About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2882-2893
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-612-7578-6
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain

"NO MAN IS AN ISLAND, ENTIRE OF ITSELF"… COLLABORATIVE COMMUNITIES OF ADULTS WITH AD(H)D AS A RESOURCE OF INFORMATION AND SUPPORT

E. Miller, A. Fleischmann

Achva College of Education (ISRAEL)
INTRODUCTION:
Adults with ADHD often exhibit diverse functional challenges, (Barkley et al., 2007). Social and psychological support might be important for the success of the medical treatment for AD(H)D. Part of this support should include information about AD(H)D and its sequilae (Young, 2007).

The Internet has been shown to assist in coping of with various medical problems (Noruzi, 2007), including the gathering of information about AD(H)D (Young, 2007; Foroushani, 2008). Individuals with AD(H)D may use the Internet to explore educational, therapeutic, counseling, and even medical interventions (Noruzi, 2007).

Recently, several narratives of adults with AD(H)D were published in Web sites. The present study aimed to explore the meaning of these narratives using Labov's qualitative method of analyzing texts (Labov, 1972). We analyzed 40 personal life stories of adults. The narrators were diagnosed with AD(H)D as adults.

METHODOLOGY:
Labov's method allows viewing the narrative as a series of answers to questions. For example, the “Abstract” explains what is the essence of the story; the "Orientation” explains its orientation, etc. Several modifications were required to implement Labov’s methodology for analyzing personal stories published on the Web

RESULTS:
The results indicate that AD(H)D poses multiple and continuous challenges. Still, persons with AD(H)D may experience success if they received proper guidance and support and should not be blamed for their troubles.
Once diagnosed with AD(H)D these adults sought evaluation, which helped them understand the reason for the challenges they experienced throughout life. Only then they were prepared to cope with their disorder.

DISCUSSION:
Adults with AD(H)D, who were not diagnosed as children, have gone through a dramatic change following their diagnosis. Once diagnosed with AD(H)D, they were able to seek guidance, treatment support and achieve success. Consequently, most of the narrators have changed their perceptions about their past and about current and future challenges and successes.
Thus, it is very likely that adults with AD(H)D would use the Internet not only for information but also for receiving support, advice and treatment, as was reported in other populations with special health needs (Fleischmann, 2004; Noruzi, 2007). The analysis of these narratives could be valuable to educational professionals working with adults students with AD(H)D for helping these students to better cope with their studies and to fulfill their potential.

It appears that the Internet has become an avenue for empowerment for the narrators and for others, by documenting and sharing their life experience to educate, to inspire and to assist others with AD(H)D in their coping process. Thus these narrators collaborated in some manner in emerging virtual communities revolving around the special emotional and functional needs of adults with AD(H)D.

College and university faculty members' knowledge of and experience with students with AD(H)D is invaluable. Following a diagnosis of AD(H)D, it is crucial that these individual are encouraged to hope and to have a positive outlook, and to use the Web as a resources for additional support, information and collaboration.
@InProceedings{MILLER2009NO,
author = {Miller, E. and Fleischmann, A.},
title = {"NO MAN IS AN ISLAND, ENTIRE OF ITSELF"… COLLABORATIVE COMMUNITIES OF ADULTS WITH AD(H)D AS A RESOURCE OF INFORMATION AND SUPPORT},
series = {3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-612-7578-6},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {9-11 March, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {2882-2893}}
TY - CONF
AU - E. Miller AU - A. Fleischmann
TI - "NO MAN IS AN ISLAND, ENTIRE OF ITSELF"… COLLABORATIVE COMMUNITIES OF ADULTS WITH AD(H)D AS A RESOURCE OF INFORMATION AND SUPPORT
SN - 978-84-612-7578-6/2340-1079
PY - 2009
Y1 - 9-11 March, 2009
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2009 Proceedings
SP - 2882
EP - 2893
ER -
E. Miller, A. Fleischmann (2009) "NO MAN IS AN ISLAND, ENTIRE OF ITSELF"… COLLABORATIVE COMMUNITIES OF ADULTS WITH AD(H)D AS A RESOURCE OF INFORMATION AND SUPPORT, INTED2009 Proceedings, pp. 2882-2893.
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