A focus group of adolescents with ADHD: Perceptions of their social, emotional and academic lives in both public and independent schools

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Pugsley, Meaghan Howe
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A focus group with five adolescents from an independent school for students with learning disabilities and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Special Needs Private School, was conducted to gain a better understanding of the social, emotional and academic lives of adolescents with ADHD. All participants had been diagnosed with ADHD for at least four years and had been attending the Special Needs Private School on average for two years and seven months. Themes discussed were bullying, feeling different, making friends, school success and knowledge of ADHD. The participants experienced bullying at their past public schools and current school. They discussed how they were bullied physically, verbally and emotionally and how some of them retaliated against their bullies. The participants discussed how they felt different than their peers and how others perceived them as à ¢ weirdà ¢ and this resulted in difficulties with making and keeping friends. Participants discussed having an easier time with the academic aspects of school now that they attend the Special Needs Private School. Furthermore, participants lacked knowledge of their diagnosis of ADHD. Transcripts were then interpreted using Stromà ¢ s (1980) basic human goals: rootedness, proactive and identity. In general, participants discussed having many of the same challenges that all adolescents encounter.
Public opinion , ADD , Nova Scotia , Adolescence , ADHD , Attitudes , Attention deficit/hyper-activity disorder , Children , Attention deficit disorder