Teachers' Perspectives: An Understanding of ADHD in a predominantly Hispanic school district

Heriberto J Oronoz, University of Texas at El Paso


The current study examined problems that teachers encounter when trying to cope with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in the classroom, teachers' perceptions and beliefs about ADHD, as well as their ideas for how to improve services to children with ADHD. To do so, ten in- depth interviews were conducted with teachers from the Canutillo Independent School District in El Paso, TX regarding these topics. Findings reveal that teachers encounter difficulties defining ADHD, dealing with ADHD in the classroom, establishing the proper chain of command for diagnosing children, and with inadequate parental involvement. Further, the study found variability in teachers' perspectives regarding ADHD as an actual disease and its relevant treatment options, including medications. Teachers also provided opinions about why ADHD might be found at lower rates in Hispanic populations, which included both cultural and economic factors. Within these factors, we found that teachers believe Hispanics are a proud ethnic group that shy away from formal mental health diagnoses. Finally, teachers provided suggestions for improvement in services for children suspected of, or diagnosed with, ADHD, which included taking advantage of in-house expertise for teacher trainings, given the current budget crisis. Lastly, limitations and implications are addressed.

Subject Area

Educational sociology|Public policy|Hispanic American studies

Recommended Citation

Oronoz, Heriberto J, "Teachers' Perspectives: An Understanding of ADHD in a predominantly Hispanic school district" (2011). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1494368.