Our daughter has been diagnosed with what the doctor calls attention deficit disorder (ADD). My sister has a son who has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). These two children are as different as night and day! So, what is the difference between ADD and ADHD?
Attention deficit disorder (ADD) has three basic behavior components that are used to diagnose ADD and subtypes of the disorder. Those components are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness. While many children diagnosed with ADD show signs of all behavior components, not all children do. Some children diagnosed with ADD have the greatest difficulties with inattentive behaviors. These children can be quiet, reserved, and think or act very slowly. Other children, who have attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity, face their greatest hurdles with impulsive or hyperactive behaviors. They tend to be very active: squirming, fidgeting, and having a hard time staying seated or following directions. You may be seeing a difference in behaviors between your daughter and your nephew because they each have a different primary behavior trait that is the focus of their type of ADD.
Michelle Reynolds, Director of the Missouri Developmental Disabilities Resource Center, University of Missouri-Kansas City
Last update: Wednesday, April 14, 2010