Do ADHD Medications Really Help Kids? | WJMN
ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — About six million children in the United States are diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. Of those diagnosed, 90% are prescribed stimulants to improve their academic performance. But a new study reveals surprising findings about the effectiveness of these drugs.
Difficulty concentrating, unable to sit still, attention problems. ADHD symptoms can affect a child’s ability to learn in the classroom. Some experts have long believed that drugs help children with ADHD and their academic performance, but not everyone agrees.
Sabrina Schuck, PhD Executive Director of the Center for Child Development at the University of California, Irvine explains, “Drugs aren’t the magic bullet or they don’t work.
Now, new research from Florida International University shows they may be right. In a study of children with ADHD between the ages of 7 and 12, researchers found that the students learned the same amount of content whether they took medication or a placebo. They also found that the drugs slightly improved test scores if taken on the day of the test, but not enough to improve grades. This research suggests that there may be cheaper and more effective methods to try first, such as behavioral therapy or even focusing on improving sleep.
Stephen Becker, PhD, clinical psychologist at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, says, “Adolescents with ADHD have two to three times the difficulty with sleep problems.
And poor sleep is linked to poor school performance.
Becker explains, “You’ll probably do worse in school the next day. You will retain less information. You might have more trouble during a test.
Experts say it can benefit children with ADHD to create a bedtime routine, such as brushing their teeth, making white noise and keeping phones out of the bedroom.
Study researchers found that the drug helped students with ADHD perform more seated work and improved their behavior in class.
Contributors to this report include: Milvionne Chery, producer; Roque Correa, editor