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This study examined factors that encouraged and supported academic success for students diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Students with ADHD are often not academically successful and do not graduate from high school, due in large measure to ADHD symptoms of (a) impulsive and reckless behaviors, (b) alienation from significant others including peers, and (c) disorganization. Students in this study overcame symptoms of ADHD and were academically successful.
The situational analysis case study design for this research utilized both qualitative methods (interview, observation, and record review) and quantitative instrumentation. Five students with ADHD comprised the case study sample. Data from student, parent, teacher, and counselor interviews and instrumentation were triangulated to reach the findings.
The results indicated that all students in the study had been at-risk for academic failure based on their impulsiveness and social alienation and yet all were successful in high school. Students attributed their school success to (a) their own developing internal locus of control, (b) the emergence of coping skills and strategies, (c) consistent involvement and support by their parents which included the entire family's ability to adjust to and manage stress, and (d) the positive influence of at lease one caring teacher. The influence of the school counselor was not perceived by the students to be significant.