CONSEQUENCES OF ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER (ADHD) IN THE CLASSROOM: PERCEPTIONS OF TEACHERS AND MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS
 
Dyson, L.L., University of Victoria, Australia
 
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) describes a set of conditions characterized by inappropriate behaviors. Despite its being the most frequently encountered problem in the classroom, ADHD in the classroom setting is not well understood. More empirical data on the consequence of ADHD on learning and social relationships within the classroom are needed. The evaluation of ADHD, however, often poses difficulty due to different evaluators. Significant professionals in the evaluation of children are teachers and mental health professionals. The former work with children on the daily basis and the latter evaluate and promote childhood mental health. Differing professional training and responsibility may lead to different perceptions of ADHD between teachers and mental professionals. Their assessment may thus differ leading to conflicting views about intervention, which may interfere with the treatment. Understanding the perceptions of these two groups of child professionals in the evaluation of ADHD is important for effective intervention. This presentation reports a study of teachers and mental health professionals in terms of their evaluation of the consequences of ADHD on children's social relationships and academic performance in the classroom. Canadian teachers were compared with mental health professionals in the evaluation of ADHD behavior based on video-tapes and using both a rating scale and qualitative measures. Consonance and differences found between the two groups are reported with implications for intervention for children with ADHD are suggested.