June 26th, 2011
Is It ADD or ADHD? Attention Deficit Disorder
The term ADD attention deficit disorder is a common one today as is ADHD. In fact it is so common because the incidence of attention deficit disorder in 2007 of 4 year- old's to 17 year-old's was 9.5%. That is almost 1 out of every 10 in a classroom.
As an adult it is rare that I am out socializing and another adult refers to their own ADD. This happens at the park, coffee shop, even on cruises.The actual term ADD is now considered the "old" term for Attention Deficit Disorder. It was generally used for those of us who have ADHD without the hyper activity component. ADHD was ADD with the hyper-activity. Nowadays the 'proper term' is ADHD with the specifics added. Remember, there are a variety of specific types of attention deficit problems. Each child will deal with the problems slightly differently because each child is unique.
The DSMIV Identifies and Defines ADHD
The DSM IV combined ADD and ADHD into one disorder with multiple parts. So now the proper terms are:
ADHD-HI (primarily hyperactive impulsive)
ADHD-I (primarily inattentive)
ADHD-NOS (not otherwise specified) It is rare to be diagnosed with this type.
What Is Combined Type Attention Deficit Disorder?
A combined type of attention deficit disorder is someone who has all the diagnostic criteria for both the HI type and the I type.
The diagnostic criteria for HI type are very different than for I type. You can find the diagnostic criteria for each type by simply doing a google search for DSM IV and ADHD.
Important Points to Remember About ADHD
- Attention Deficit Disorder has been recognized as a disorder for over 150 years.
- ADHD has gone through over 50 name changes in those 150 years, some of those names were pretty nasty.
- It is likely that there will be more tweaking of the diagnosis when the next revised addition of the DSM IV comes out.
- This is due to the debate about the difference in people who are inattentive versus hyperactive.
Here are 9 of 18 common symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder
- Not following through with instructions.
- Not paying attention appropriately to what they need to attend to.
- Seeming not to listen.
- Being disorganized.
- Having poor handwriting.
- Missing details.
- Appearing to be easily distracted.
- Appearing fidgety.
- Being verbally impulsive.
For more information on the common symptoms:
Common Symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder
Diagnosis of Attention Deficit or Is It a Learning Problem or Is It Both?
One other important point that has to be made is that a diagnosis of attention deficit disorder is not the 'end of the world.' In fact, there are many successful business persons with attention deficit disorder, so your child does have a lot going for them. In fact, there is much you can do at home to help your child. Additionally, there are often other issues that may compound the difficulties of attention deficit such as problems in one or more areas of visual, auditory, or tactile/kinesthetic processing. And, sometimes a child is misdiagnosed due to problems in so many areas of perception. when one are is overwhelmed, it shuts down. This 'shutting down' can be mistaken for inattention. Identifying and addressing
the underlying causes of any of those problems will make coping with any of the types of attention deficit easier.
Family Activities to Improve Learning Skills
Other things you can do to help your child is to incorporate learning games into their learning. This is because when your child is playing a learning game it is appropriate to move around while they are learning. They are also learning skills of getting along with others, cooperating with others while playing. Some great games that are very successful with ADHD children that teach learning skills at the same time are The Sentence Zone
, The Comprehension Zone
, and The Math Zone