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ADD ADHD Difference

ADD ADHD Difference...

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ADD or ADHD relates to a wide spectrum of behaviours and is officially called Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder or AD/HD.

add adhd difference

But a lot of people call it either ADD or ADHD.

As we learn more about ADHD and the different variations of this behaviour we have broken the ADD/ADHD differences into three subtypes which are;

  • ADHD Predominantly Combined Type
  • ADHD Predominantly Inattentive Type
  • ADHD Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type

Breaking Down the ADD ADHD Difference

These three subtypes of ADHD take into account that some children display some behaviours of the ADHD spectrum but not all of them.

Although some children have difficulty staying focused on a task they don't have any trouble sitting still. Other children may have no problems paying attention and staying focused on a task, but they quickly lose that focus because of their hyperactive impulses.

Although the symptoms of ADD/ADHD differences vary with each child, the most common type of ADHD is the ADHD Predominantly Combined Type; where the child has symptoms of all three characteristics.

ADHD Combined Type

A child with Predominantly Combined Type ADHD will consistently show multiple symptoms of impulsivity, inattention and hyperactivity.

The severity of these symptoms should appear in more than one setting, such as at school and at home, and also be to a strong degree, and not just behaviour that can be ignored.

ADHD Inattentive Type

The ADD/ADHD difference between the combined type and the inattentive type is that a child with an inattentive type of ADHD has very few signs or no signs at all of hyperactivity or impulsivity, but that the child does show signs of inattention.

ADD ADHD Differences Regarding Inattention

When we say that a child shows signs of inattention we are speaking of the child's ability to stay focused on a task, and has the ability to resist being distracted from that task.

Some children who struggle with inattention struggle to concentrate on a task. Other children might not know how to begin a task. And others might start the task, but move their attention away from that task.

ADD ADHD Differences Regarding Hyperactivity

The most visible sign of ADHD is excessive activity. Young children often appear constantly on the go, but this often diminishes with age.

When considering hyperactivity in a child, the behaviour should be considered excessive. Talking, running, jumping and squirming done excessively, inappropriately, are socially unacceptable and not considered age appropriate.

ADD/ADHD Differences Regarding Impulsivity

Impulsivity refers to a child acting before thinking. A child who has impulsivity has difficulty waiting for a turn, so they often interrupt or speak when not appropriate.

The child may run across the street without looking or jump off a high incline without considering the danger.

Associated Features With ADD/ADHD Differences

Regardless of which category a child falls in, in regards to the ADD/ADHD differences, children with these behaviours the disorder is also seen with additional associated features.

These children often have a low frustration tolerance and are prone to temper outbursts. They have difficulty following rules, can be bossy and disorganized. They also underachieve academically and have poor self esteem.


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