Is ADHD a 21st Century phenomenon?
A lot of people I meet ask me why ADHD wasn’t around when they were at school (pre 1985).
My answer to that is that it WAS around, it’s just that probably it wasn’t in our ‘non-inclusive’ classrooms.
The first reference to ADHD could be in 1613, in Shakespeare’s play Henry VIII, where he mentioned what he called a "malady of attention."
Following this, a character affectionately called Fidgety Philip was created within a collection of children's poems, written by the German doctor Heinrich Hoffmann in the mid 1800s. Fidgety Phil was a little boy who won't sit still at dinner and – obviously – fidgets constantly. Another of Dr Hoffmann's book characters was "Johnny Head-in-Air" due to his day-dreamy inattention. These characteristics were drawn from Dr Hoffman's observations when working with children in his professional practice.