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Summary: Study reports medications for ADHD have little detectable impact on how much a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder learns in the classroom. However, the medications helped children retain attention, improve classroom behavior, and improve seat-time work.
Source: Florida International University
For decades, most physicians, parents and teachers have believed that stimulant medications help children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) learn.
However, in the first study of its kind, researchers at the Center for Children and Families at FIU found medication has no detectable impact on how much children with ADHD learn in the classroom.
Approximately 10% of children in the U.S. are diagnosed with ADHD and more than 90% of them are prescribed stimulant medication as the main form of treatment in school settings because most physicians believe that medication will result in better academic achievement.
“Physicians and educators have held the belief that medication helps children with ADHD learn because they complete more seatwork and spend more time on-task when medicated,” said William E. Pelham, Jr., senior author of the study and director at the Center for Children and Families. “Unfortunately, we found that medication had no impact on learning of actual curriculum content.”