• AD/HD defined
• Pseudo AD/HD
The term Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder originates from the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (APA, 1994). This is the most recent version of the diagnosis which has gone through many changes since a biologically based problem of inattentiveness and overactivity was first proposed by the English paediatrician George Still in 1902 (Still, 1902). It should be noted that there is a similar diagnostic criterion published by the World Health Organisation (1990) referring to a condition known as ‘Hyperkinetic Disorder’ (HD). Although there are important technical differences between the two criteria, from the teacher’s viewpoint the two diagnoses can be treated as identical. This book will refer throughout to the American version of the diagnosis since, at the time of writing, it is the one that teachers are most likely to encounter. (See Appendix 1 for a note on similarities and differences between the two diagnostic criteria.)
Key features of the AD/HD diagnosis are inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. These can be defined more fully in terms of children who display some of the following behavioural characteristics, based on the APA diagnostic criteria (APA, 1994).