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Looking back on compulsory school: narratives of young adults with ADHD in Sweden
Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties  (IF),  Pub Date : 2021-05-24, DOI: 10.1080/13632752.2021.1930904
Shruti Taneja Johansson


Relegated to the margins of the large body of research on ADHD and school is individuals’ own retrospective accounts of schooling. Drawing on multiple narrative interviews with nine young adults with ADHD in Sweden, the present study explores their experiences and reflections concerning their years in compulsory school. Despite variations in the gradient of decline, time in school was described as a slippery slope, with rapid deterioration in secondary school. Participation in sports and cultural activities outside school emerged as strong supportive factors. The expectations placed on the individual in the school context and relationships with teachers were described as key hurdles. In hindsight, school was perceived as a meaningless phase of their lives. The present findings nuance the skewed diagnosis focus in contemporary research, raising questions about timing of support in school and offering important insights concerning girls with ADHD.