Recent studies show that taking ADHD drugs does not necessarily improve a child’s performance in school. According to a story in the Wall Street Journal, it’s “no longer shocking” to hear of children and even college students taking medicines like Ritalin and Adderall to improve their performance in school. However, a growing number of studies suggest that the drugs do not improve academic outcomes.
The drugs do seem to improve memory and other cognitive skills, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to higher grades, better study habits, or family encouragement vital to academic success. One study looked at the long-term effects of ADHD treatment on three groups of children. During the first year of the study, children taking medication saw academic improvement, but those benefits disappeared by year three of the study.