Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: Special education policy and practice in Australia

Brenton Prosser, Robert Reid, Rosalyn Shute, Ivan Atkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


With growing numbers of Australian children receiving Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) diagnosis, special educators will increasingly be expected to provide interventions. We outline Australian special education policy and practice regarding ADHD in the public school context. Drawing upon American comparisons, we consider how recent government legislation may have made the label 'disability' appear pragmatic to those seeking special education assistance, and discuss whether making ADHD an educational disability category would expand the range of interventions currently available. Although biological aspects of ADHD have received much attention, the important social aspects remain relatively unexplored. We propose that a socially sensitive reconceptualisation will assist special educators to better meet the needs of young people with impulsive, inattentive and hyperactive behaviours.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-78
Number of pages14
JournalAustralian Journal of Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


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