How to be recognized enough to be included?
This paper is part of a wider project that examines the discourses of motherhood and motherwork that enable and constrain individual women. It examines the influence of schools on mothers in making decisions to seek diagnosis and treatment for their children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Here it is found that the business of 'recognition' is pivotal to the work mothers do with and for their children. The paper draws on the work of both Fraser (1997, 2003) and Butler (1997, 2004) to understand the interactions between mothers and schools in terms of the work of recognition. It uses the narratives of mothers of children with ADHD (or ADHD-like behaviors) to demonstrate the work these mothers do in struggling to have their 'disorderly' child recognized by schools and teachers. It is noticed that some mothers frequently resort to strategies to adjust or modify their child through diagnosis and drugs to achieve the recognition to be included in school life. In many cases the schools' influence on the mothers' decisions is through the accumulated and frustratingly unsuccessful negotiations, often over years, between the school/teachers and the mother.
International Journal of Inclusive Education
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