Characteristics of students who require elementary school counselors’ support owing to developmental disorders

Yutaro Hirata, Eiji Ozawa

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Awareness and support for developmental disorders are increasing in Japan. In the education field, support from school counselors for students with developmental disorders and their roles and responsibilities in elementary schools are on the rise. However, identifying and addressing specific conditions and developmental disorders that require school counselors' attention are not clearly planned. Therefore, this study explored the characteristics of students who require elementary school counselors' support owing to developmental disorders. The participants included 17 school counselors who were experienced in working at elementary schools. Through semi-structured interviews, 30 cases were discussed, examined, and categorized based on “case characteristics,” “classification of the main complaint,” “basic information on the diagnosis,” and “type of support.” The analysis included detailed viewpoints of 13 school counselors, a code frequency table, and contrast tables, focusing on the main complaint and diagnosis. Regarding the children whose main complaint was “school refusal,” eight out of nine cases were in the fourth grade or above, with several cases of suspected developmental disorders or autism spectrum disorder. The number of children with comorbid attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, including suspected cases, seemed to be higher, especially in Grades 3–5. The study highlighted the importance of assessing students’ developmental characteristics related to the main complaint in the background of a secondary problem. Furthermore, early detection and interventions should be conducted in the first and second grades.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13791
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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