11 doctors weighed in:

Is ADHD considered mental impairment?

11 doctors weighed in
Dr. Glen Elliott
Pediatrics - Psychiatry
6 doctors agree

In brief: Not really

One criterion for all mental disorders is that the symptoms cause impairment.
That is not the same thing as saying someone is mentally impaired. Children, adolescents, and adults with adhd have various behaviors that can be quite disruptive to their lives and the lives of others, but their thinking processes are not affected, so they would not be called mentally impaired.

In brief: Not really

One criterion for all mental disorders is that the symptoms cause impairment.
That is not the same thing as saying someone is mentally impaired. Children, adolescents, and adults with adhd have various behaviors that can be quite disruptive to their lives and the lives of others, but their thinking processes are not affected, so they would not be called mentally impaired.
Dr. Glen Elliott
Dr. Glen Elliott
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Dr. Johanna Fricke
Pediatrics - Developmental & Behavioral
3 doctors agree

In brief: As in Intellectual

Disabiliy? No. Changes in brain structure & chemistry found in adults with adhd in peer-reviewed studies have validated the diagnosis of adhd as a neurodevelopmental disorder with symptoms that can impact learning, peer interaction and behavior over a person's lifespan.
Chadd.Org is a good resource for learning about adhd diagnosis, treatment and legal rights of people with adhd at all ages.

In brief: As in Intellectual

Disabiliy? No. Changes in brain structure & chemistry found in adults with adhd in peer-reviewed studies have validated the diagnosis of adhd as a neurodevelopmental disorder with symptoms that can impact learning, peer interaction and behavior over a person's lifespan.
Chadd.Org is a good resource for learning about adhd diagnosis, treatment and legal rights of people with adhd at all ages.
Dr. Johanna Fricke
Dr. Johanna Fricke
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Dr. William Goldie
Pediatrics - Neurology

In brief: Expectations

We seem to expect more from our children than they can perform. We expect that there is some special treatment that will improve their performance.
We are not able to accept natural growth and development of attention, interest, ability, performance. In truth they can benefit from stimulation, good health habits, and good self esteem. Whether the stimulation needs to be chemical is a debate.

In brief: Expectations

We seem to expect more from our children than they can perform. We expect that there is some special treatment that will improve their performance.
We are not able to accept natural growth and development of attention, interest, ability, performance. In truth they can benefit from stimulation, good health habits, and good self esteem. Whether the stimulation needs to be chemical is a debate.
Dr. William Goldie
Dr. William Goldie
Thank
1 comment
Dr. Robert Rosenfeld
According to the DSM IV and both Academies of Pediatrics and Child & Adolescent Psychiatry ADHD is a clinically diagnosed disorder with specific criteria for diagnosis. It may be primarily Inattentive/Distractible type, predominantly Hyperactive/Impulsive type or Combined Type. It is considered to be a neurophysiological disorder caused by certain neurotransmitters (chemicals) in the brain being in imbalance. Norepinephrine and Dopamine have been studied extensively and the cautious and appropriate use of stimulant medications had been an accepted treatment for over three decades. While it is true that ADHD is sometimes misdiagnosed (some would say over -diagnosed) children and adults often are not correctly diagnosed and treated and this can cause further emotional problems secondary to the frustration and failure of not identifying and treating the primary disorder. If there is uncertainty about the diagnosis, a specialist in psychiatry or neurology should be consulted.
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Dr. Jonathan Jassey
Board Certified, Pediatrics
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