Have you noticed the following ADHD symptoms in yourself or your child? If they persist for at least six months to a degree that is disruptive to your life, you may have attention deficit disorder (ADD ADHD). If you suspect that you have ADD or ADHD, contact your medical health-care professional for a diagnosis.
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders checklist, at least six of the following ADHD symptoms often apply:
- Fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities.
- Has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or
- Does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.
- 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).
- Has difficulty organizing tasks and activities.
- Avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort (such as schoolwork or homework).
- Loses things necessary for tasks or activities (e.g., toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools).
- Easily distracted by extraneous stimuli.
- Forgetful in daily activities.
At least six of the following signs of hyperactivity-impulsivity often apply:
- Fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat.
- Leaves seat in classroom or in other situations in which remaining seated is expected.
- Runs about or climbs excessively in situations in which it is inappropriate (in adolescents or adults, may be limited to subjective feelings of restlessness).
- Has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly.
- Appears “on the go” or acts as if “driven by a motor.”
- Talks excessively.
- Blurts out the answers before the questions have been completed.
- Has difficulty awaiting turn.
- Interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games).
>> Some hyperactive-impulsive or inattentive symptoms that caused impairment were present before age 7.
>> Some impairment from the symptoms is present in two or more settings (e.g., at school [or work] and at home).
>> There must be clear evidence of clinically significant impairment in social, academic, or occupational functioning.
>> 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).
This article comes from the August/September issue of ADDitude.
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