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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Diagnostic Criteria

Persisting for at least six months to a degree that is maladaptive and immature, the patient has either inattention or hyperactivity-impulsivity (or both) as shown by:

INATTENTION: At least six of the following often apply:

  • Fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities.
  • Has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities
  • Does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
  • does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions)
  • Has difficulty organizing tasks and activities
  • Avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort (such as schoolwork or homework)
  • Loses things necessary for tasks or activities (e.g., toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools)
  • Easily distracted by extraneous stimuli
  • Forgetful in daily activities
At least six of the following signs of hyperactivity-impulsivity often apply:

HYPERACTIVITY
  • Fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat
  • Leaves seat in classroom or in other situations in which remaining seated is expected
  • Runs about or climbs excessively in situations in which it is inappropriate (in adolescents or adults, may be limited to subjective feelings of restlessness)
  • Has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly
  • Appears “on the go” or acts as if “driven by a motor”
  • Talks excessively
IMPULSIVITY
  • Blurts out the answers before the questions have been completed
  • Has difficulty awaiting turn
  • Interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games)


--Some hyperactive-impulsive or inattentive symptoms that caused impairment were present before age 7

--Some impairment from the symptoms is present in two or more settings (e.g., at school (or work) and at home)

--There must be clear evidence of clinically significant impairment in social, academic, or occupational functioning

--The symptoms do not occur exclusively during the course of a pervasive developmental disorder, schizophrenia, or other psychotic disorder; and are not better accounted for by another mental disorder (e.g., mood disorder, anxiety disorder, dissociative disorder, or a personality disorder)

SOURCE: DSM-IV-TR, American Psychiatric Association



Early Identification and Treatment of
ADHD * Autism Spectrum Disorders * Speech/Language Disorders

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