View Full Version : "ADHD Drugs Don't Boost Kids' Grades?"

07-10-13, 07:25 PM
If somebody else has already posted a link to this article, I apologize. Somebody shared it in one of my Facebook groups and I thought I'd like to run it by the folks here.

07-11-13, 10:11 AM
Weird how the title makes it sound like the medication never boosts grades, when buried part way through the article it talks about them often boosting grades.

For the first year of the study, the 8- and 9-year-old children who received medication and a combination treatment saw greater improvements in ADHD symptoms than the other two groups. Kids taking medicine also exhibited some improvement in educational outcomes in that first year.

But any benefit of the drug on symptoms dissipated by Year Three.


Other studies have shown that kids who take ADHD medication and study early for an exam tend to do just as well, if not better, than kids without ADHD.

I wonder how many kids get medication updates as they age.

It's also talking a bit about kids without ADHD taking stimulants as an academic performance enhancer.

I feel like the article is written in such a way that a quick read will give you an entirely different impression than what you'd get from a careful and critical read. I'm not sure if it's sloppy journalism or a deliberate misdirection by a journalist with an agenda.

Of course, I think grades are the least important reason to treat a child for a mental disorder... but I know some people's concern over grades is sometimes the only reason their kids get any help.

07-11-13, 11:46 AM
The article on the study and the headlines seem to be of the same quality...bad!

The thing is that the medications do not add any knowledge or help with achievement test scores except perhaps in the long run.

Unmediated ADHD kids by not being able to do the work often slide slowly behind their peers.

With medication, the kid can perhaps begin to play catch up.

I can see no way that successful medication for ADHD would not bring up grades especially with the younger children.

Of note, it is a study done by National Bureau of Economic Research, a nonprofit economics research firm. The spokesperson is economics professor Janet Currie, an author on the paper and director of the Center for Health & Wellbeing, a health policy institute at Princeton University.

I am very cautious about this kind of study by people outside the field. It may be a good study but I have seen some very bad examples of research done in this type of setting.

In otherwords, I would take the article and the study with a very big grain of salt at least until the study is better vetted.

I have seen these things come and go over the years...mostly go.


07-11-13, 12:09 PM
I call *********.

07-11-13, 02:54 PM
I'll recount my son's on-meds, off-meds testing experience this past year.

On meds for the first standardized tests, he scored well above the 50th percentile on all 3 tests (math, reading, science)

Off meds for the 2nd standardized tests (was off meds because of severe tics; the new med was/is Strattera and hadn't become effective yet), so anyway...
First 2 tests (reading & math, taken over 2 days) he scored just a percentage point or two below test 1. 3rd test (science), he could not keep it together any longer. He went from the 89th percentile to the 35th percentile on test 2 and science is his favorite subject. The entire testing process for the 2nd set of tests was just torturous for him. :(

My point is, for some kids with less severe ADHD they may be able to keep it together to score OK on tests, but the process is agonizing and stressful. I will do my damnest to make sure that he never has to go through that again...

And for kids with more severe ADHD, I just don't see how it's possible that they would score as well off meds as on meds.

07-11-13, 04:29 PM
From a very old issue of the American Psychological Association (APA)

MONITOR ... "Stimulants Boost Achievement In ADHD Teens."

I only have one page of this old article, but it lists the original study as

having been published in the Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology

(journal) (Vol.9, No.2). :eek:

I haven't bothered to look for it, because it will be one of a great many

articles, going back many, many years, supporting the use of stimulants as

increasing academic performance. ;)

It's always amused me when trolls, or other ne'er do wells, present ONE

article to try and support whatever dillweed munching point they're trying to

make. :doh:

Like that matters. :lol:

What I'm fond of saying is ... "521 years ago, most people thought the earth

was flat, but they were FOS too ." :yes:

u r welcome :cool:

07-11-13, 04:55 PM
Okay Okay, so I found the other two pages ... :o

It's from the May 2001 Issue of the APA MONITOR. The journal article should

also be the same (May 2001).

u r welcome :cool:

07-12-13, 09:24 AM
My son aged 14 started meds last september.
Last year he failed 4 exams for the year, retook the 4 again in September and failed them all again, despite spending 3 months with a private tutor.

He went up to the next year and has not only passed the 4 failed exams from last year but 8 from this year. He only failed 1 exam, which he will have to retake.

My daughter aged 17 failed 8 exams last year (repeated failures for the past 5 years). She has also passed all but one exam and she actually works less than she did before.

07-12-13, 10:33 AM
Whoever would make a statement like that apparently did not see my daughter's report card this year.

In mid-March, her 2nd trimester report card was filled with 2s (they get graded on a 1 to 4 scale, with a 3 being "meeting standards", so she was definitely behind). She was reading at level A/B.

We started meds (Quillivant XR) the first week in April. I asked them to re-test her reading in late April. She tested at level C. So basically, the opinion of the teacher was that she COULD read all along, but simply could not sit still or focus long enough to demonstrate her abilities.

Final report card in late June was incredible. She got mostly 3s, but got a couple of 4s (exceeding standards) in the writing and phonics categories. Reading level D.

So yes, I am a HUGE believer that meds can help boost grades.

07-12-13, 11:46 AM
if this is true then why are stimulants used as study drugs and so popular?