DSM-IV Criteria for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

The DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition) contains the Diagnostic Criteria for the most common mental disorders including: description, diagnosis, treatment, and research findings. Below is the Diagnostic Criteria for diagnosing Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder:

A. Either (1) or (2)

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

Inattention

  1. often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities
  2. often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities
  3. often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
  4. often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behaviour or failure of comprehension)
  5. often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities
  6. often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort (such as schoolwork or homework)
  7. often loses things necessary for tasks or activities at school or at home (e.g. toys, pencils, books, assignments)
  8. is often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli
  9. 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 the developmental level:

Hyperactivity

  1. often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat
  2. often leaves seat in classroom or in other situations in which remaining seated is expected
  3. 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)
  4. often  has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly
  5. often talks excessively
  6. is often ‘on the go’ or often acts as if ‘driven by a motor’

Impulsivity

  1. often  has difficulty awaiting turn in games or group situations
  2. often  blurts out answers to questions before they have been completed
  3. often interrupts or intrudes on others, e.g. butts into other children’s games

B. Some hyperactivity – impulsive or inattentive symptoms that cause impairment were present before the age of 7 years.

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

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

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).

Based on these criteria, three types of ADHD are identified:

  1. ADHD, Combined Type: if both criteria 1A and 1B are met for the past 6 months
  2. ADHD, Predominantly Inattentive Type: if criterion 1A is met but criterion 1B is not met for      the past six months
  3. ADHD, Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type: if Criterion 1B is met but Criterion 1A is not      met for the past six months.

The above information has been printed from the American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision. Washington, DC, American Psychiatric Association, 2000.

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - ADHD and ADD, Behaviour Exceptionality

One response to “DSM-IV Criteria for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

  1. Jean Nystrom

    I have a child with ADHD. I tried the Ritalin with little to no success. I found the drug made my child lethargic and once it wore off she would either crash or become even more hyper-active. Believe me, I tried it for a period of time to see if it would build up in her system and alleviate not only the behavior but the side effects. It did not. After doing much research I found two programs that are working for my daughter and my family. I use Play Attention and ADHD Nanny. Play Attention is a program that builds behavioral shaping and she loves to play it which makes it that much more easy on me. ADHD Nanny (she is young), gives me and my family tools for everyday structure to assist her. Recently divorced I found it difficult to keep her structured because of going back and forth from two homes. Now, each household uses it and it is working for her and the family.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s