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Is ADHD a Learning disability or mental disorder/illness?

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Old 04-20-2010, 11:22 AM   #1
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Is ADHD a Learning disability or mental disorder/illness?

Is ADHD technically a Learning disability or mental disorder/illness?

Someone I know with ADHD wants to get a disabled bus pass, but they only issue them for learning disabilities, not for mental disorders..

Actually thinking about it, it seems like a bit of a tricky one as it matches criteria for both.

This is what the council say:

Has a learning disability, that is, a disorder which affects a person's ability to take in, remember, understand and express information, and which may make it difficult for that person to read, write, spell or solve problems

Last edited by dvchris; 04-20-2010 at 11:23 AM.

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Old 04-20-2010, 01:43 PM   #2
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Re: Is ADHD a Learning disability or mental disorder/illness?

I think it falls under "behavioral" disorders.

Old 04-20-2010, 06:47 PM   #3
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Re: Is ADHD a Learning disability or mental disorder/illness?

i wouldn't classify it as a learning disability. it's a mental illness.
it's not like dyslexia or anything.
and that person with adhd can have a multitude of the traditional symptoms, or just a couple.
but i wouldn't say it classifies as the learning disorder at all...
i mean, i have it, but with meds i managed to graduate h.s. a year early (in advanced classes) so that goes to show....

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Old 04-20-2010, 07:39 PM   #4
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Re: Is ADHD a Learning disability or mental disorder/illness?

Officially, there is a specific list of disorders that are considered 'Learning Disabilities,' ADHD is not on this list. While the symptoms of ADHD may cause difficulty in learning, and learning disabilities may exist alongside ADHD in an individual, ADHD itself is not technically an LD.

As sickofpain2 noted, ADHD is technically considered a behavioural disorder.

Old 04-21-2010, 07:59 AM   #5
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Re: Is ADHD a Learning disability or mental disorder/illness?

ADHD can be concurrent with learning disabilities. The experts say anywhere from 25 to 50% of people with ADHD also have learning disabilities.

If the child is at least 1&1/2 to 2 years below grade level as a result of the ADHD then the same criteria for services for children with learning disabilities can apply.

If your friend's child meets the criteria then it's possible to have him classified as special needs therefore, making him eligible for the bus pass.

I know this firsthand, my son has ADHD and because of it he was classified as a special needs child. It wouldn't hurt to have his doctor's input too.

Old 04-23-2010, 05:10 AM   #6
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smilez HB User
Re: Is ADHD a Learning disability or mental disorder/illness?

The bus pass thing is silly. But aside from that...

It's not an "illness." It is a diagnosis. All that means is that it is a title for a list of criteria that was published in a diagnostic book to be used by health professionals. Diagnoses serve simply to help relay information about a person's experience.

That being said, I see it as a simply a way that some people's brains work. It seems to be a genetic pattern rather that something caused by an accident, disease, illness, whatever. So, I think it's just the way some people's brains work. Becuase the ADD work habits, study abilities, etc. don't fit in with society's expectations, we label and medicate.

With regard to the bus pass question, if you want to jump through the hoops to call it a disorder, look in the DSM-IV. That's where it's listed for diagnostic purposes.

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