Managing adolescent learners with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: guidelines for educators
Clark, Lesley Enid
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The educational setting is extremely difficult for adolescent learners with attentiondeficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the core and secondary symptoms of which impair their ability to meet the increasing demands of high school and set them up for academic failure as well as behavioural and social adjustment difficulties. Research reveals that high school educators do not always have an understanding of ADHD driven forms of behaviour, and few have been trained in a set of strategies for managing these or for enhancing the academic performance of learners with this condition. This qualitative study was conducted in the secondary phase of a school in South Africa. By means of participatory action research a programme in the form of a handbook was developed providing comprehensive and practical guidelines to assist educators in the management of adolescent learners with ADHD. The results of the program were positive. Educators reported an increase in knowledge about ADHD which enabled them to more easily identify learners with this condition in their classes as well as enhancing their understanding of and empathy towards these learners. Participation in the programme provided educators with the skills and strategies to better manage adolescent learners with ADHD thereby guiding them into more adaptive ways of responding to the educational environment. Educators felt that they had benefitted from participation in the program as the knowledge and skills gained lead to feelings of empowerment as they became more competent in their role as educators.
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