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Medication and Its Role in the ADHD Treatment Essay

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Updated: Jun 3rd, 2020

For many decades, ADHD has been treated using a stimulant medication. As far as its efficacy is concerned, medication is essential in controlling the symptoms of ADHD. However, if used alone, medication is not an easy cure; indeed, it will be unsuccessful. The assertion that medication as a method of transforming the behavioral patterns of learners suffering from ADHD in an inclusive setting is not only effective, but it also holds true (Smith et al. 2012). With this regard, this paper aims at deriving well researched and documented evidence to support this assertion.

It is worthwhile and justifiable to indicate that using medication to modify the behavior of students with ADHD is essential. However, it should be used along with other non-medicated methods. The validity of this position is backed by the NIMH (2004) who conducted a study on Children with ADHD. From NIMH’s study, out of four groups of treatment; community support, medication only, behavior therapy and combination of medication and behavior therapy, medication and behavior therapy combined is the most effective. This is because it was found to decrease depression, lowering social skills problems, improving academic performance, and it was paramount in improving parental relationships. Similar inferences can be inferred from the findings of the research conducted by Reid, Trout and Schartz (2005) that revealed that medication is the most appropriate treatment of the symptoms associated with ADHD. Additionally, Reid, Trout and Schartz’s research also recommended that ADHD patients should never be kept in isolation.

With these considerations, there is there is nothing wrong with placing students with ADHD in regular education classes. Gartner and Lipsky (1987) claims that the proposal to engage disabled learners in a general classroom has gained support from both the guardians and the scholars. Such a student has the right to be in a general class. However, the setting of the class might be altered to fit the needs of disabled the learners. Indeed, if students with any form of disability are placed in a general educational facility, improvements in standardized tests become evident. In addition to this, disabled students are well positioned to acquire social and communication skills, which were previously underdeveloped. A general classroom setting is ideal for the disabled student since the student will have increased interactions with peers (Cooper and McEvoy, 1996). Here, the student will not only achieve more, but will also add to the IEP goals of higher quality. As compared to those in special schools, the student in a general school will have a higher chance of acquiring more experiences to cope with life after school.

Vereb and DiPirna (2004) claim that teachers always accept medicated treatment on ADHD students placed in general classrooms. Furthermore, Vereb and DiPirna (2004) found that the acceptability of other treatments decrease as energy and time required increases. From this, it is valid to conclude that the techniques used in behavior management not only require more time, but also demand more attention and immense efforts. However, despite their effectiveness in the treatment, they are often perceived negatively.

There are several other strategies that can be used to help students with ADHD increase their ability to learn in a regular education setting. In determining the most effective treatment for ADHD in students, the answer should be based on the diagnosis (Smith et al. 2012). Medical practitioners assert that there are significant numbers of symptoms of this condition attributable to other causes. These causes should not be included in determining, or giving the right diagnosis. Such situations include learning disabilities, abrupt change in the life of a child and depression. After ascertaining that the problems root from ADHD, an assessment should be done followed by an appropriate treatment.

On the other hand, other than the medication, there are several non-medicated treatments used as remedies to this condition. One of the most acknowledged method is self regulation coupled with monitoring. For students with ADHD, this strategy works on its own. However, in acute circumstances, this method should be used alongside medication. Here, the student learns to assess and control own behavior (Smith et al. 2012). This method is founded on the idea that the disabled learner be provided with regular feedbacks on behaviors in an effort to assist him or her to attain personal objectives. This strategy is ideal in promoting the organizational skills of the student with ADHD.

Another viable strategy is physical exercise. Physical exercises are advocated because of their ability to calm and relieve stress. Additionally, exercises also help in the management and control of behavior, thereby, aiding the student acquire individual goals.

A review of documented research studies led to a conclusion that medication is effective if adopted as a treatment plan for students with ADHD. However, most researchers advocate that this form of treatment should be used hand-in-hand with other methods in an effort to lower the dosage. Nevertheless, medication is vital in assisting the disabled learner attain an ideal lifestyle and lead a better lifestyle in the society after school.


Cooper, C. S. & McEvoy, M. A. (1996). Group Friendship Activities: An Easy Way to Develop Social Skills of Young Children. Teaching Exceptional Children, 28 (3), 67-69.

Gartner, A. & Lipsky, D. (1987). Beyond Special Education Toward A Quality System For All Students. Harvard Educ. Rev, 75(4), 367-395.

National Institute of Mental Health (2004). Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Department of Health and Human Services, Exceptional Children, 3(7), 1-49.

Reid, R., Trout, A. L., & Schartz, M. (2005). Self-Regulation Interventions For Children With Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Exceptional Children, 5(71), 361.

Smith, T., Polloway E., Patton, J., & Dowdy, C. (2012). Teaching Students with Special Needs in Inclusive Settings. New Jersey, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

Vereb, R. L. & DiPirna, J. C. (2004). Teachers’ Knowledge of Adhd, Treatments For Adhd, And Treatment Acceptability: An Initial Investigation. Research Brief. School Psychology Review, 9(33), 421-428.

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