Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Recognizing the Sypmtoms

The following criteria for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, as stated by the DSM V, makes for a useful starting point if you are worried that you or a loved one might be suffering with this disorder. After looking at these criteria consider reading a few of the other articles in found on this site. Also consider reading a book that describes the life issues that someone with this symptom cluster faces like, 'ADD in Addulthood by Sari Solden. Learning more about the Oneness Approach can also help you to develop strategies that can augment what the team that supports you offers.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Criteria

A) A persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development, as characterized by 1 and/or 2

1) Inattention: Six (five for adults) or more of the symptoms have persisted for at least six months to a degree that is inconsistent with their developmental level and that negatively impacts directly on social and academic/occupational ACTIVITIES:

a) Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, at work or during other ACTIVITIES
b) Often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play ACTIVITY.
c) Often does not seem to LISTEN when spoken to directly.
d) Often does not to follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores or duties in the work place.
e) Often has difficulty organizing tasks.
f) Often avoids, dislikes or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort.
g) Often loses things necessary for tasks or activities.
h) Is often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli.
i) Is often forgetful in daily activities.

2) Hyperactivity and Impulsivity

a) Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat.
b) Often leaves seat in situations when remaining seated is expected.
c) Often runs about or climbs in situations where it is inappropriate.
d) Often unable TO PLAY or engage in leisure activities quietly.
e) Is often “on the go” acting as if “driven by a motor”.
f) Often talks excessively.
g) Often blurt out an answer before a question has been completed.
h) Often has difficulty WAITING his or her turn.
i) Often interrupts or intrudes on others.

B) Several inattentive or hyperactive–impulsive symptoms were present prior to the age of 12.

C) Several inattentive or hyper–impulsive symptoms are present in 2 or more settings.

D) There is clear evidence that these symptoms interfere with, or reduce the quality of, social, academic or occupational functioning.

E) The symptoms do not occur exclusively during the course of schizophrenia or another psychotic disorder and are not better explained by another mental disorder.

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