Part III: Data Analysis
From an examination of the interviews separately conducted with each participant, the observations were made and the following issues emerged;
Areas of Disagreement
The parents disagreed on two issues.
- Both had different long-term educational goals for the younger, more seriously involved child. The mother was of the opinion that the child receives a high school diploma while the father was concerned about the overall happiness of his children. This shows the different commitments both parents have towards their children.
- The parents did not agree on the medical history of their extended families. The father reported no known family history of ADHD or other behavioral disorders; however, the mother stated that both behavioral and mood disorders ran in her extended families’ history.
Areas of Agreement
The participants agreed on most items of inquiry during the interviews. They concurred on:
- The parents agreed on the developmental history of the children. The oldest child, who was the target child, skipped a number of early developmental markers and was referred prior to age 4 for testing. Concerns about the older child never arose.
- The psychosocial stressors faced when parenting a child with ADHD. Both parents concurred on the stress they faced and they provided detailed examples of the psychosocial burdens they face. For instance, the father wants the mother to remain committed, keep abreast of the advances in ADHD, and advocate for his child while the mother felt like they should share that role. In addition, the father reckons that his professional advancement has suffered because of coping with the stress of a child with ADHD.
- All the participants agreed they were changes to their daily activities and family life routines. Both parents concurred; apart from church participation, the family has few social activities and outside interests.
- One of the features that contributed to their children’s success was the atmosphere within a small school. The parents believed that more flexibility and a greater willingness to accommodate could be provided by a smaller school with a reduced pupil-teacher ratio. i.e. the parents requested and we served with preferential seating, extended time for assignments, modified testing and homework, as well as peer tutoring. In addition, home visits by the teacher are advised. A smooth transition from grade to grade was facilitated by the small school with a single K-12 campus.
- The teacher features that seemed to appear most effective for their children: According to both parents, a firm, but flexible teacher was optimal. The school administrator and the parents then jointly selected teachers based on classroom climate and teaching style. Moreover, students from the university practicum within the special education program offer in-home tutoring in advanced self-help skills and academics.
- The overall positive response of classmates and their parents to having a child with ADHD in the general education class: Following this initial period of adjustment, his peers and their parents have been generally supportive of his insertion in the classroom. This support has been observed through the frequent social overtures from her peer tutoring as well as classmates.
- The likely level of independence obtainable and the transition to adulthood: Both parents settle that the older child will need some form of lifelong support. The parents agree that the younger child be a college graduate with a specialized career, and they recognize that she will have no social struggle that may be a limiting factor when it comes to employment among other areas.
- A final area of agreement was the trouble in coming across medical professionals with the will to stray from their normal protocol in favor of treating the child.
The reports show that the child has experienced six of the inattention symptoms and 7 of the hyperactivity–impulsivity symptoms of ADHD “often” or “very often” in his entire life. The parents reported having noticed 18 symptoms in her childhood. The parents who are the collateral informants provide information about the student’s behavior in childhood, which collates with the teachers’ comments on his report cards that clearly indicate a long-standing history of attention problems and disruptive behavior in school. Given the results of the assessment, a diagnosed ADHD–combined type (symptoms of both hyperactivity–impulsivity and inattention) can be made. A combination of support and medication to manage his symptoms can be prescribed.
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