What is the real difference in these anyway?

ADD stands for Attention Deficit Disorder. This is an old term, which is now officially called Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, Inattentive Type.

People with this disorder have trouble focusing and concentrating, but are not hyperactive or impulsive. In the classroom, they do not get in trouble, they stay in their seat and don't talk or move around too much. They appear to be paying attention, but they are thinking about many things besides their school work.

The teacher might say about such a child "I know he is very smart, but he is just not working up to his potential". This implies that the child could do something about it if he only wanted to. Of course the truth is he cannot.

How would you feel if everyone was demanding and expecting you to do something which you simply could not do? After awhile most intelligent people would simply quit trying . And then, with everyone on your case over and over, your self-esteem would start to go down. You start to hear the child saying things like "I am stupid" or "I am dumb".

ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. People with this disorder are very busy, always on the go. They are:

  • Hyperactive--always on the go, moving, tapping, getting up and down
  • Impulsive--doing things without thinking of the consequences
  • Usually Inattentive--unable to stay focused, especially on things not immediately rewarding

They are usually in trouble at school for moving around too much, talking too much. In addition, they often tap their pencil on their desk, get up without permission to sharpen their pencil, etc.

People watching such a child in a restaurant or at church, would probably say "That kid needs a little discipline. If he were my kid, I would make him sit there and be quiet. I can't believe how parents these days just let their kids go."

ADD & ADHD is Really a Continuum. That means that most kids have a combination of inattention and hyperactivity. Very seldom do we encounter kids who are "pure" ADD or "pure" ADHD. It is like a bell-shaped curve. Some are mostly inattentive, some mostly hyperactive, but most are a combination.

If you feel that your child has some of these characteristics, then it is possible that he or she has ADD or ADHD. There are many other factors involved in making the diagnosis--the onset, the intensity of symptoms, the duration of symptoms and ruling out other diseases which are similar.

Don't panic if you feel your child --or you-- have ADHD or ADD. It's not the end of the world. In fact many brilliant, creative, and highly successful people are among those diagnosed with ADHD.

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