History of ADHD in children

ADHD has come a long way since it was first recognized as a mental disorder in the 1960’s. Originally called Hyperkinetic Impulse Disorder, doctors began to realize that children who were affected by this disorder where the ones that were having a hard time staying focused in school. By 1980, the disorder name was changed to Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) because doctors realized that the hyperactivity aspect was not all that common. So there were two types of ADD; one with hyperactivity and one without.

In 1987, a new version of the psychiatric manual, called DSM for short, released its third edition, DSM-III. In this edition, the APA divided the disorder into three categories: inattentive, impulsive and combined. By 2000, the APA settled on the diagnosis that is still used today which is combined type ADHD, predominantly inattentive ADHD and predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type ADHD.

Although ADHD in children has been recognized for more than 45 years, doctors didn’t start diagnosing it frequently until the 1990’s. This is because of a lot of reasons including more efficiently diagnosing the disorder, parents admitting that something is causing their child to act out, and more children developing ADHD. The biggest contribution to the increase in ADHD diagnosis is because the stigma on mental health has been lifted. People have begun to realize that having a mental health disorder is not something to be ashamed of and that it can be treated.

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with ADHD there is help available. Not only can the symptoms of ADHD be treated with medication, it can also be treated with therapy. At Compass 4 Life, we have designed a special program just for adolescents who have ADHD called The Nurtured Heart Approach. Come check it out here and give us a call.