Kreamer Resource Center for Families MH Attention Deficit Disorder
Kreamer Resource Center for Families MH Attention Deficit Disorder

Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity (ADD, ADHD)

DSM-IV Criteria for ADHD

I. Either A or B:

Inattention

  1. Often does not give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities.
  2. Often has trouble keeping attention on 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 behavior or failure to understand instructions).
  5. Often has trouble organizing activities.
  6. Often avoids, dislikes, or doesn't want to do things that take a lot of mental effort for a long period of time (such as schoolwork or homework).
  7. Often loses things needed for tasks and activities (e.g. toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools).
  8. Is often easily distracted.
  9. Is often forgetful in daily activities

Hyperactivity

  1. Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat when sitting still is expected.
  2. Often gets up from seat when remaining in seat is expected.
  3. Often excessively runs about or climbs when and where it is not appropriate (adolescents or adults may feel very restless).
  4. Often has trouble playing or doing leisure activities quietly.
  5. Is often "on the go" or often acts as if "driven by a motor".
  6. Often talks excessively.
  7. Often blurts out answers before questions have been finished.
  8. Often has trouble waiting one's turn.
  9. Often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games).

II. Some symptoms that cause impairment were present before age 7 years.

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

IV. There must be clear evidence of clinically significant impairment in social, school, or work functioning.

V. The symptoms do not happen only during the course of a Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Schizophrenia, or other Psychotic Disorder. The symptoms 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:

IA. ADHD, Combined Type: if both criteria IA and IB are met for the past 6 months

IB. ADHD, Predominantly Inattentive Type: if criterion IA is met but criterion IB is not met for the past six months 

IC. ADHD, Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type: if Criterion IB is met but Criterion IA is not met for the past six months.

American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision. Washington, DC, American Psychiatric Association, 2000.

Morbidity (U.S.A.)

  • Number of children 3-17 years of age ever diagnosed with ADHD: 5.2 million
  • Percent of children 3-17 years of age ever diagnosed with ADHD: 8.4%
  • Percent of boys 3-17 years of age ever diagnosed with ADHD: 11.2%
  • Percent of girls 3-17 years of age ever diagnosed with ADHD 5.5%

Source: Summary Health Statistics for U.S. Children: National Health Interview Survey, 2010, Appendix III, table VI 

Figure 1 is a line graph showing prevalence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, among children aged 5 to 17 years in the United States, by sex, for 3-year combined periods from 1998 to 2000 through 2007 to 2009.

SOURCES: CDC/NCHS, Health Data Interactive and National Health Interview Survey.

Figure 4 is a line graph showing prevalence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, among children aged 5 to 17 years in the United States, by geographic region, for 3-year combined periods from 1998 to 2000 through 2007 to 2009.

SOURCES: CDC/NCHS, Health Data Interactive and National Health Interview Survey.


Is it ADHD? Interactive Checklist of Signs and Symptoms for ADHD

MedlinePlus Health Topic:  ADHD (English and Spanish)

Children Who Can't Pay Attention/Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AACAP)
Children & Adults with ADD (CHADD, in English and Spanish)

National Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA, primarily for adults)

Born to Explore! The Other Side of ADD (positive & alternative views of ADD/ADHD; may consider discredited theories)

National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities ADD Fact Sheet and Briefing Paper


Local Groups: 

Check the chapter locator at http://www.chadd.org/ or at http://www.add.org/ for the chapter nearest you.

In Kansas see also Cindy Swarner, AD/HD Coordinator Neurologic Disabilities Support Project, (913) 588-5981. check this

For books and videos: try the Kreamer Resource Center for Families Library Catalog or try your local public library.

updated 10-18-2011

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