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Signs and Symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (DSM-IV classification)

What are the signs and symptoms of children with ADHD? What observable behaviors would be present when you observe a child with ADHD? In other words, what would she or he be doing?

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The American Psychiatric Association (1994) recognizes three types of ADHD: ADHD Predominantly Hyperactive Impulsive Type, characterized by motor and impulse control problems; ADHD Predominantly Inattentive Type, problems in attention or arousal; and ADHD Combined Type, significant problems in both areas. It is still unclear whether these subtypes reflect a common neuropathology or whether they represent distinct disorders (Faraone, Biederman & Friedman, 2000). It has also been argued that these categories, which were created primarily for children, may not apply equally for adults (Wolf & Wasserstein, 2001).

Specific observable behaviors associated with ADHD are listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed., rev.) (American Psychiatric Association, 1994). In fact, the clinician must note the presence of at least 6 of the 9 following criteria (mostly observable behaviors) for either Attention Span or Hyperactivity/Impulsivity.

1. Attention Span Criteria * Pays little attention to details; makes careless mistakes * Has short attention span * Does not listen when spoken to directly * Does not follow instructions; fails to finish tasks * Has difficulty organizing tasks * Avoids tasks that require sustained mental effort * Loses things * Is easily distracted * Is forgetful in daily activities

2. Hyperactivity Criteria * Fidgets; squirms in seat * Leaves ...

Solution Summary

This solution provides the signs and symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), according to DSM-IV-TR.