Here is an example of a study where scientists, parents, and clinicians may all draw different conclusions. In this study, Shaywitz and colleagues at Yale were giving children with reading disorders (and no attention deficit!) Ritalin - The Ritalin did not improve reading performance...although some of the brain changes associated with Ritalin use in ADHD kids were also seen in reading-challenged kids. These findings have been interpreted by some to mean that dyslexic children have share some of the dysfunctional brain mechanisms of children with ADHD, and by others to show that the brain-based differences seen in ADHD studies are not distinctly "attentional", but rather seen other children's groups being evaluated by functional brain imaging. The latter caution is important. We are only scratching the surface in our understanding of brain-based learning differences, and current models of brain-based physiology and attention problems in children are still theoretical.
The Bristol Press