Attention Deficit Disorders

Attention Deficit Disorders

 It is likely that at some point you have known someone with ADHD. It is also likely that you have heard the term ADD used in tandem with ADHD. These diagnoses are quite commonly discussed and are often aligned together in conversation. So, what is the difference between the two? Many people are not sure, so here is a little information on the terms and how they differ from one another.

ADHD stands for “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.” It is recognized by a combination of symptoms ranging from acting inattentive and spacey to hyperactive and boisterous. There are different subtypes of ADHD with specific symptoms, these include “Inattentive ADHD” and “Hyperactive-Impulsive ADHD.” If someone exhibits symptoms of both kinds of ADHD, they may be diagnosed with a “Combination ADHD” disorder.

So, what about ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder)? ADD is actually an outdated term that is used to refer to the Inattentive ADHD diagnosis. So, when you hear that term it is likely related to that specific diagnosis and its corresponding symptoms.

Now that we have covered the terminology, let’s look at the differences between each diagnosis.

Inattentive ADHD

This diagnosis is common in children as well as adults with certain mood or anxiety disorders. It can often be mischaracterized as laziness or indifference so it can easily go untreated or be overlooked. Historically this has been more common in women than men.

Here are some of the symptoms:

  • Limited attention span
  • Forgetfulness
  • Procrastination
  • Disorganization
  • Easily Distracted
  • Lack in Attention to Detail
  • Poor Listening Skills

 Hyperactive Impulsive ADHD

This is also quite common in children and can be stereotyped as a child bouncing off the walls. However, just because your child is overly energetic does not mean that they have this disorder. Symptoms must be extreme and they have to demonstrate these activities consistently for about a six month period to be considered Hyperactive Impulsive ADHD. Historically this has been more common in men than women.

Here are some of the symptoms:

  • Fidgety
  • Has trouble sitting still
  • Has trouble remaining calm and quiet
  • Jumping around or Climbing in Inappropriate Places
  • Excessive Talking
  • Impulsive
  • Impatient

Combination ADHD 

When someone exhibits enough symptoms of both the Inattentive and Hyperactive Impulsive ADHD they are diagnosed with a combination ADHD.


That is ADHD at a glance. For more information, or if you are curious as to whether you or a family member might have one of the above disorders, please give us a call. We would be happy to help.

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