The transition process from secondary to upper secondary school, working life and/or further studies implies new challenges and is a critical point for many young adults with Asperger’s syndrome (AS) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). What kind of support they receive in secondary and upper secondary school and during the subsequent period can have considerable significance for young adults’ establishment in the labour market. The project sets out from the informants’ own perspectives and experiences of support at school and the transition process for secondary to upper secondary school, further studies and/or working life. The project also investigates how the use of computers and the internet creates conditions for participation at school and during leisure time for young people with ADHD, in comparison with young people with physical disabilities and young people without disabilities.
Support in schools, with the focus on technology support
The research is about how young people and young adults with AS or ADHD themselves describe their experiences of support in secondary school and what significance this support has had for their situation at school and the transition to upper secondary school, work or further studies. Results show that support directed towards the pedagogic, social and health-related aspects of the school environment is, according to young adults with ADHD and AS, a significant factor for coping with school. Pedagogic support is principally about the importance of individually adapted teaching based on needs. Teachers were significant for pupil’s experience of the subject, but also for their sense of well-being at school. Young adults with AS and ADHD furthermore emphasised the importance feeling well and having a well-functioning home situation as significant factors for coping with school. This requires collaboration between different actors in order to create integrated solutions so that each individual gets the best possible conditions for learning, social inclusion, participation and well-being.
School activities with computers
We also look at how young people with ADHD use computers in school and during their leisure time. Results show that in almost all schoolwork, young people with ADHD use computers less than pupils with physical disabilities and pupils without disabilities, and that pupils with ADHD are dissatisfied with their computer use and want to use computers more often and for more school activities. In their leisure time, by contrast, young people with ADHD use computers and the internet more than young people without disabilities, to play games and visit forums/social media. Preliminary results indicate that internet use during leisure time does not replace traditional leisure activities among young people with ADHD.
The picture shows seven school activities that young people with and without ADHD used the computer for. The diagrams show what share of the various groups used the computer during these school activities.