Diagnostic Criteria for ADHD

There are five DSM-IV Criteria required for the diagnosis.

  • Symptom criteria must be met for 6 months.
  • Some symptoms must be present before the age of 7 years.
  • Some impairment from symptoms must be present in 2 or more settings .
  • Symptoms lead to significant impairment in the context of social, academic or occupational functioning.
  • Symptoms are not exclusively due to other medical, neurological or psychiatric disorder.

ADHD DSM-IV-TR CRITERIA HYPERACTIVITY/IMPULSIVITY SYMPTOMS

6 or more of the following manifested often:

HYPERACTIVITY SYMPTOMS

  • Unable to stay seated.
  • Inappropriate running, climbing.
    (adults have internal restlessness)
  • Difficulty engaging in leisure activities quietly.
  • On the go.
  • Talks excessively.
  • Fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seats.

IMPULSIVITY SYMPTOMS

  • Blurts out answers before questions finished.
  • Difficulty awaiting turn.
  • Interrupts or intrudes on others.

ADHD DSMIV-TR CRITERIA INATTENTIVE SYMPTOMS

6 or more of the following manifested often:

  • Inattention to details, makes careless mistakes.
  • Difficulty sustaining attention.
  • Seems not to listen, fails to finish tasks.
  • Does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish school work, chores or duties in the workplace.
  • Difficulty organizing.
  • Avoids tasks requiring sustained attention.
  • Loses things.
  • Easily distracted.
  • Forgetful.

Reference: APA, DSM-IV-TR, 2000

Adult Scale: A scale has been created to assist with the diagnosis of ADHD in the adult population. The Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS) Symptom Checklist was developed in conjunction with the World Health Organization and the Workgroup on Adult ADHD.

Information on this rating scale and a copy of the ASRS can be found at this web address: www.med.nyu.edu/psych/assets/ adhdscreen18.pdf