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).

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Written by What Doctors Don't Tell You

Explore Wellness in 2021