Further information: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder There has been a proposal to increase the diagnostic criteria for the age when symptoms became present. The proposal would change the diagnostic criteria from symptoms being present before seven years of age to symptoms being present before twelve years of age. The new diagnostic criteria would read: "B. Several noticeable inattentive or hyperactive-impulsive symptoms were present by age 12."  There has been a proposal that for the Inattentive type and Hyperactive/Impulsive type, a minimum of only four symptoms need to be met if a person is 17 years of age or older. The current DSM-IV-TR criteria of meeting a minimum of six symptoms for the Inattentive type or Hyperactive/Impulsive Type would still apply for those 16 years of age or younger. The new DSM the 5th edition will only be released in May 2013.
Ritalin: miracle drug or cop out?
The DSM IV version, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, says that when a pattern of behavior persists for six months or longer, and occurs in at least two different settings (in the classroom and at home), it may meet the criteria for a diagnosis of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The combination of attention deficit and hyperactivity is common, but either can, and often does, occur without the other. Boys are between five and nine times as likely to be diagnosed with ADHD as girls, although many researchers are now suggesting that there may be many more girls who aren't hyperactive or impulsive and so don't cause the kinds of problems that lead to parental or teacher intervention. And ADHD is no longer associated with just middle childhood; it is being diagnosed with increasing frequency in teenagers, adults and even preschoolers.
Ritalin supporters and critics:
What, exactly, is ADHD? The APA, American Psychiatric Association, considers it a mental disorder, which it defines as a pattern of...