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Support in school and the occupational transition process: Adolescents and young adults with neuropsychiatric disabilities
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Division of Health, Activity and Care. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall aim of this thesis was to describe and explore the experiences of support in school of adolescents and young adults with neuropsychiatric disabilities. Furthermore, the aim was to explore support that influences the occupational transition to upper secondary school, further education and work. The two first studies investigated computer use in educational activities and during leisure activities by adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Study II also aimed to explore how traditional leisure activities and Internet activities interrelate among adolescents with ADHD. In Studies I and II data was collected using a questionnaire focusing on information and communication technology (ICT) use in school and leisure. Adolescents with ADHD (n = 102) aged 12-18 years were compared with adolescents with physical disabilities (Study I) and adolescents from the general population (Studies I and II). In Study III the aim was to describe the experiences of support at school among young adults with AS and ADHD, and to explore what support they, in retrospect, described as influencing learning. Study IV aimed to describe the occupational transition process to upper secondary school, further education and/or work and to explore what support influenced the process from the perspectives of young adults with AS or ADHD. Studies III (n=13) and IV (n=15) used qualitative semi-structured interviews with young adults with AS or ADHD, aged 18-30 years and were analysed using hermeneutics according to Gadamer.

The findings of Study I showed that students with ADHD reported significantly less frequent use of computers for almost all educational activities compared with students with physical disabilities and students from the general population. They reported low satisfaction with computer use in school and a desire to use computers more often and for more activities in school compared with students with physical disabilities. Study II showed that Internet activities among adolescents with ADHD during leisure, tended to focus on online games. Furthermore, analysis demonstrated that Internet activities were broadening leisure activities among adolescents with ADHD, rather than being a substitute for traditional leisure activities. Study III found that young adults with AS or ADHD experienced difficulties at school that included academic, social, and emotional aspects, all of which influenced learning. Support addressing difficulties with academic performance was described as insufficient and only occasionally provided in school. In conclusion, support for learning among students with AS or ADHD needs to combine academic and psychosicial support. The findings of Study IV identified three different pathways following compulsory school. Support influencing the occupational transition process included: occupational transition preparation in compulsory school, practical work experience in a safe environment, and support beyond the workplace. Support from community-based day centres was described both as an important step towards work in the regular labour market, as well as being too far away from the regular labour market.

In conclusion, this thesis revealed that support in school among students with AS or ADHD needs to combine academic and psychosocial support. Despite being regarded as facilitating learning, individuals with ADHD or AS reported limited computer and Internet use in school. Based on the results it is suggested that Internet activities may provide adolescents with neuropsychiatric disabilities with new opportunities for social interaction and educational activities. On the basis of the results it is suggested that the occupational transition process should be viewed as a longitudinal one, starting in compulsory school and continuing on until young adults obtain and are able to remain in work or further education. This thesis revealed that extended transition planning, inter-service collaboration and support from communitybased day centres were aspects of the environment that influenced the occupational transition process.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2016. , 83 p.
Series
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 1498
Keyword [en]
Information and communication technology, neuropsychiatric disabilities, education, occupational transition, occupational therapy, internet activities
National Category
Neurosciences Other Health Sciences Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology Occupational Therapy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-123873DOI: 10.3384/diss.diva-123873ISBN: 978-91-7685-872-1 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-123873DiVA: diva2:893510
Public defence
2016-02-05, K2, Kåkenhus, Campus Norrköping, Norrköping, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-01-12 Created: 2016-01-12 Last updated: 2016-02-18Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Computer use in educational activities by students with ADHD
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Computer use in educational activities by students with ADHD
Show others...
2013 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy, ISSN 1103-8128, E-ISSN 1651-2014, Vol. 20, no 5, 357-364 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate computer use in educational activities by students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in comparison with that of students with physical disabilities and students from the general population.

Methods: The design of the study was cross-sectional with group comparison. Students with ADHD (n = 102) were pair-matched in terms of age and sex with students with physical disabilities and students from the general population (n = 940) were used as a reference group.

Results: The study showed that less than half of the students with ADHD had access to a computer in the classroom. Students with ADHD reported significantly less frequent use of computers for almost all educational activities compared with students with physical disabilities and students from the general population. Students with ADHD reported low satisfaction with computer use in school. In addition, students with ADHD reported a desire to use computers more often and for more activities in school compared with students with physical disabilities.

Conclusions: These results indicate that occupational therapists should place more emphasize on how to enable students with ADHD to use computers in educational activities in school.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Informa Healthcare, 2013
Keyword
Information and communication technology (ICT), computer access, school-based practice, physical disabilities
National Category
Occupational Therapy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-86782 (URN)10.3109/11038128.2012.758777 (DOI)000323943600006 ()
Available from: 2013-01-04 Created: 2013-01-04 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
2. Internet Activities During Leisure: A Comparison Between Adolescents With ADHD and Adolescents From the General Population
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Internet Activities During Leisure: A Comparison Between Adolescents With ADHD and Adolescents From the General Population
2015 (English)In: Journal of Attention Disorders, ISSN 1087-0547, E-ISSN 1557-1246Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Objective: Adolescents’ leisure activities are increasingly focusing on Internet activities, and today, these coexist with traditional leisure activities such as sport and meeting friends. The purpose of the present study was to investigate leisure activities, particularly Internet activities, among boys and girls with ADHD, and compare these with boys and girls from the general population. The objective was also to explore how traditional leisure activities and Internet activities interrelate among adolescents with ADHD.

Method: Adolescents with ADHD (n = 102) were compared with adolescents from the general population on leisure activities and Internet use.

Results: Leisure activities among adolescents with ADHD tended to focus on Internet activities, particularly online games. Internet activities were broadening leisure activities among adolescents with ADHD, rather than being a substitute for traditional leisure activities.

Conclusion: Internet activities may provide adolescents with ADHD accessible means of social interaction.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2015
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-123871 (URN)10.1177/1087054715613436 (DOI)26610742 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2016-01-12 Created: 2016-01-12 Last updated: 2017-11-30Bibliographically approved
3. Support for learning- goes beyond academic support: voices of students with Asperger’s disorder and ADHD
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Support for learning- goes beyond academic support: voices of students with Asperger’s disorder and ADHD
2016 (English)In: Autism, ISSN 1362-3613, E-ISSN 1461-7005, Vol. 20, no 2, 183-195 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this study was to describe and explore the experiences of support at school among young adults with Asperger’s disorder (AS) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and also to examine what support they, in retrospect, described as influencing learning. Purposive sampling was used to enroll participants. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with thirteen young adults aged between 20-29 years. A qualitative analysis, based on interpreting people’s experiences was conducted by grouping and searching for patterns in data. The findings indicate that the participants experienced difficulties at school that included academic, social and emotional conditions, all of which could influence learning. Support for learning included small groups, individualized teaching methods, teachers who cared, and practical and emotional support. These clusters together confirm the overall understanding that support for learning aligns academic and psychosocial support. In conclusion, academic support combined with psychosocial support at school seems to be crucial for learning among students with AS and ADHD.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2016
Keyword
Autism Spectrum Disorders, ADHD/ADD, psychosocial support, education, educational provision, services, qualitative research, special needs students
National Category
Other Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-115117 (URN)10.1177/1362361315574582 (DOI)000372880100007 ()
Available from: 2015-03-10 Created: 2015-03-09 Last updated: 2017-04-21Bibliographically approved
4. The Occupational Transition Process to Upper Secondary School, Further Education and/or Work in Sweden: As Described by Young Adults with Asperger Syndrome and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Occupational Transition Process to Upper Secondary School, Further Education and/or Work in Sweden: As Described by Young Adults with Asperger Syndrome and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
2017 (English)In: Journal of autism and developmental disorders, ISSN 0162-3257, E-ISSN 1573-3432, Vol. 47, no 3, 667-679 p.Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of the study was to describe the occupational transition process to upper secondary school, further education and/or work, and to discover what support influences the process from the perspectives of young adults with Asperger’s disorder (AS) or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This qualitative study comprised semi-structured interviews with 15 young adults with AS or ADHD, eight men and seven women (aged 20 to 29 years). Most of the participants were attending community-based day centres at local businesses. Analysis identified three different occupational transition pathways following compulsory school. Support influencing the occupational transition process included: occupational transition preparation in compulsory school, practical work experience in a safe environment, and support beyond the workplace. The overall understanding shows that the occupational transition process was a longitudinal one starting as early as in middle school, and continuing until the young adults with AS and ADHD obtained and were able to remain in employment or further education. Support from community-based day centres was described both as an important step towards finding employment in the regular labour market in which participants could develop practical work experience, and as being too far away from the regular labour market.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2017
Keyword
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder/attention deficit disorder, autism spectrum disorders, employment, education, qualitative research, services
National Category
Other Health Sciences Neurosciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-123872 (URN)10.1007/s10803-016-2986-z (DOI)000396815400014 ()
Available from: 2016-01-12 Created: 2016-01-12 Last updated: 2017-04-20Bibliographically approved

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