How Schools Support Students With ADHD…or Not
by Christina Samuels
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 earlier this year in the journal School Mental Health.
The report surveyed 543 15 to 17-year-old students who were part of the multisiteMultimodal Treatment study of ADHD, which was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. The researchers found that 51.6 percent of the students had either anindividualized education plan or a 504 plan through their school, compared to about 8 percent of students of the same age without ADHD. IEPs and 504 plans, developed by teachers and parents, define the learning objectives of students with disabilities.
ADHD is not specifically named in one of the disability categories covered under theIndividuals with Disabilities Education Act; many students with the disorder were categorized as having a “specific learning disability” or “other health impairment,” both categories of disability recognized by IDEA. Without any formal education plan, very few students received any accommodations, the study found.
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