Shiny Science

Lillian Steenblik Hwang – Blog & Journalism Portfolio

ADHD Awareness Week


ADHD awareness week started today, October 16th, and will last through the 22.

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Which means that I will be posting about ADHD a lot this week.

Full disclosure -I have been tested exhaustively for ADHD not once, but three separate times in my life. Once as a child for the initial diagnosis, and twice as an adult.

A lot of people seem to think that ADHD testing is as simple as checking off a symptom list. It shouldn’t be.  There is no one test for ADHD. Instead psychiatrists use a battery of surveys, clinical assessments, behavioral rating scales. formal cognitive tests, and academic and medical history to determine if a patient has ADHD.

I have ADHD (combined type) and was diagnosed in fifth grade. Other people in my family have also been diagnosed with ADHD.  I’m not really capable of being objective about arguments for or against the existence of ADHD.

Instead, I’m hoping to share my perspective on advances in ADHD care and treatment, diagnosis, trends, etc…

As you can imagine, the science behind what makes my brain work differently is an area that interests me very much. It’s something I’ve spent a long time learning and reading about.

How ADHD is perceived is very important to me. It impacts my life in a big way, and it’s important to me personally that misinformation (at least what I perceive as misinformation) is not continued to be disseminated.

Some misconceptions I want to clear up:

It’s also important that people understand that ADHD is not limited to children. Adults have ADHD as well!

People tend to think that having ADHD means you can’t concentrate or pay attention to anything. This is not the case. That’s not how ADHD is defined. Additionally – ADHD is a condition whose symptoms may or may not be present, depending on the situation (also known as situational variability)

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