Diagnosing ADHD

Inattention
 
  • Often does not give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities
  • Often has trouble keeping attention on tasks or play activities
  • Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
  • Often does not follow instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions)
  • Often has trouble organizing activities
  • Often avoids, dislikes, or doesn't want to do things that take a lot of mental effort for a long period of time (such as schoolwork or homework)
  • Often loses things needed for tasks and activities (e.g. toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools)
  • Is often easily distracted
  • Is often forgetful in daily activities.
     
Six or more of the following ADHD symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity have been present for at least 6 months to an extent that is disruptive and inappropriate for developmental level:
 
Hyperactivity
 
  • Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat
  • Often gets up from seat when remaining in seat is expected
  • Often runs about or climbs when and where it is not appropriate (adolescents or adults may feel very restless)
  • Often has trouble playing or enjoying leisure activities quietly
  • Is often "on the go" or often acts as if "driven by a motor"
  • Often talks excessively.
     
Impulsivity
 
  • Often blurts out answers before questions have been finished
  • Often has trouble waiting one's turn
  • Often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games)
  • Some symptoms that cause impairment were present before age 7 years
  • Some impairment from the symptoms is present in two or more settings (e.g. at school/work and at home)
  • There must be clear evidence of significant impairment in social, school, or work functioning
  • The symptoms do not happen only during the course of a pervasive developmental disorder, schizophrenia, or other psychotic disorder; the symptoms are not better accounted for by another mental disorder (e.g. mood disorder, anxiety disorder, dissociative disorder, or a personality disorder).
     
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ADHD Information

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