The Utility of Reading to Read With Boys With ADHD During Optimal Versus Nonoptimal Methylphenidate Effect Windows

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Daniel H. Tingstrom

Advisor Department



This investigation concerned the relationship of the time of scheduling of Reading to Read (RTR) with boys with Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder, Combined Type (ADHD-CT) on measures of oral reading fluency. Also, this investigation evaluated two previewing conditions as an additional component of RTR. Participants included 6 male students (4 fourth grade & 2 fifth grade, 3 classified as regular education & 3 classified as special education, 3 White & 3 African American) who were diagnosed as having ADHD-CT and who were being treated medically with methylphenidate (Ritalin). An alternating treatments design was used. The alternating conditions included implementation of RTR 45 minutes to 1 hour after ingestion of methylphenidate (optimal methylphenidate condition) versus 3 hours to 4 hours after ingestion of methylphenidate (nonoptimal methylphenidate condition). Also, the previewing conditions included listening previewing before the first trial of each new passage only (Previewing 1) versus listening previewing before every trial of each new passage (Previewing 2). Results suggest that participants made more rapid advances in the RTR program during the optimal methylphenidate condition than during the nonoptimal methylphenidate condition. All students mastered passages more quickly, and most participants read passages more quickly, had fewer reading errors, and had higher rates of correct words per minute (CWPM) during the optimal methylphenidate condition. Also, results do not clearly suggest performance differences between the two previewing conditions. This investigation suggests that students with ADHD-CT make quicker advances in the RTR program when scheduling of RTR is sensitive to the optimal methylphenidate window. Students learned quicker during academic intervention that was scheduled during the optimal methylphenidate condition. Academic instruction for students with ADHD-CT who take Ritalin needs to be structured in a way that is sensitive to this optimal window.