The recommended diagnosis method for ADD or ADHD is completely subjective, and based on reports from the parent and/or teacher. The American Psychiatric Association lists fourteen signs, of which at least eight must be present for a child to be officially classified as ADD. These fourteen signs are:
- Often fidgeting with hands or feet, or squirming while seated.
- Having difficulty remaining seated when required to do so.
- Being easily distracted by extraneous stimuli.
- Having difficulty awaiting turn in games or group activities.
- Often blurting out answers before questions are completed.
- Having difficulty in following instructions.
- Having difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play
- Often shifting from one uncompleted task to another.
- Having difficulty playing quietly.
- Often talking excessively.
- Often interrupting or intruding on others.
- Often not listening to what is being said.
- Often forgetting things necessary for tasks or activities.
- Often engaging in physically dangerous activities without
The symptoms should have persisted for at least six months to a degree that is maladaptive and inconsistent with developmental level. In other words, either a parent or a teacher has to be unhappy with the child's behavior. See the DSM-IV criteria for more details.