Presented by: Rachel Rogers, B.Ed., M.A. Registered Psychologist
What is ADHD?
ADHD, not ADD. Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is the official terminology. The use of ‘ADD’ is outdated.
“A persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development.”
According to the DSM-5
- ADHD is the most prevalent childhood psychiatric disorder in Canada.
- Overwhelming scientific evidence has led all major medical associations and government health agencies to recognize ADHD as a real medical disorder.
- Children with ADHD are frequently labeled as problem children rather than children with a medical problem.
- Diets and limiting food additives and sugar will not cure
- ADHD remains under-recognized and underdiagnosed even though it is the most treatable psychiatric disorder in Canada.
A study released in 2018 examined the twenty-year trends in ADHD diagnosis. Researchers saw what they claim is a “significant” increase in diagnoses between 1997 and 2016.
[i]Possible reasons include an increased recognition by doctors about ADHD, expanded continuing medical education, changes in diagnostic criteria, increased public awareness, improved access to health services, and improved referral from primary care and communities.
[i] Xu, G., Strathearn, L., Liu, B. MD, Yang, B., Bao, W. 2018. Twenty-Year Trends in Diagnosed Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Among US Children and Adolescents, 1997-2016. JAMA Netw Open. 1(4):e181471. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.1471
- Highly heritable
- A neurobiological disorder
- Inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity are primary features.
- Secondary impairments may include social interactions, emotional regulation, and organizational ability.
- It affects roughly 5-10% of school-aged children and about 2–7% of adults.
- Most often identified during elementary school years.
A Misnomer? ADHD is not a deficit of attention; rather, it is an inefficient and inconsistent ability to regulate
attention and other cognitive functions.
“ADHD involves impairment in the ability of the individual to inhibit responses to situations or events. […] It is a problem of self-control.” Dr. Russell Barkley (2005), Taking Control of ADHD
According to Dr. Barkley…
- is any action an individual directs at themselves to…
- result in a change in their behaviour (from what they might otherwise have done) to…
- change the likelihood of a future consequence or attainment of a goal.[i]
Risk Factors for ADHD
- Genetic factors
- Environment factors
- Premature birth or low birth weight
- Brain injury’
- Cigarette smoking, alcohol use or drug use during pregnancy