Skip to main content

Does your child have ADHD?


reviewed 10/25/2018

ADHD assessment

To get an idea of whether a child ages 4 to 18 years might have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), answer the following questions.

The questions in the assessment are taken from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-V) criteria for ADHD, which is endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and other medical organizations.

The DSM-V uses two groups of criteria to evaluate ADHD: inattention criteria and hyperactivity/impulsivity criteria. There are nine possible symptoms in each group.

Check the box next to each statement that applies to your child. As you look at the statements, think about how your child has behaved, both at school and at home, over the last 6 months. Also think about whether or not the symptoms first appeared between the ages of 4 and 12.

Note: This assessment is not intended to be a substitute for a visit with your healthcare provider.

Inattention criteria

Often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities.

Is often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli.

Is frequently forgetful in daily activities, like doing chores.

Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.

Often doesn't pay close attention to details, or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, chores or other activities.

Frequently doesn't follow through on instructions or complete chores or schoolwork.

Frequently has trouble maintaining attention to the task at hand.

Is often reluctant to do things that require sustained mental effort, such as schoolwork or homework.

Often misplaces toys, homework, books and other items necessary for tasks or activities.

If six or more of the above statements apply to your child, he or she might meet the criteria for a diagnosis of ADHD. You may want to discuss your concerns with your doctor. Only a qualified medical professional can make—or rule out—a diagnosis of ADHD.

Hyperactivity/impulsivity criteria

Often fidgets or squirms in his or her seat.

Often has a difficult time remaining seated when remaining seated is expected.

Often runs around or climbs on things when he or she shouldn't.

Often has (or had) more trouble playing quietly.

Is often "on the go."

Frequently blurts out answers before questions are completed.

Often interrupts other people's conversations or activities.

Often has a difficult time waiting his or her turn.

Often talks excessively.

If six or more of the above statements apply to your child, he or she might meet the criteria for a diagnosis of ADHD. You may want to discuss your concerns with your doctor. Only a qualified medical professional can make—or rule out—a diagnosis of ADHD.

If fewer than six statements from either of the two groups of criteria apply to your child, he or she doesn't appear to meet the criteria for a diagnosis of ADHD. However, if you have any questions about your child's behavior, be sure to discuss your concerns with your doctor. Only a qualified medical professional can make—or rule out—a diagnosis of ADHD.

Related stories