What is ADHD and ADD?

Written By: Cudy

17th February 2021

What is ADHD?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a condition that affects many people in the world today.

The estimation is about 1 out of every 20 children has ADHD. Also, about 1 of every 12 adults possibly affected by this condition. While there are many forms of ADHD, the most common is attention deficit disorder.

What is the difference between ADD and ADHD?

In the 1990’s, the American Psychiatric Association changed the name Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

This because it was more descriptive of the disorder. Many times people with ADD did not have hyperactivity but instead were just inattentive. The ADHD name used throughout this website.

What is the definition of ADHD?

The DSM-IV-TR (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) defines ADHD as a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity.

Those interfere with functioning or development in at least two settings. Such as home and school for at least six months. The DSM-IV-TR also states that a core feature of ADHD is a pattern of behavior that is developmentally inappropriate for the child’s age.

What is the definition of ADD?

The DSM-IV-TR does not use the term Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) because it does not consider it a separate disorder. Instead, the DSM-IV-TR includes ADD as a subtype of ADHD.

What is the definition of a subtype of ADHD?

The DSM-IV-TR defines the subtypes of ADHD as predominantly inattentive, predominantly hyperactive-impulsive, or combined. The subtype of ADHD is based on the predominant symptoms a child experiences.

What are the symptoms of ADHD?

The DSM-IV-TR lists the following symptoms of ADHD:

Inattention

The child often does not pay close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities.

The child often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities.

The child often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.

The child often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions).

The child often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities.

The child often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that mental effort (such as schoolwork or homework).

The child often loses things necessary for tasks or activities (e.g., toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools).

The child is easily getting distract by extraneous stimuli.

The child often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat.

The child often leaves seat in classroom or in other situations in which that expected to remain seated.

The child often runs about or climbs excessively in situations. Especially, it is inappropriate (in adolescents or adults, may be limited to subjective feelings of restlessness).

The child often has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly.

The child often “on the go” acting as if “driven by a motor”. Often talks excessively.

What to do when you suspect your child has ADHD?

Parents should make a list of their child’s symptoms. The child’s pediatrician can also make this list. Then, both the parent and the pediatrician should look for patterns to see whether they can agree on an ADHD diagnosis.

It is important to note that there are other disorders that can have many of the same symptoms as ADHD. Therefore, it is important to consider these symptoms in other disorders as well.

For example, a child with learning disabilities may have problems paying attention in class because he or she may feel frustrated when learning new material.

Parents should discuss with their pediatrician. Whether these symptoms could be caused by another disorder and which disorder would be more likely than ADHD.

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