Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) was listed as Attention Deficit Disorder (with or without hyperactivity)(ADD) in 1980 in the US Diagnositic Manual 3rd edition (DSMIII) and updated to ADHD in an update to the manual in 1987. Prior to this, medical writers have described symptoms consistent with ADHD (particularly hyperactivity) since as early as 1775 (Wierkard) or 1798 (Sir Alexander Crichton).

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ADHD is now recognised as having potential to impact across a lifespan although it can vary according to how associated impairment is measured, and other compensatory factors such as:

  • intelligence
  • self selection (environment/career etc) and
  • the availability of supports.

logo smallFor an excellent summary of the history of ADHD description and diagnosis refer to: The history of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder Dec 2010; 2(4): 241–255Published online Nov 30, 2010. doi: 10.1007/s12402-010-0045-8 Lange, Reichl, Lange, Tucha, & Tucha.