Childhood Behaviour Redefined

"…In its recent infatuation with symptomatic, push-button remedies, psychiatry has lost its way not only intellectually but spiritually and morally. Even when it is not actually doing damage to the people it is supposed to help,…it is encouraging among doctors and patients alike the fraudulent and dangerous fantasy that life's every passing 'symptom' can be clinically diagnosed and, once diagnosed, alleviated if not eliminated by pharmacological intervention."30

Paul R. McHugh
Professor of Psychiatry,
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

According to the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), symptoms of ADHD include:

  • Fails to give close attention to details or may make careless mistakes in schoolwork or other tasks; work is often messy or careless;
  • Has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities;
  • Finds it hard to persist with tasks until completion; appears "as if their mind is elsewhere" or "as if they are not listening";
  • Fails "to complete schoolwork, chores, or other duties...."

Hyperactivity includes:

  • Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat;
  • Often leaves seat in classroom or in other situations in which remaining seated is expected;
  • Often runs about or climbs excessively in situations in which it is inappropriate;
  • Often has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly; is often "on the go"; often talks excessively.

Impulsivity includes:

  • Often blurts out answers before questions have been completed;
  • Has difficulty waiting his turn;
  • Interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games)