ADHD Drug Studies Find Little Change in Academic Performance


According to the Wall Street Journal’s, story on a June study of 4000 Qubequois students, “a growing body of research finds that in the long run, achievement scores, grade-point averages or the likelihood of repeating a grade generally aren’t any different in kids with ADHD who take medication compared with those who don’t.” Though studies show improvements in such tasks as short-term memory, but the effects don’t seem to translate into the classroom in the long run.

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. Thanks for posting. Not too many comments yet, maybe everyone at MIA gets this and I wouldn’t be at all surprised.

    Unfortunately, this runs contrary to the mainstream myth of the benefits of stimulant drugs. They’ve longed been thought of as “study drugs” or “focusing pills” and parents, teachers, etc. have been bombarded with these “truths”

    When constructing a “Pluses” and “Minuses” chart for deciding whether to start these drugs or start your child/ren on these drugs, I hope parents and others will see that the “Minuses” column far outweighs the “Pluses” column. For additional information on this topic see the ‘Related Posts’ section above.


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  2. Is ADHD even real?

    I rather like the object lesson of Thomas Edison.

    “In school, the young Edison’s mind often wandered, and his teacher, the Reverend Engle, was overheard calling him “addled”. This ended Edison’s three months of official schooling.”

    “Edison is the fourth most prolific inventor in history, holding 1,093 US patents in his name, as well as many patents in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. He is credited with numerous inventions that contributed to mass communication and, in particular, telecommunications. These included a stock ticker, a mechanical vote recorder, a battery for an electric car, electrical power, recorded music and motion pictures.”

    One can only wonder what would have happened to him if some school guidance counselor/social worker had dumped him onto a dope pusher to get him the Ritalin, Adderal, Concerta he needed.

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