Experiencing Disability in the School Context: Voices of Young People Diagnosed With ADHD in Spain

  •  Paulo Padilla-Petry    
  •  Carla Soria-Albert    
  •  Jennifer A. Vadeboncoeur    


Researchers have begun to inquire into the experiences of young people with ADHD, including how they define ADHD and how a diagnosis of ADHD affects them. ADHD is considered a neurodevelopmental disorder and diagnosis is frequently requested by school professionals. The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the experiences of young people in Spain who are diagnosed with ADHD through student voice research. Using semi-structured interviews, we found that while the participants tended to reproduce the conventional psychiatric discourse on ADHD, they also produced their own explanation of ADHD and of the effects of being labelled with ADHD on their lives in school. Our results highlight both the school’s role in advocating for a diagnosis of ADHD and the lack of an adequate instructional response for students once they have been diagnosed.

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