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(De)Constructing ADHD

Critical Guidance for Teachers and Teacher Educators

Series:

Linda J. Graham

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has achieved celebrity status in many Western countries, yet despite considerable effort to prove its existence as a «real» disorder, ADHD still suffers from a crisis of legitimacy. Nonetheless, diagnosis and prescription of medication has grown at a phenomenal rate since the late 1980s, particularly in Western culture. Numerous accounts exist explaining how the ADHD diagnosis functions as a convenient administrative loophole, providing schools with a medical explanation for school failure, medication to sedate the «problem» into submission, or the means to eject children from mainstream classrooms.
This book provides a more holistic interpretation of how to respond to children who might otherwise be diagnosed with and medicated for «ADHD» – a diagnosis which, whether scientifically valid or not, is unhelpful within the confine of the school. Training teachers to recognise and identify «ADHD symptoms» or to understand the functions of restricted pharmaceuticals will only serve to increase the number of children diagnosed and the sale of psychoactive medications. Research has shown that such activities will not help those children learn, nor will it empower their classroom teachers to take responsibility for teaching such children well. This book seeks to provide school practitioners with knowledge that is useful within the educational context to improve the educational experiences and outcomes for children who might otherwise receive a diagnosis of ADHD.