Deficits in intellectual functioning, This includes various mental abilities:
- Problem solving
- Abstract thinking
- Academic learning (ability to learn in school via traditional teaching methods)
- Experiential learning (the ability to learn through experience, trial and error, and observation)
Deficits or impairments in adaptive functioning
This includes skills needed to live in an independent and responsible manner. Limited abilities in these life skills make it difficult to achieve age appropriate standards of behavior. Without these skills, a person needs additional supports to succeed at school, work, or independent life. Deficits in adaptive functioning are measured using standardized, culturally appropriate tests.
Various skills are needed for daily living:
This refers to the ability to convey information from one person to another. Communication is conveyed through words and actions. It involves the ability to understand others, and to express one’s self through words or actions.
This refers to the ability to interact effectively with others. We usually take social skills for granted. However, these skills are critical for success in life. These skills include the ability to understand and comply with social rules, customs, and standards of public behavior. This intricate function requires the ability to process figurative language and detect unspoken cues such as body language.
Personal independence at home or in community settings:
This refers to the ability to take care of yourself. Some examples are bathing, dressing, and feeding. It also includes the ability to safely complete day-to-day tasks without guidance. Some examples are cooking, cleaning, and laundry. There are also routine activities performed in the community. This includes shopping for groceries, and accessing public transportation.
School or work functioning:
This refers to the ability to conform to the social standards at work or school. It includes the ability to learn new knowledge, skills, and abilities. Furthermore, people must apply this information in a practical, adaptive manner; without excessive direction or guidance.
What are the symptoms of ADHD
- Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, at work, or during other activities (e.g., overlooks or misses details, work is inaccurate).
- Often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities (e.g., has difficulty remaining focused during lectures, conversations, or lengthy reading).
- Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly (e.g., mind seems elsewhere, even in the absence of any obvious distraction).
- Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (e.g., starts tasks but quickly loses focus and is easily sidetracked)
- Often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities (e.g., difficulty managing sequential tasks; difficulty keeping materials and belongings in order; messy, disorganized work; has poor time management; fails to meet deadlines).
- Often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort (e.g., schoolwork or homework; for older adolescents and adults, preparing reports, completing forms, reviewing lengthy papers).
- Often loses things necessary for tasks or activities (e.g., school materials, pencils, books, tools, wallets, keys, paperwork, eyeglasses, mobile telephones).
- Is often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli (for older adolescents and adults, may include unrelated thoughts).
- Is often forgetful in daily activities (e.g., doing chores, running errands; for older adolescents and adults, returning calls, paying bills, keeping appointments).
2. Hyperactivity and impulsivity:
Six (or more) of the following symptoms have persisted for at least 6 months to a degree that is inconsistent with developmental level and that negatively impacts directly on social and academic/occupational activities: Note: The symptoms are not solely a manifestation of oppositional behavior, defiance, hostility, or a failure to understand tasks or instructions. For older adolescents and adults (age 17 and older), at least five symptoms are required.
- Often fidgets with or taps hands or feet or squirms in seat.
- Often leaves seat in situations when remaining seated is expected (e.g., leaves his or her place in the classroom, in the office or other workplace, or in other situations that require remaining in place).
- Often unable to play or engage in leisure activities quietly.
- Is often “on the go,” acting as if “driven by a motor” (e.g., is unable to be or uncomfortable being still for extended time, as in restaurants, meetings; may be experienced by others as being restless or difficult to keep up with).
- Often talks excessively.
- Often blurts out an answer before a question has been completed (e.g., completes people’s sentences; cannot wait for turn in conversation).
- Often has difficulty waiting his or her turn (e.g., while waiting in line).
- Often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations, games, or activities; may start using other people’s things without asking or receiving permission; for adolescents and adults, may intrude into or take over what others are doing).