(WSVN) - There has been new findings when it comes to ADHD medication, and it’s all about a child’s potential for learning.

“Speaking to him you could tell his mind was going a mile a minute; there was a look in his eye,” said Christie Toledo-Fernandez.

Fernandez’s son has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

“I was hoping the medication would help him tap the brakes on his behaviors,” said Toledo-Fernandez.

The medication worked and helped Alejandro be less impulsive and participate more in class.

“Medication is not a sole solution,” said Dr. William Pelham. “I was shocked at the results.”

Pelham is an expert on ADHD and said a new first of its kind study at the Center for Children and Families at FIU, debunks the decades old belief that medicating children with ADHD will help them learn.

“So what that means is if you’re a doctor or a parent and you’re medicating your child for ADHD, you need to keep in mind that although it may help with your behavior in the classroom. It’s not helping their learning, and you need to be doing other things to make sure they’re learning whatever the teachers are trying to teach in school,” said Pelham.

Ninety percent of children in the United States with ADHD take stimulant drugs. Dr. Pelham said the meds do help the child’s behavior but does not help in achievement.

“One reason schools encourage use of medication is that parents take pressure off the school, in terms of trying to insist that the child receives accommodations to help learning in school, and they think it’s doing a good job with learning, but the study shows it’s not,” said Pelham.

You may be asking then, what to do? Dr. Pelham said the answer is medication and a behavioral treatment system that offer rewards.

“And the combination of the behavioral condition and the medication should help everything about classroom performance including learning and behavior,” said Pelham.

Fernandez agrees and said her family has seen positive results from a multitude of help.

“Medication for Alejandro is just his one step. It’s part of his pencil in his tool box. That’s all it is. We follow up with daily report cards from school, we follow up with reward programs at home,” said Fernandez.

The study has been published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.

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