The Behaviour 'Crisis': Young Children's Mis/understandings of the Identities of ADHD

Exley, Beryl E. (2006) The Behaviour 'Crisis': Young Children's Mis/understandings of the Identities of ADHD. In AARE 2005, ‘Creative Dissent: Constructive Solutions’ Conference, November 28 – December 1, 2005, Sydney: University of Western Sydney.

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This paper explores the mis/understandings two young children have of the behaviour ‘crisis’ besetting our schools. Specifically, this paper examines semi-structured interview talk with boys aged between six and eight years of age who were labelled by medical specialists as exhibiting Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) , that is, behaviour that is considered to be ‘inappropriate’. The data suggests that the boy’s mis/understandings of the identities of ADHD are produced from normalised school child discourses and recontextualised medical discourses. The uptake of these discourses leads to the boys constructing ADHD identities as deviant and diseased, and requiring medication. Possible consequences for the boys’ mis/understandings are discussed and those working with such labelled students are implored to assist them in better understanding the origins and treatment of labels and dealing with the outcomes of their socially constructed identities.

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ID Code: 2963
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: ADHD, Bernstein, identity
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 15 Mar 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:18

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