pelham, Jr., first author of the new study and director of the Center for Children and Families . seat assignments, spending more time on tasks. Unfortunately, however, we found that medication had no effect on learning the actual course content.”

Researchers evaluated 173 children aged 7 to 12 with ADHD who participated in the center’s Summer Therapy Program, an eight-week comprehensive summer camp program for people living with ADHD and related behavioral, emotional, and learning challenges children.

Children complete two consecutive stages of 25 minutes a day of teaching vocabulary and subject content such as science and social studies.

During the three-week period, each student is given instruction at their identified grade level. Certified teachers and assistants teach these materials in classrooms to groups of 10-14 children.

Each child was randomly assigned to receive a sustained-release stimulant medication during the first or second instructional session and a placebo during the other session.

Contrary to expectations, the researchers found that children learned the same amount of science, social studies and vocabulary content whether they were given the drug or a placebo.

While medication did not improve learning, research showed that medication helped children complete more seat assignments and improved their classroom behavior, as expected. While taking the drug, the children completed a 37 percent increase in math problems per minute and a 53 percent decrease in classroom rule violations per hour.

Also, in line with previous studies, the researchers found that when taking the drug on test day, the drug treatment helped improve test scores slightly, but not enough for most children.

Improving academic performance is important for children with ADHD because ADHD children exhibit more non-task behaviors in the classroom, achieve lower grades, and receive lower test scores than their peers.

They are also more likely to receive special education services, be repeated and drop out of school before graduation.

Poor academic performance is one of the most frustrating impairments associated with ADHD, often leading to long-term career and financial difficulties with ADHD in adulthood.

Previous research by ADHD research and treatment pioneer Pelham has found that behavioral therapy — if used in the first place — is less expensive and more effective than medication in treating children with ADHD.

Stimulants are most effective as a complementary second-line treatment option for those in need, and at lower doses than are usually prescribed.

Additionally, the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics (SDBP) has issued new clinical guidelines that strongly recommend behavioral interventions as first-line treatment for ADHD in adolescents.

“Our research has repeatedly found that behavioral interventions are best for children with ADHD because the skills and strategies they, their teachers and their parents learn will help them in school, at home and in long-term relationships,” Pelham said. To be successful. Giving our children medication doesn’t solve the problem — it only temporarily eliminates symptoms. Instead, families should focus on behavioral interventions first, adding medication only when needed.”

For adolescents with ADHD, behavioral and academic interventions that meaningfully improve dysfunction in the long term include parent training and classroom-based management tools and school services specific to academic achievement.

The researchers noted that the study was conducted in a controlled environment similar to a summer school, and the results may have been different in a normal classroom setting.

They hope to use the academic curriculum in a natural classroom setting and replicate the study over the course of an academic year to further assess the impact of drug treatment on learning.

Study shows that ADHD medication doesn’t help kids learn

(source:internet, reference only)

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Important Note: The information provided is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice.