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Criteria for so-called ADHD, in the DSM-IV

Diagnostic Criteria for Diagnosis of Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder [ADD/ADHD] (314.0x, p. 92 ff)

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 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 homework, 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 I tasks that require sustained mental effort (such as school work 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 six months to a degree that is maladaptive and inconsistent with developmental level:


A. Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat.

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 7 years of age.

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 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, Personality Disorder).

Code based on type:

314.00 Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity disorder, Predominantly Inattentive Type: if Criterion A(1) is met but not criterion A(2) for past six months.

314.01 Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity disorder, Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type: if criterion A(2) is met but not criterion A(1) for the past six months.

314.01 Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity disorder, Combined Type: if both criteria A(1) and A(2) are met for the past six months.

Coding note: For individuals (especially adolescents and adults) who currently have symptoms that no longer meet full criteria, "In Partial Remission" should be specified.

314.9 Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Not Otherwise Specified

This category is for disorders with prominent symptoms of inattention or hyperactivity-impulsivity that do not meet criteria for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Examples include

1. Individuals whose symptoms and impairment meet the criteria for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Predominately Inattentive Type but whose age at onset is 7 years or after.

2. Individuals with clinically significant impairment who present with inattention and whose symptom pattern does not meet the full criteria for the disorder but have a behavioral pattern marked by sluggishness, daydreaming, and hypoactivity.

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