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Old 09-05-2010, 09:36 AM
 
4 posts, read 9,763 times
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I have a concern I thought I would share - I'm interested in hearing other's comments. IF it's already been covered, can someone direct me to the thread?

Some children in the local GT program in our elementary school district have been diagnosed with ADHD and have been prescribed drugs such as Adderall which enhance cognitive ability. Thus, they often test higher (skewing test results) and reap the benefits of more academic enrichment. GT kids who are not taking the drugs and not testing as high are deemed ineligible for the program.

It doesn't seem fair that kids who take the drugs can skew test results so that another GT kid (not taking the drugs) does not make the cut.

What do you all think? Especially parents/teachers/administrators with direct experience. Is or should the use of cognitive enhancing drugs be factored into the equation of whether a child is eligible for a GT program, especially if it means denying another GT child who got very high scores, but not as high as those taking the cognitive enhancing drug?
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Old 09-05-2010, 10:31 AM
 
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The way I understand it is that children with ADHD who are prescribed medication such as ritalin and adderall do better on standardized tests than unmedicated children with ADHD, but not necessarily better than children without the condition of ADHD.

Children who get ADHD drugs score higher on tests | Reuters

As an aside, children's diagnosis and medications are highly confidential information that should not be available for discussions in the community.
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Old 09-05-2010, 07:07 PM
 
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Adderall aids a student with ADHD by increasing their ability to concentrate. It doesn't add IQ points, so it wouldn't provide an edge over another student with an equally high IQ. The criteria for GT programs, in my experience, has been pretty stringent. I don't see why a student with a disability, who meets all the criteria, wouldn't be as deserving as a student without ADHD.

I do know that Adderall has become hugely popular on college campuses, especially around exam time. It can't replace book or classroom knowledge, but it can help when student need to focus their studying.
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Old 09-06-2010, 07:58 AM
 
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I never stated that if a child has a disability he/she shouldn't qualify, so it's best for you to read carefully and not misinterpret.. It's that a child has a disability and takes a drug that can more than level the playing field.

It seems like there are a significant number of kids dx with ADHD in the GT program - possibly statistically more than their percentage of population in general ed. I read posts from many parents who have "twice exceptional" kids in the GT program, but as another person posted - it's difficult to ascertain due to privacy issues.

BTW - our school district doesn't use IQ tests to gain entry into the GT program - it uses COGAT.

I wonder if administrators should take into consideration if the child is not taking certain drugs and recognize that the child is still GT material, if you will, even if he/she didn't ace the exam with the help of drugs.

Last edited by PDQ10312; 09-06-2010 at 09:14 AM.. Reason: added "statistically" removed "percentage"
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Old 09-06-2010, 10:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PDQ10312 View Post
I never stated that if a child has a disability he/she shouldn't qualify, so it's best for you to read carefully and not misinterpret.. It's that a child has a disability and takes a drug that can more than level the playing field.

It seems like there are a significant number of kids dx with ADHD in the GT program - possibly statistically more than their percentage of population in general ed. I read posts from many parents who have "twice exceptional" kids in the GT program, but as another person posted - it's difficult to ascertain due to privacy issues.

BTW - our school district doesn't use IQ tests to gain entry into the GT program - it uses COGAT.

I wonder if administrators should take into consideration if the child is not taking certain drugs and recognize that the child is still GT material, if you will, even if he/she didn't ace the exam with the help of drugs.
I think perhaps you did not read carefully and were the one to misinterpret.

You have not proven the initial concept here that ADHD drugs "more than level the playing field".

Do you have anything to support that statement or is that your opinion?
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Old 09-06-2010, 01:49 PM
 
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According to a 60 Minutes episode, ADHD drugs can significantly improve the focus and subsequent exam scores on non-dx college students. I didn't hear any expert refute this fact.

So it looks like something(s) in these pills is/are greatly enhancing cognitive ability for all beyond just helping a child function normally in an academic environment.

I was hoping someone with direct experience can shed some light on this in this forum.
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Old 09-06-2010, 02:38 PM
 
Location: No. Virginia, USA
328 posts, read 476,564 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PDQ10312 View Post
I never stated that if a child has a disability he/she shouldn't qualify, so it's best for you to read carefully and not misinterpret.. It's that a child has a disability and takes a drug that can more than level the playing field.

It seems like there are a significant number of kids dx with ADHD in the GT program - possibly statistically more than their percentage of population in general ed. I read posts from many parents who have "twice exceptional" kids in the GT program, but as another person posted - it's difficult to ascertain due to privacy issues.

BTW - our school district doesn't use IQ tests to gain entry into the GT program - it uses COGAT.

I wonder if administrators should take into consideration if the child is not taking certain drugs and recognize that the child is still GT material, if you will, even if he/she didn't ace the exam with the help of drugs.
you're in Fairfax, Va. right?
Nowdays 12% of the kids or more are GT, and it's growing all the time. The qualifications are very flexible. The system seems to admit nearly everyone who is even borderline, but whose parents make the effort to appeal. No deserving kid will be left out just because some ADD kids got good scores while on medication. So I think your premise is wrong.

Last edited by Chasva69; 09-06-2010 at 03:15 PM..
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Old 09-06-2010, 04:25 PM
Status: "could've~would've~should've used 'have', not 'of'" (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
10,464 posts, read 14,307,686 times
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Don't know how well this will help answer your question but my DS was ADHD/GT. Our system doesn't base admittance on just a test score, but rather on a combination of IQ, a portfolio of work, parent and teacher questionnaire, and a psychological profile.
The IQ test is re administered at least once for the child to remain in the program.
The first time my son took the IQ test he was on Aderall, the second time he took it, a few years later, he was no longer on any medication.
The difference in his IQ test score was only one or two points. It may simply have been a natural deviation, or the Aderall may have given him a slightly better ability to focus (bringing him up to normal, as it was intended to do), but to say that the drug greatly enhanced his cognitive ability would be a huge stretch. In a child with ADHD I don't believe that Aderall can "more than level the playing field", at least that was not our experience.

I would also like to point out that in our district every child who meets the requirements gets into the GT program. One child does not get bumped because another scores higher on some test. Here all qualifying GT children fall under the special education umbrella and they all have an IEP. By law they are entitled to an appropriate education and cannot be turned away from the GT program. The program has to expand to cover the needs of every student that qualifies.
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Old 09-06-2010, 05:19 PM
 
4 posts, read 9,763 times
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Thanks for the reasoned responses. Much appreciated!
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Old 09-07-2010, 11:53 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
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Not only does it not more than level the playing often it does not EVEN level the playing field. Not all ADHD kids who ARE medicated get perfect results from their meds. Thats an impression the drug companies and some docs want people to have, but many kids are helped only slightly by the meds. They concentrate better than they would without the meds, but not as well as kids without ADHD.

the meds do NOT improve IQ. They make it easier to concentrate. If non ADHD kids do better on tests with the meds, thats a sign the tests are focused on speed, and not on testing actual knowledge and ability. Maybe you should question the test design.

Yes, lots of ADHD kids are in GT programs. Thats because lots of high IQ people have ADHD.
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