ADHD Discourse in Special Education Textbooks

I examine the discourse on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in four special education textbooks used in teacher education programs. My analysis reveals that ADHD discourse in textbooks is overwhelming medicalized; ADHD is characterized solely as a medical problem independent of social/cultural contexts. I argue that the current discourse is likely to discourage teachers from developing inclusive communities that value children with these labels. Participants will be able to: Identify themes that emerge in how ADHD is presented within special education textbooks. Discuss consequences of the use of a heavily medicalized discourse on ADHD in special education textbooks. Describe alternative narratives that might be provided to pre-service teachers about children labeled as having ADHD.

Justin Freedman