Children With ADHD Suffer Academically Despite Extra School Support

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Despite a high rate of service utilization in their age group, low-achieving high school students with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are still not getting the additional educational support needed to do well.

Lead researcher Desiree W. Murray, PhD, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, and colleagues found that students with ADHD performed much worse academically compared to their peers, having both lower test scores and grade point averages.

The researchers used survey data provided by school staff on students from the Multi-Modal Treatment Outcome Study for ADHD, which included more than 500 children who were followed since early childhood. 

Slightly more than half of the high school students with a history of ADHD used an accommodation for children with disabilities, a rate six times higher than students without the condition, they reported in the journal School Mental Health.

Despite the higher rate of service use, the researchers estimate between 20% and 30% of students with ADHD don't get the help they need to perform better academically.

Providing extra time on tests for students with ADHD was a commonly reported support tool, but there is no definitive evidence that this improves academic performance for these students.

Children With ADHD Suffer Academically Despite Extra School Support
Children With ADHD Suffer Academically Despite Extra School Support

New research reveals that high school students with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are using an unexpectedly high rate of services for their age group, yet many low achievers with ADHD are not getting the academic supports they need. 

Scientists from the University of North Carolina's Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute and several other universities published the findings in School Mental Health after examining data for a large national sample of high school students with ADHD.


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