Historical Names of ADHD
1902 - Morbid Defect of Moral control
1904 - Post-traumatic Behavioural Syndrome with Hyperactivity
1922 - Post-encephalic Behaviour Disorders in Children
1934 - Hyperactivity and Destructive Behaviour Associated with Brain Damage
1960 - Minimal Brain Dysfunction
1968 - Hyper-kinetic Reaction of Childhood (DSM-II)
1980 - Attention Deficit Disorder and/or Hyperactivity Deficit Disorder (DSM - III)
1987 - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) (DSM-III-R)
1994 - ADHD presentations: primarily inattentive, primarily hyperactive or combined (DSM -IV)
2000 - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (DSM-IV-TR)
2013 - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (DSM-V)
The Quick Facts
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a complex brain based disorder that affects many children and adults.
ADHD occurs in about 5-9% of the population. On average, in a class of 20 students, one or two of them will have ADHD.
There are three subtypes of ADHD
2. Impulsive/hyperactive and
It is often misdiagnosed as other disorders such as Anxiety, Depression, Bi-Polar etc.
ADHD is NOT caused by bad parenting, bad teaching, too much screen time or too much sugar and/or artificial ingredients.
Executive Functioning is affected by ADHD and covers a wide range of skills that we use to help us navigate through life.
Self-regulation, which is also affected by ADHD, gives us the ability to actively monitor our thoughts, emotions, body signals, and how they connect to each other so that we can react appropriately in the moment.
Individuals with ADHD are often assumed to be lazy, rude, aggressive, obnoxious, not trying hard enough or make poor choices on purpose.
Rolling with ADHD
BC Children's Hospital with their Psychologists who specialize in ADHD as well as various care givers, came together to create the "Rolling with ADHD" learning series as a way to provide support to the ADHD community in British Columbia.
They have recently released a new short video to help explain the basics of ADHD and the impacts it can have on one's life.
A Deeper Dive
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a complex brain-based disorder that affects many children and adults. ADHD occurs more often than one might think. On average, in a class of 20 students, one or two of them will have ADHD. The disorder has a strong genetic component, it is often found that at least one parent of a child with ADHD also has the disorder. This can make parenting difficult for some, as many ADHD symptoms are not outgrown as one matures and stressful adult responsibilities can sometimes make the disorder harder to manage.
There are three presentations of ADHD based on which features are most prominent:
ADHD is one of the most researched neurodevelopmental disorders, yet it is the most misunderstood. Therefore, it can be misdiagnosed as other disorders such as Anxiety, Depression, Bipolar Disorder etc., which can lead to ADHD being untreated or treated in ineffective ways.
One major misunderstanding is that ADHD is caused solely by external and/or environmental circumstances such as:
too much screen time
too much sugar and artificial ingredients.
While the current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5-TR) states that these factors do not cause ADHD, it is known that they can heighten ADHD symptoms for some individuals.
Research has also explored whether there are consistent brain-based differences between people with ADHD and those without it. Studies have shown that ADHD brains have differences in structure, function, development and chemistry compared to neurotypical brains. These differences in an ADHD brain create the symptoms of the disorder and make them tough for many people to manage, even with treatments and supports in place.
The way the ADHD brain is wired, directly impacts an individual’s executive functioning and ability to self-regulate. Executive functioning covers a wide range of skills that we use to help us navigate through life. These skills help us process all the information we need to stay focused, organized, make plans, and solve problems. Self-regulation gives us the ability to actively monitor our thoughts, emotions, body signals, and how they connect to each other so that we can react/respond appropriately in the moment.
Individuals with ADHD are often assumed to be; lazy, rude, aggressive, obnoxious, not trying hard enough or make poor choices on purpose. When others have these assumptions, it creates stress for individuals with ADHD, which further impacts their ability to stay regulated and use their executive functioning skills to have appropriate reactions to situations. Continued assumptions like these can have long lasting effects on one’s mental health and social connections.