The purpose of my work is to shed light on the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) by exploring personal experiences of directly and indirectly involved individuals in adolescence, based on experiences of two adolescents, diagnosed with the disorder, their mothers, and two teachers.
In the theoretical part, I present different theories about the disorder and their development throughout history. The emphasis is on the naming and understanding of the disorder through different discourses, which dictate further treatment. I am highlighting the medical and social-pedagogical discourse, different types of treatment, controversies, and criticism. The social - pedagogical discourse emphasizes the importance of knowing and understanding how the individual with the diagnosis lives, how does it affect his/her life, and the effect of possible medications.
The empirical part focuses on personal experiences of two adolescents with ADHD, their understanding of themselves and their diagnosis, and how their mothers and teachers understand the diagnosis and their role in adolescent's lives. I was also interested in benefits and/or burdens that come with the diagnosis. I used open-ended questions to gain insight into their experiences, which are rich and tremendously different.
I found out that all participants know their strengths and positive features or recognize them in the adolescents, although this depends on the situation. Especially the two adolescents and their mothers feel the burden and the stigma of the diagnosis and have the need for working on oneself and with the environment. I also found out that there is a practical problem of not having enough support and help from professional institutions among adolescents; that a positive relationship with different teachers and other professionals is key to successful treatment; that the school can be an either supportive or threatening factor for the adolescent; and that the parents want more environmental support.