Educational Support of a Student with ADHD. An Analysis of Parents’ Biographical Experiences
Keywordsqualitative research, specific educational needs, psychomotor hyperactivity, child’s difficulties at school, educational support
The aim of this paper is to present the results of a study on the subjective interpretation and the construction of biographies by parents of children with ADHD. The research was driven by insufficient knowledge regarding the definition of the support offered at school to a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder among parents and to determine what is important and unique from a parental perspective.
The presented studies were constructivist, interpretative studies using the biographical method. Narrative interviews were conducted with parents of children with ADHD living in Poland. Reconstruction of their parental experiences allowed an understanding of their individual feelings and experiences, which showed “the truth” about the educational support provided to a child. The aim of the studies was a reconstruction of the narrative and an analysis of the subjective meanings which parents give to the educational support that is offered to their children at school. The central thesis took the form of a question: How did parents interpret their own experiences related to educational support given at school to a child with ADHD? The analysis of the narration shows different parental experiences regarding the educational support received. The reality reconstructed by examined parents is complex and consists of hope and expectations, but also doubts, powerlessness and helplessness. Some parts of the narration are poignant, sorrowful and rife with feelings of loneliness, which is a consequence of misunderstanding a specific child’s needs. The other parts of the narrative are dominated by happiness and joy caused by the support that a student received and its effects. By speaking about the help which was received at school, the parents expose their personal feelings towards that event, and they show their individual interpretation of the reality that they experienced. They give subjective meaning to a narrative that they feel is significant.
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