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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) both relate to the same disorder type in the Autism Spectrum. Some physicians and therapists still use ADD in their conversation with parents however it is rapidly becoming an antiquated term. In new medical research and literature, you will find ADD in children left out and replaced by ADHD.

ADD in children

Fig 1: ADD in Children – What you see Vs Whats going on

In 2013 the American Psychiatric Association released a revised edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (the 5th edition) which in essence dropped the usage of ADD only to be included as part of ADHD diagnosis.

For this specific reason, this post has been archived and replaced by ADHD in Children.

ADD In Children

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is among the most common childhood disorder. ADD in children is currently estimated  at 6.4 million in the United States alone! Parents are usually quick to diagnose this disorder as their child will be easily distracted, inattentive, impulsive and hyperactive.

add in children diagnosis

Fig 2: ADD in children diagnosis rates on the rise

Visible symptoms of ADHD in Children

Fig 3: Visible symptoms of ADD in Children

Diagnosis of ADD in Children

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition, sets out the requirements for the diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Children under the age of sixteen must meet six of the following criteria and those over seventeen must meet only five. A parent should report to their physician only once the symptoms have been present for at least six months or longer.

  • Does not pay attention at home, school or during activities
  • Is forgetful with routine daily schedules such as brushing teeth, getting dressed properly
  • Ignores you even when you are directly speaking to the child
  • Looses focus
  • Cannot stay organized
  • Avoids things that take a long time to accomplish: example playing a game
  • Is distracted easily
  • Makes careless mistakes
  • Cannot complete a task or activity
  • Does not follow instructions
  • Does not complete homework or chores
  • Looses things
  • Always on the go
  • Talks excessively
  • Has no concept of waiting their turn
  • Will not stay seated, runs in the classroom, at dinnertime, in a restaurant
  • Unable to play quietly
  • Yells out answers without being called on in school
  • Interrupts others
  • Has no concept of personal space
  • Symptoms occur at home, school with family and friends
  • Symptoms interfere with the Childs ability to function at home and school
  • There is no other psychotic mood or anxiety disorder present

Types of ADD in Children

types of add

Fig 4: Types of ADHD/ADD

There are three subtypes of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder that impacts children today. They are:

  1. Predominantly Hyperactive Impulse Presentation – this subtype occurs when a child has symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity but not inattention.
  2. Predominantly Inattentive Presentation – this is what was often called ADD meaning a child shows an inattention yet does not meet the full criteria of hyperactivity and impulsivity.
  3. Combined Presentation – this is when a child meets the criteria of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity.

Managing ADD/ADHD in Children

tips for managing adhd

Fig 5: Tips for managing ADD in children

Attention Deficit Disorder or ADD in children can range from severe to mild, as with most autism spectrum disorders. There is, however, some good news for parents! Early diagnosis and intervention with therapy will provide you, your child and family a more tranquil and enjoyable time together.

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