ADD Diagnostic Criteria

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Young People's Mental Health    Adult ADD       ADD - Inattentive type


The links below state the 2 descriptions of Attention Deficit Disorder on both sides of the Atlantic.  However, the "European Description" fails to list the Diagnostic Criteria as given in the ICD-10 (DCR-10).  I have reproduced them below - it is almost identical to the DSM-4 American criteria.

See here for DSM-4 (American) Diagnostic Criteria

See here for ICD-10 (European) Description



F90 Hyperkinetic Disorders

G1    Inattention

At least six of the following symptoms of inattention have persisted for at least 6 months to a degree that is maladaptive and inconsistent with developmental level of the child:

  1. often fails to give close attention to details, or makes careless errors in schoolwork, work, or other activities
  2. often fails to sustain attention in tasks or play activities
  3. often appears not to listen to what is being said to him or her
  4. often fails to follow through on instructions or to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not because of oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions)
  5. is often impaired in organizing tasks and activities
  6. often avoids or strongly dislikes tasks, such as housework,   that require sustained mental effort
  7. often loses things necessary for certain tasks or activities, such as school assignments, pencils, books, toys or tools
  8. is often easily distracted by external stimuli
  9. is often forgetful in the course of daily activities
G2  Hyperactivity

At least 3 of the following symptoms of hyperactivity have persisted for at least 6 months, to a degree that is maladaptive and inconsistent with developmental level of the child:

  1. often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat
  2. leaves seat in classroom or in other situations in which remaining seated is expected
  3. often runs about or climbs excessively in situations in which it is inappropriate (in adolescents or adults, only feelings of restlessness may be present)
  4. is often unduly noisy in playing, or has difficulty in engaging quietly in leisure activities 
  5. exhibits a persistent pattern of excessive motor activity that is not substantially modified by social context or demands
G3   Impulsivity

At least one of the following symptoms of impulsivity has persisted for at least 6 months, to a degree that is maladaptive and inconsistent with the developmental level of the child:

  1. often blurts out answers before questions have been completed
  2. often fails to wait in lines or await turns in games or group activities
  3. often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into others' conversations or games)
  4. often talks excessively without appropriate response to social constraints


G4  Onset of the disorder is no later than the age of 7 years


G5  Pervasiveness.  The criteria should be met for more than a single situation  eg.  the combination of inattention and hyperactivity should be present both at home and at school and another setting where children are observed, such as a clinic (evidence for cross-situationality will ordinarily require information from more than one source; parental reports about classroom behaviour, for instance, are unlikely to be sufficient


G6  The symptoms in G! - G3 cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, academic or occupational functioning


G7  The disorder does not meet the criteria for pervasive developmental disorders, manic episode, depressive episode or anxiety disorders



F98.8  (Other specified behavioural and emotional disorders with onset usually occurring in childhood and adolescence)

Attention Deficit Disorder without Hyperactivity


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17 March 2002