I am always asked these questions about add-adhd:
- How do I know if this is my child?
- How is a child diagnosed?
The following is the definition of ADD and the criteria for diagnosis. What i would like
to stress is: IF YOU THINK YOUR CHILD IS ADD OR ADHD....PLEASE TAKE THEM
TO A KNOWLEDGEABLE PEDIATRICIAN!! They know what to do and can steer you in the
What is ADD?
Attention Deficit Disorder is a term used to describe a group of children (and adults) with
many things in common. While many of the characteristics of ADD are present in all children
at times, they will be more intense and persistent in the ADD child. Without proper early intervention,
many will develop social and family problems.
ADD is not easily diagnosed. A diagnosis is arrived at through a combination of careful educational testing, parental and teacher interviews, and a thorough medical evaluation. Each child diagnosed as having ADD is an individual who is unique . The following characteristics my be present in varying degrees, although each child with ADD is different.
- Does not finish tasks
- Does not seem to listen
- Is distracted easily,
- Has difficulty concentration on tasks
- Has difficulty sticking to play
- Is insatiable, impertinent, inconsistent
- Acts before thinking
- Shifts from one activity to another
- Has difficulty awaiting turn in line
- Has difficulty organizing work,
- Needs much supervision
- Often calls out in class
- Has difficulty making and keeping friends.
ADHD includes all the characteristics above but with the addition of hyperactivity.
- Runs and climbs excessively
- Cannot sit still, or stay seated
- Is restless during sleep
- Always on the go
Diagnostic criteria for 314.01 Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
note: consider a criterion met only if the behavior is considerably more frequent than that of most people of the same mental age.
A) A disturbance of at least six months during which at least eight
of the following are present:
1- Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat ( In
adolescents, may be limited to subjective feelings of restlessness)
2- Has difficulty remaining seated when required to do so
3- Is easily distracted by extraneous stimuli
4- Has difficulty awaiting turn in games or group situations
5- Often blurts out answers to questions before they have been completed
6- Has difficulty following through on instructions from others
(not due to oppositional behavior of failure of comprehension), e.g.,
fails to finish chores
7- Has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities
8- Often shifts from one activity to another
9- Has difficulty playing quietly
10-Often talks excessively
11-Often interrupts or intrudes on others, e.g. butts into other children games
12-Often does not seem to listen to what is being said to him or her
13-Often loses things necessary for tasks or activities at school or home
(e.g., toys, pencils, books, assignments)
14-Often engages in physically dangerous activities without considering
possible consequences (not for the purpose of thrill-seeking), e.g. runs
into street with out looking
Note: the above items are listed in descending order of discriminating
power based on data from a national field trail of the Small criteria
for disruptive behavior disorders.
B) Onset before the age of seven
C) Does not meet the criteria for a Pervasive Developmental Disorder
Criteria for severity of ADD/ADHD:
- Few, if any, symptoms in excess of those required to make the diagnosis
and only minimal or no impairment in school and social functioning.
- Moderate: Symptoms or functional impairment intermediate between "mild"
- Severe: many symptoms in excess of those required to make the diagnosis
and significant and pervasive impairment in functioning at
home and school and with peers.
Submitted by: LuAnn
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