Ritalin update:Diagnosing ADHD

Clinical diagnosis of ADHD in children is inexact.’ – Statement from the US National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) 19 June 2001


The official symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder are:


Attention-deficit: The child often


* Fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work or other activities


* Has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities


* 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 (but not because of oppositional behaviour or failure to understand instructions)


* Has difficulty organising 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 (such as toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools)


* Is easily distracted by extraneous stimuli


* Is forgetful in daily activities.


Hyperactivity: The child often


* 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 where it is inappropriate (in adolescents or adults, this may be seen as subjective feelings of restlessness)


* Has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly


* Is ‘on the go’ or acts as if ‘driven by a motor’


* Talks excessively


* Blurts out answers before questions have been completed


* Has difficulty awaiting turn


* Interrupts or intrudes on others (for example, butts into conversations or games).

What Doctors Don't Tell You Written by What Doctors Don't Tell You

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