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Helpful Resources for ADHD: Information and Support for Individuals and Families

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects millions of people around the world. The history of ADHD dates back to the early 20th century, when physicians and psychologists first recognized a pattern of behavior in some children that included hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity.

In the early 1900s, physicians began to describe a condition they called "minimal brain dysfunction," which was characterized by a range of symptoms including poor attention span, hyperactivity, and impulsive behavior. However, it wasn't until the 1960s and 1970s that ADHD began to be recognized as a distinct disorder.

In 1968, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) included hyperkinetic impulse disorder in the second edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-II). This disorder was later renamed attention deficit disorder (ADD) in the third edition of the DSM in 1980.

In the 1980s, researchers began to recognize that some children with ADHD also had symptoms of hyperactivity. As a result, the disorder was renamed attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in the DSM-III-R in 1987.

In the 1990s, the use of stimulant medication such as Ritalin and Adderall became more widespread as a treatment for ADHD. This led to controversy over the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD, with some critics arguing that ADHD was overdiagnosed and that medication was overprescribed.

In recent years, researchers have made significant strides in understanding the underlying causes of ADHD. They have found that ADHD is a complex disorder that is likely caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. They have also identified differences in the structure and function of the brain in individuals with ADHD, including differences in the regions of the brain responsible for attention and impulse control.

Today, ADHD is recognized as a common disorder that affects both children and adults. It is estimated that 5-10% of children and 2-5% of adults have ADHD. There are many different approaches to treating ADHD, including medication, behavioral therapy, and lifestyle changes.

In conclusion, the history of ADHD is a long and complex one that has seen significant changes in how the disorder is diagnosed and treated. While there is still much to be learned about the underlying causes of ADHD, researchers have made significant strides in understanding the disorder and developing effective treatments. With continued research and education, we can hope to better understand and support individuals with ADHD in the years to come.

Here are some resources that may be helpful for individuals with ADHD:

  • National Institute of Mental Health: The NIMH is a government-funded organization that provides information on mental health, including ADHD. Their website has information on the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for ADHD.

  • CHADD: CHADD is a nonprofit organization that provides support and education for individuals with ADHD and their families. Their website has a wealth of information on ADHD, including articles, webinars, and support groups.

  • ADDitude: ADDitude is a magazine and website that provides information and support for individuals with ADHD and their families. Their website has articles, blogs, and forums on various aspects of ADHD.

  • Understood: Understood is a nonprofit organization that provides resources and support for individuals with learning and attention issues, including ADHD. Their website has articles, videos, and tools to help individuals with ADHD and their families.

  • Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA): ADDA is a nonprofit organization that provides information, resources, and support for adults with ADHD. Their website has information on managing ADHD in the workplace, relationships, and daily life.

  • Cogmed: Cogmed is a computer-based training program designed to improve working memory in individuals with ADHD. The program is available through trained coaches and has been shown to improve ADHD symptoms.


  • American Psychiatric Association. (1980). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (3rd ed.). American Psychiatric Association.

  • American Psychiatric Association. (1987). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (3rd ed., revised). American Psychiatric Association.

  • Barkley, R. A. (1998). Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: A handbook for diagnosis and treatment (2nd ed.). Guilford Press.

  • Biederman, J., & Faraone, S. V. (2005). Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. The Lancet, 366(9481), 237-248.

  • Castellanos, F. X., Lee, P. P., Sharp, W., Jeffries, N. O., Greenstein, D. K., Clasen, L. S., ... & Rapoport, J. L. (2002). Developmental trajectories of brain volume abnormalities in children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Journal of the American Medical Association, 288(14), 1740-1748.

  • Solanto, M. V. (2011). Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: An overview of the etiology and a review of the literature relating to the correlates and life course outcomes for men and women. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 67(4), 406-418.

  • National Institute of Mental Health. (2021). Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Retrieved from


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