Table 1

DSM-IV criteria for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

Criteria can be met in either or both domains: for inattentive type, hyperactive-impulsive type or combined type
InattentionHyperactivity impulsivity
At least six of the following symptoms↓At least six of the following symptoms↓
Fails to sustain attention in tasks or play activitiesOften fidgets with hands or squirms in seat
Often fails to follow through on instructions from othersDifficulty remaining seated when required
Often avoids tasks that require sustained mental effortRuns about or climbs on things excessively in situations when it is inappropriate
Often easily distractedExhibits a persistent pattern of motor activity (always on the go)
Often loses things that are necessary for tasks or activitiesOften noisy in playing or difficulty engaging quietly in leisure activities
Appears not to listen to what is being said to him/herDifficulty waiting in turns in games or group situations
Fails to pay attention to details, or makes careless mistakesOften blurts out answers before questions have been completed
Often forgetful in daily activitiesOften interrupts or intrudes on others
Often has difficulty organising tasks and activitiesOften talks excessively
Additional criteria required: Onset before the age of 7 years, functional impairment, impairment present in more than one setting
  • DSM-IV, Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fourth edition