Symptoms of ADHD

DSM-IV Criteria for ADHD

Either A or B:


A. Six or more of the following symptoms of inattention have been present for at least 6 months to a point that is disruptive and inappropriate for developmental level:

  • Often does not give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities.
  • Often has trouble keeping attention on task or play activities.
  • Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.
  • Often does not follow instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions).
  • Often has trouble organizing activities.
  • 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).
  • Often loses things needed for tasks and activities (e.g. toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools).
  • Is often easily distracted.
  • Is often forgetful in daily activities.

B. Six or more of the following symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity have been present for at least 6 months to an extent that is disruptive and inappropriate for developmental level:


  • Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat.
  • Often gets up from seat when remaining in seat is expected.
  • Often runs about or climbs when and where it is not appropriate (adolescents or adults may feel very restless).
  • Often has trouble playing or enjoying leisure activities quietly.
  • Is often “on the go” or often acts as if “driven by a motor.”
  • Often talks excessively.


  • Often blurts out answers before questions have been finished.
  • Often has trouble waiting one’s turn.
  • Often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversation or games).
  • Some symptoms that cause impairment were present before age 7 years.
  • Some impairment from the symptoms is present in two or more settings (e.g., at school/work and at home).
  • There must be clear evidence of significant impairment in social, school, or work functioning.

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:

  • ADHD, Combined Type: if both criteria 1A and 1B are met for the past 6 months.
  • ADHD, Predominantly Inattentive Type: if criterion 1A is met but criterion 1B is not met for the past six months.
  • ADHD, Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type: if Criterion 1B Is met but Criterion 1A 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.

*These symptoms are listed for reference only. A diagnosis can and should be made by consulting a physician and a thorough examination completed.

One Comment

  1. pkratovil
    February 1, 2018 @ 4:15 pm

    Hi Jeanne,

    It was for an information request. You’re fine. To answer your questions, we specialize in helping kids with reading, writing, and math struggles. As for assessments, I can do an academic assessment, which is $100. If you wanted a formal, detailed assessment, it would require a neuropsych to do that. We have a neuropsychologist we work closely with, Dr. Paul Beljan, who comes into my office twice a year for full assessments. He will be here the first week of March, but I’m not sure he has an opening. I can refer you to other local providers as well. For summer, we have a reading camp and we also have one-on-one tutoring in our center which can be as little as two hours per week up to 15 hours per week. We use only research-based, proven methodologies to help kids succeed.

    Please let me know if you have any questions I can answer!

    Deborah Kratovil
    Learning Pathways


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