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Learn Disabil (Pittsbg). 2016;21(2):67-78. doi: 10.18666/LDMJ-2016-V21-I2-7414.

Academic Testing Accommodations for ADHD: Do They Help?

Author information

1
Clinical child psychologist at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and assistant professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
2
Graduate research assistant at the University of Connecticut Neag School of Education.
3
Education consultant with the Center for Innovation and Leadership in Special Education at the Kennedy Krieger Institute.
4
Research assistant in the Neuropsychology Department at the Kennedy Krieger Institute at the time of this manuscript.
5
Faculty neuropsychologist at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and assistant professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
6
Director of the Department of Neuropsychology, co-director of the Center for Innovation and Leadership in Special Education, and co-director of the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, as well as professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Abstract

This study investigated the effectiveness of five commonly administered academic testing accommodations on reading and math performance in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A total of 96 parents of 3rd-8th grade students with ADHD participated. More than half of the sample also had parent-reported learning difficulties in reading and/or math. Individually administered cognitive and achievement test scores, types of testing accommodations received, and Maryland School Assessment (MSA) reading and math scores were obtained from these students' school records. Taking into account grade level and co-occurring learning difficulties, none of the five accommodations investigated were associated with better MSA scores among students with ADHD who received the accommodations versus comparable students who did not. Additionally, individual variation in processing speed performance did not moderate the association between receipt of accommodations and reading or math performance. Common testing accommodations, as presently administered, may offer little benefit for students with ADHD, regardless of co-occurring learning difficulties.

KEYWORDS:

ADHD; accommodations; learning disabilities

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