Boy in red sweater learning to count during extra-curricular activities / blog - ADHD and ADD in children

While children are developing, it can be overwhelming to learn about all of the health possibilities that can affect them. ADHD and ADD in children have become increasingly common and easier to detect. Their similarities can make it difficult to separate between, however, there are distinct differences between the two. 

ADHD and ADD in Children

ADHD and ADD in children can leave parents struggling to know the best solution. There may be moments when a parent believes something is a characteristic of ADHD or ADD but is unsure if that is merely a childlike tendency.   

The Basics of ADHD 

ADHD is an abbreviation for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. At HealthPark Pediatrics, we define ADHD as a developmental disorder that affects children’s behavior, attention, and learning. The Mayo Clinic describes ADHD as a combination of persistent problems, like difficulty keeping attention, hyperactivity, and impulsive behavior. 

The symptoms of ADHD in children often appear before the age of 12. It occurs more often in boys than girls but can look different in both, as girls tend to appear quieter in their inattentive time. On the other hand, boys’ actions tend to be more outward and disruptive. 

Consequently, there are three subtypes of ADHD in children: 

  • Predominantly inattentive: For this type, most symptoms fall into the category of inattention. 
  • Predominantly hyperactive/impulsive: For this type, most symptoms are hyperactive and impulsive.  
  • Combined: For this final type, it is a mix of inattentive symptoms and hyperactive/impulsive symptoms.  

While we understand the basics of ADHD in children, our doctors specialize in the treatment and management of children with ADHD. If you observe possible ADHD symptoms in your child, it could be an excellent time to talk with your doctor. You can find out more about this by requesting an appointment online.  

The Basics of ADD  

ADD stands for Attention Deficit Disorder. According to ADDitude, ADD is a term commonly used to describe a neurological condition with symptoms of inattention, distractibility, and poor working memory. At this point, ADD is more outdated than the term ADHD. It is often used as a term for a specific subset of symptoms with which a child with ADHD may present. 

Primary symptoms of ADD, also known as Predominantly Inattentive Type: 

  • Poor working memory
  • Inattention 
  • Distractibility 
  • Poor executive function

One factor in identifying ADD can be ruled out which symptoms you are not seeing as a way of determining whether it could fall into the ADHD category instead. Such as, if you are not observing hyperactivity, this is a possible sign that it is not ADD. 

Comparing ADHD and ADD in Children  

Now, the basics of ADHD and ADD in children are straightforward. However, after seeing how closely these two diagnoses can fall towards each other, it is essential to recognize how they differ. The main distinction is that ADD is a term for a particular type of ADHD referred to as Predominantly Inattentive Type. The hyperactivity symptom is often presented in ADHD but is not present in someone with ADD. ADHD and ADD in children can be frustrating situations to figure out. However, these basics could make this a more straightforward process for you and your child. 

ADHD and ADD in children can be difficult to determine. Understanding both their basics and differences can lead to observing what symptoms you may be seeing in your child. Do you have further questions about ADHD and ADD in children? Find resources on our website or give us a call at (919) 896-7066.