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Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Diagnostic criteria - Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

A. Either (1) or (2):

(1) six (or more of the following symptoms of Inattention have persisted for at least 6 months to a degree that is maladaptive and inconsistent with developmental level:

(a) often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities
(b) often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities
(c) often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
(d) often 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)
(e) often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities
(f) often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort (such as schoolwork or homework)
(g) often loses things necessary for tasks or activities (e.g., toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools)
(h) is often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli
(i) is often forgetful in daily activities

(2) six (or more) of the following symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity have persisted for at least 6 months to a degree that is maladaptive and inconsistent with developmental level:

(a) often blurts out answers before questions have been completed
(b) often leaves seat in classroom or in other situations in which remaining seated is expected
(c) often runs about or climbs excessively in situations in which it is inappropriate (in adolescents or adults, may be limited to subjective feelings of restlessness)
(d) often has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly
(e) is often "on the go" or often acts as if "driven by a motor"
(f) often talks excessively

(g) often blurts out answers before questions have been completed
(h) often has difficulty awaiting turn
(i) often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games)

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

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

D. There must be clear evidence of clinically significant impairment in social, academic, or occupational function.

E. 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). (p. 83-5)

(1994) American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic And Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Washington, DC, American Psychiatric Association

Links to ADD/ADHD websites:

  • ADD Helpline
  • The Myth of Attention Deficit Disorder
  • ADDA (National Attention Deficit Disorder Association
  • Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Welcome ADD/ADHD
  • The A.D.D center
  • One A.D.D. Place
  • A.D.D. Treatment and Research Center
  • Attention Deficit Disorder
  • ADD InfoNet
  • ADD Warehouse
  • Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Attention Deficit Disorder Archive
  • Attention-Deficit Disorder FAQ
  • Attention Deficit Disorder on America Online (ADD on AOL)
  • Canadian ADD Home Page
  • Canadian Professionals' Attention Deficit Disorders Centre
  • Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorders (CH.A.D.D.)
  • Jasper-Goldberg Adult ADD Screening Examination - Version 5.0
  • National Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA) Home Page
  • One ADD Place - Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Newsgroup:
  • Welcome to GED
  • Understanding ADHD
  • Why I Believe that Attention Deficit Disorder is a Myth
  • Helpful Hints...ADD/ADHD
  • Student Alliance on ADD and other learning disabilities
  • What Works - ADHD
  • Thomas W. Phelan, Ph.D.
  • Count To Three



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