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To improve academic outcomes, children with ADHD need both medication and non-medication treatments

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Aca­d­e­m­ic prob­lems are extreme­ly com­mon in chil­dren with ADHD, and often the issue that leads to refer­ral for an ADHD eval­u­a­tion.

Aca­d­e­m­ic out­comes can be mea­sured in 2 dif­fer­ent ways — aca­d­e­m­ic achieve­ment and aca­d­e­m­ic per­for­mance — and both are com­pro­mised in chil­dren with ADHD. Aca­d­e­m­ic achieve­ment refers to the infor­ma­tion and skills that chil­dren acquire and is typ­i­cal­ly mea­sured by stan­dard­ized tests. Aca­d­e­m­ic per­for­mance focus­es on direct mea­sures of suc­cess at school such as grades, grade reten­tion, high school grad­u­a­tion, and col­lege enroll­ment.

An impor­tant ques­tion then, for mil­lions of kids diag­nosed with ADHD and for their par­ents and edu­ca­tors, is whether long-term aca­d­e­m­ic func­tion­ing can improve with appro­pri­ate treat­ment. Read the rest of this entry »

Study: To help children with ADHD improve academic performance, combine medication AND behavioral treatment

Students academic performance.

Aca­d­e­m­ic prob­lems are extreme­ly com­mon in chil­dren with ADHD and often the issue that leads to refer­ral for an ADHD eval­u­a­tion. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, the sig­nif­i­cant aca­d­e­m­ic strug­gles that many chil­dren with ADHD expe­ri­ence can under­mine their long-term suc­cess in areas that extend far beyond for­mal school­ing.

Giv­en these facts, an impor­tant ques­tion is whether long-term aca­d­e­m­ic func­tion­ing in youth with ADHD improves with treat­ment? Because this is such a fun­da­men­tal­ly impor­tant ques­tion, and Read the rest of this entry »

ADHD @ high schools: Clear mismatch between the Evidence and the Practice

Study: High School­ers with ADHD Receiv­ing Few Evi­dence-Based Sup­ports (Edu­ca­tion Week):

A lit­tle over half of high school stu­dents with atten­tion deficit hyper­ac­tiv­i­ty dis­or­der are receiv­ing some kind of ser­vices from their schools, such as addi­tion­al time on tests or extend­ed time to com­plete home­work assign­ments, a recent study finds. But those par­tic­u­lar sup­ports have no report­ed effec­tive­ness in improv­ing the aca­d­e­m­ic per­for­mance of stu­dents with ADHD, accord­ing to the study pub­lished Read the rest of this entry »

New Review of Neurofeedback Treatment for ADHD — Current State of the Science

neurofeedback adhd reviewsNeu­ro­feed­back — also known as EEG Biofeed­back — is an approach for treat­ing ADHD in which indi­vid­u­als are pro­vid­ed real-time feed­back on their brain­wave activ­i­ty and taught to alter their typ­i­cal EEG pat­tern to one that is con­sis­tent with a focused and atten­tive state. Accord­ing to neu­ro­feed­back pro­po­nents, this often results in improved atten­tion and reduced hyperactive/impulsive behav­ior.

Sev­er­al years ago I sum­ma­rized the sci­en­tif­ic sup­port for neu­ro­feed­back treat­ment — see here — and not­ed that Read the rest of this entry »

Long-term effects of neurofeedback treatment for ADHD

Neu­ro­feed­back — also known as EEG Biofeed­back — is an approach for treat­ing ADHD in which indi­vid­u­als are pro­vid­ed real-time feed­back on their brain­wave pat­terns and taught to pro­duce and main­tain pat­terns con­sis­tent with a focused, atten­tive state. This is often done by col­lect­ing brain­wave, i.e., EEG, data from indi­vid­u­als as they focus on stim­uli pre­sent­ed on a com­put­er screen. Their abil­i­ty to con­trol the stim­uli, for exam­ple, keep­ing the ‘smile on a smi­ley face’, is con­tin­gent on main­tain­ing the brain­wave pat­tern being trained.

Neu­ro­feed­back sup­port­ers believe that learn­ing this dur­ing train­ing gen­er­al­izes to real world sit­u­a­tions and results in improved atten­tion and reduced hyperactive/impulsive behav­ior. Although a num­ber of neu­ro­feed­back stud­ies have yield­ed promis­ing results it remains some­what con­tro­ver­sial with some researchers argu­ing that lim­i­ta­tions of these stud­ies pre­clude firm con­clu­sions about the effec­tive­ness of neu­ro­feed­back from being drawn.

Last year I reviewed a par­tic­u­lar­ly well-con­duct­ed study of neu­ro­feed­back treat­ment for ADHD — see my review here. The study was con­duct­ed in Ger­many and began with 94 chil­dren aged 8 to 12. All had been care­ful­ly diag­nosed with ADHD and over 90% had nev­er received med­ica­tion treat­ment. About 80% were boys.

Chil­dren were ran­dom­ly assigned to receive either 36 ses­sions of neu­ro­feed­back train­ing or 36 ses­sions of com­put­er­ized atten­tion train­ing. The com­put­er­ized atten­tion train­ing task was intend­ed to serve as the con­trol inter­ven­tion and pro­vid­ed equal amounts of time work­ing on a demand­ing cog­ni­tive task under the super­vi­sion of an adult; the inclu­sion of this con­trol con­di­tion is a real strength of the study.

The main find­ings were as fol­lows: Read the rest of this entry »

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