Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval. The field of ADHD grows daily, and new information may emerge that supersedes these course materials. Families of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: Review and recommendations for future research. The recognition that the disorder was not caused by brain damage seemed to follow a similar argument made somewhat earlier by the prominent child psychiatrist Stella Chess (1960).
Given the thousands of scientific papers on this topic, this course must, of necessity, concentrate on the most important topics in this literature. A hyperactive child was the focus of a German poem, “Fidgety Phil,” by physician, Heinrich Hoffman (see Stewart, 1970).
By the 1950s-1970s, focus shifted away from etiology and toward the more specific behavior of hyperactivity and poor impulse control characterizing these children, reflected in labels such as “hyperkinetic impulse disorder” or “hyperactive child syndrome” (Burks, 1960; Chess, 1960).
The disorder was thought to arise from cortical overstimulation due to poor thalamic filtering of stimuli entering the brain (Knobel, Wolman, & Mason, 1959; Laufer, Denhoff, & Solomons, 1957).
These cases and others known to have arisen from birth trauma, head injury, toxin exposure, and infections (see Barkley, 2006) gave rise to the concept of a brain-injured child syndrome (Strauss & Lehtinen, 1947), often associated with mental retardation, that would eventually become applied to children manifesting these same behavior features but without evidence of brain damage or retardation (Dolphin & Cruickshank, 1951; Strauss & Kephardt, 1955). Prevalence of mental disorder in military children and adolescents: Findings from a two-stage community survey.
This concept evolved into that of minimal brain damage, and eventually minimal brain dysfunction (MBD), as challenges were raised to the original label in view of the dearth of evidence of obvious brain injury in most cases (see Kessler, 1980, for a more detailed history of MBD). Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 34, 1514-1524.