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(DSM -IV診斷手冊，為目前診斷「過動兒」普遍採用的一種方法。手冊中列出十八種行為表現，診斷者由孩童過去的行為，來核對在手冊中所佔的比例，以查驗是否為 注意力不足，或過動／衝動。這種診斷方式較適合孩童，至於成人，除非能清楚追查出小時候的情況，否則未必是恰當的診斷方式。)(進行這種 檢視時，要特別小心，因為這種所謂的「病理檢視」，並不能讓人見到「過動兒」的全貌，若光以負面消極的態度來看待過動兒，就無法見到過動兒還有更「有趣」 的一面，例如豐富的創意、領導力、活潑、經力充沛、深具幽默感、絕頂聰明…。Edward Hallowell博士與John Ratey博士兩人就建議，任何診斷者在進行診斷時，都不要只診斷症狀，還必須同時測出孩子的特長與天賦才能所在，這將帶領孩子走向極為積極正面的一 生。)
DSM-IV is a good screening tool for children. There are two clusters of symptoms, one describing symptoms of inattention, the other describing symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity. To qualify for the diagnosis, you need to meet the criteria set forth in cluster 1 or in cluster 2, as follows:1.Six (or more) of the following symptoms of inattention have persisted for at least six months to a degree that is maladaptive and inconsistent with developmental level:Inattention:a. often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activitiesb. often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activitiesc. often does not seem to listen when spoken to directlyd. often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finis: schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to op-positional behavior or failure to understand instructions)e. often has difficulty organizing tasks and activitiesf. often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effortg. often loses things necessary for tasks or activitiesh. is often easily distracted by extraneous stimulii. is often forgetful in daily activities2.Six (or more) of the following symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity have persisted for at least six months to a degree that is maladaptive and inconsistent with developmental level:Hyperactivitya. often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seatb. often leaves seat in classroom or in other situations in which remaining seated is expectedc. often runs about or climbs excessively when it is inappropriate (in adolescents or adults, may be limited to subjective feelings of restlessness)d. often has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietlye. is often "on the go" or acts as if "driven by a motor"f. often talks excessivelyImpulsivityg. often blurts out answers before questions have been completedh. often has difficulty awaiting turni. often interrupts or intrudes on othersTo receive a diagnosis of ADD you must have six out the nine symptoms on one or both of the clusters: inattention or impulsivity and hyperactivity. Your symptoms must date back to childhood. There is no such thing as adult-onset ADD; we call that modern life!Furthermore, the symptoms must impair your life in some way for ADD to be diagnosed. And symptoms must occur in two or more areas of your life. Typically for children the areas include home, school, and social settings; and for adults they include home, work, and social settings.