A Case Study of the College Experiences of a Mexican-American Student with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder: A Conversation between Mother and Son
Carrillo, Alicia A.
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The purpose of this study was to conduct an in-depth look into the perceptions of the college experiences of a male, Mexican-American student with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder to add his voice to the literature. For the methodology, I followed a qualitative case study framework. The main participant in this study, chosen by purposive sampling, was my son. I served as the second participant. The primary method for data collection occurred through open-ended interviews. Additionally, educational and medical records and my own journal reflections were also included as data. Results of my study revealed four themes that included: (a) the pervasiveness of ADHD through years of education, (b) external and internal barriers in postsecondary education, (c) a desire to be like everybody else, and (d) teacher attitudes. I found that Juan faced internal and external barriers because of the ADHD which was complicated by a co-existing learning disability in math. This caused tremendous challenges for Juan when he was faced with teachers who were unwilling to accommodate their instruction for him. My study adds to the body of research that points to the benefit that students with disabilities can receive from instruction on self-determination skills as part of their high school curriculum. Additionally, the college systems developed to serve students with disabilities in higher education served to hamper this student?s success by requiring him to continually prove that his disability exists.