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ADHD vs. ADD: What’s the Difference?

ADHD vs. ADD: What’s the Difference?

Has your child been diagnosed with ADHD or ADD? If so, you’re seeking clarification on how to help him grow in the academic, social, and emotional spheres, because he may have difficulty in all three areas.

Your child with ADHD may have some of the same symptoms as children on the autism spectrum. Having a diagnosis of one of those conditions increases the risk of your child also being diagnosed with the other. Our licensed occupational therapists at Little Wonders Pediatric Therapy, with two offices in Charlotte, North Carolina, can help your child with ADHD learn to function better in his everyday environment. Isn’t that what you want? 

ADHD and ADD: the difference 

ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, has three subtypes. ADD, or Attention Deficit Disorder, is one of those subtypes. Let’s examine the differences between ADD and ADHD

ADHD predominantly inattentive presentation (ADD)

If your child is a daydreamer, you may be surprised that he has a diagnosis of ADHD. He’s calm and not hyperactive. His subtype of the disorder is likely ADD. You may have noticed that your child can’t seem to bring home his homework assignments in the early grades; they get lost between school and home. Likewise, even playing soccer or a game with you, he’s likely to become sidetracked by something else going on at the same time, whether it’s a butterfly on the soccer field or his inability to focus on a game. 

To summarize, here are key symptoms of ADD. If your child exhibits these behaviors consistently over a six-month period, he likely has the disorder: 

If this describes your child, it’s important to address the symptoms now rather than when they begin to impact him with greater consequences in middle and high school. If ADHD is untreated, your child’s success in school and in his social life may be compromised. Our therapists can help your child learn coping mechanisms that help him organize materials and tasks and learn skills for making friends and coping with anger and anxiety. 

ADHD predominantly hyperactive-impulsive presentation

If you have a hyperactive child, you’re likely not surprised at the ADHD diagnosis. You’ve already observed the level of frenetic energy your child exhibits. Perhaps he’s been named “Everready” in daycare. If ADHD is untreated, your child’s later success in school and in his social life may be compromised. Untreated ADHD increases the risk of antisocial behavior.  

If your child exhibits many of the following symptoms for six months or more, he likely has ADHD: 

ADHD combined type 

Your child may have the combined type of ADHD that incorporates ADD if he has 6 or more symptoms of inattention and 6 or more symptoms of hyperactivity

If your child is a boy, he’s more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD. Girls tend to have the ADD subtype more frequently. Men and boys more commonly have hyperactive symptoms, while women and girls more commonly have inattentiveness.

Our therapists can help your child with any subtype of ADHD. Our therapists help your child academically using color-coded materials, games to improve focus, systems to handle homework tasks, and other methods. Teaching coping skills to ease frustration, working on balance and coordination skills, and teaching and practicing social skills to improve turn taking and listening will help your child’s social-emotional well-being. 

Call or message Little Wonders Pediatric Therapy today for a consultation on how we can help your child thrive if he has an ADHD diagnosis.     

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