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NASP Home NASP Publications School Psychology Review (SPR) Volume 20 Issue 2 (1991) Therapeutic Effects of Medication on ...
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Volume 20, Issue 2 (1991)

Therapeutic Effects of Medication on ADHD: Implications for School Psychologists

pp. 203—219

Abstract: Psychostimulant medications (e.g., Ritalin) are highly effective treatments for the symptomatic management of children with ADHD as they can enhance significantly their attention span, impulse control, academic performance, and peer relationships. Side-effects (e.g., insomnia) are relatively benign and more likely to occur at higher doses. Given that the behavioral effects of stimulants are moderated by dose and individual responsivity, each child’s treatment-response must be assessed in an objective manner across a therapeutic dose range. School psychologists can play a major role in determining whether to refer a student for a possible medication trial, evaluating stimulant-induced changes in the classroom performance of children with ADHD, and providing objective outcome data to the prescribing physician. Since the overall efficacy of stimulant medication treatment is limited by a number of factors, other interventions (e.g., behavior modification) are necessary to optimize the probability of long-term improvements in the behavioral and academic status of the child with ADHD.

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