A thorough evaluation is essential to make a diagnosis of ADHD.
These symptoms represent subtype I of ADHD - Primarily Inattentive.
For children, six or more of the following symptoms of inattention that have persisted for at least 6 months to a degree that is maladaptive and inconsistent with developmental level. For older adolescents and adults, (age 7 and older) five or more symptoms are required.
These symptoms represent subtype II of ADHD - Primarily hyperactive/impulsive.
For children, six or more of the following symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity that have persisted for at least 6 months to a degree that it is maladaptive and inconsistent with developmental level. For older adolescents and adults (age 7 and older) five or more symptoms are required.
For subtype III of ADHD called combined, symptoms of both subtypes I and II as described above are present.
For subtype IV of ADHD called inattentive (restrictive), the criterion for inattention is met but no more than 2 symptoms from hyperactivity-impulsivity have been present for the past 6 months.
In addition, the following criteria must also be met for all subtypes:
Some hyperactive-impulsive or inattentive symptoms that caused impairment were present before age 12.
Some impairment from the symptoms is present in 2 or more settings (home, work, school, social).
There must be clear evidence of clinically significant impairment in social, academic or occupational functioning
The symptoms do not occur exclusively during the course of a pervasive developmental disorder, schizophrenia, or other psychotic disorder.
The severity of symptoms should also be specified:
Mild - Few, if any, symptoms in excess of those required to make the diagnosis are present, and symptoms result in no more than minor impairments in social or occupational functioning.
Moderate - Symptoms or functional impairment between ‘mild’ and ‘severe’ are present.
Severe - Many symptoms in excess of those required to make the diagnosis, or several symptoms that are particularly severe, are present; or the symptoms result in marked impairment in social or occupational functioning.