In children with ADHD, symptoms may be apparent socially, emotionally, and academically. ADHD may lead to low self-esteem, poor peer relationships, delinquencies, and substance abuse. Approximately 65% of children identified with ADHD since childhood will continue to exhibit symptoms as adults. To diagnose ADHD, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) is used. Approximately 3% to 7% of children from ages 8 to 15 years old meet criteria for ADHD.
The diagnosis of ADHD can be divided into three (3) categories: predominantly inattentive, hyperactive-impulsive, and combined type, which is both inattentive and hyperactive. The DSM-IV-TR lists nine (9) different symptoms for both categories of inattentiveness and hyperactivity-impulsivity. To be diagnosed with one of the categories of ADHD, a child must present with 6 of the 9 symptoms of impairment in at least 2 different settings, such as classroom and home. These symptoms must be present for at least 6 months and must not be explained by other psychiatric diagnoses.