To what extent do practitioners believe their training has impacted on their perceptions of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and their ability to make effective provision for children with the disorder?
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Particularly in light of the recent dramatic increase of the number of children diagnosed with ADHD it is important to know whether practitioners are receiving the necessary training and support required in order to be able to make effective provision for these children. This small scale study aims to investigate practitioners’ perceptions on the disorder, their perceptions on effective provision for managing children with the disorder and how their training has impacted on these perceptions. In order to gather unique evidence the study was conducted in a small, special school for children with severe social, emotional and behavioural difficulties in Cardiff. Data was gathered using the explanatory research design. During the initial stage of research questionnaires devised by the researcher were distributed to all practitioners’ at the school. Subsequently, in-depth semi-structured interviews were carried out with two teachers. Findings of the study revealed that less than half of participating practitioners’ (40%) had received some form of training specifically in ADHD. Despite this, practitioners’ demonstrated accurate knowledge and perceptions of the disorder. Furthermore, practitioners stated that their training had allowed them to effectively make provision for children with the disorder although stated that they would like further training in order to improve their practice. Despite this, practitioners were not offered any form of INSET training specifically in ADHD even though they deal with particularly vulnerable children with severe forms of the disorder on a daily basis. For those who had voluntarily undertaken INSET training specifically in ADHD, benefits included an increased knowledge of the disorder, an awareness of all difficulties created by the disorder and increased confidence in practice. Other significant issues such as practitioners’ perceptions on the diagnostic process also arose as a result of the study. In light of such benefits of specific training it is clear that more opportunities would be beneficial and thus should be made more widely available and offered to practitioners.
BA (Hons) Educational Studies and Early Childhood
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