chapter  6
16 Pages

Languaging ADHD

This incident is interesting for different reasons, not least of which is the imagination of classrooms where teachers are working with inattentiveness not as a

pathology, but as an expected part of children’s learning. Without ADHD as a default explanation for children’s behaviour, these teachers had been getting on with the business of teaching and learning. They were clearly concerned with behavioural challenges but saw these challenges as requiring pedagogical responses. Their naivety about ADHD is striking, especially since Gauteng province (where this school is situated) has the highest incidence of ADHD in South Africa. Countrywide, ADHD accounts for 7.54 per cent of the total recorded incidence of disability in special schools, yet it accounts for 10.45 per cent of the incidence of disability in Gauteng (Department of Basic Education (DBE) 2014). It seems likely that the higher incidence of ADHD in Gauteng is related to the fact that the province is the most affluent and urbanised province and medical and psychological services are relatively more available here than in other parts of the country (Walton 2015). This may well confirm Tait’s (2010: 22) contention that ‘differences in the statistics relating to diagnosis are solely a reflection of social issues’.