ADHD Criteria

Posted on April 11, 2006. Filed under: Attention/ADD/ADHD |

The following are the diagnostic criteria for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder form the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV Manual) used by psychologists, psychiatrists, and medical professionals.  Many children have attentional concerns without the label of ADHD, some of whom benefit from a variety of intervention therapies, such as food allergy monitoring, exercise, altered teaching techniques or school placement.

INNATTENTION–6 or more present for at least 6 months:

* fails to pay attention to details or makes careless mistakes

* has difficulty sustaining attention

* doesn't seem to listen when spoken to directly

* doesn't follow through on instructions or fails to finish school work

* has difficulty organizing tasks

* avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks requiring mental effort

* loses necessary things

* easily distracted by external stimuli

* forgetful in daily activities

HYPERACTIVITY/IMPULSIVITY–6 or more present often for at least 6 months:

* fidgets with hands or feet/squirms in seat

* leaves seat in situations when remaining seated is expected

* Runs about or climbs excessively

* has difficulty playing quietly

* acts as if "driven by a motor"

* talks excessively

* blurts out answsers before question is completed

* has difficulty awaiting turn

* interrupts or intrudes

In order for a diagnosis label, the following must be satisfied:

–Some symptoms present before age 7 years.

–Some impairment from symptoms in 2 or more settings

–Clear evidence of clinically significant impairment in social, academic, or occupational functioning.

–Symptoms are not better accounted for by another mental disorder.

Many children have some of the symptoms of ADHD, but do not fit the actual diagnosis criteria.  Those children do not need to be without help!  Many teacher/parent resources are available from the A.D.D. Warehouse.  Regardless of whether a child has a label or not, resources for ADD can be helpful for students who present only a few of the symptoms.  One of Sue's most recommended resources is the ADD Intervention Manual listed in our catalog under Special Education.  Also, look in the Links area of the menu for other sites dealing specifically with ADD/ADHD.

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