Similarities and Differences between ADD and ADHD

ADD vs. ADHD ADD and ADHD are acronyms and they both refer to Attention Deficit Disorder. The difference…


ADD and ADHD are acronyms and they both refer to Attention Deficit Disorder. The difference is that in ADHD, the person who has this disorder also exhibits hyperactivity. There is no known cause for this disorder, but researchers have identified risk factors and factors that contribute to its development.

ADHD, because of the presence of hyperactivity, is classified as being psychiatric. It usually affects children and makes itself known before age 7. Boys are at a higher risk than girls for ADHD with about twice as many boys being diagnosed with the disorder than girls. The common features of this form of Attention Deficit Disorder are inability to pay attention, impulsiveness and hyperactivity. It can take up to six months or a year to diagnose children with this disorder. Attention deficit disorder, on the other hand, can affect adults in their senior years.

Symptoms of attention deficit

  • Easily distracted
  • Miss what is being said
  • Forgetfulness
  • Unable to focus on one task
  • Gets bored with a task and switches to something more enjoyable
  • Difficulty learning new things
  • Loses items
  • Is unorganized
  • Doesn’t appear to be listening
  • Daydreams a lot
  • Cannot process information quickly or accurately
  • Has difficulty following directions

Symptoms of hyperactivity

  • Fidgets and squirms in a seat
  • Talks constantly
  • Dashes around touching and playing with everything
  • Cannot sit still for any length of time
  • Constantly on the move
  • Has difficulty doing quiet tasks

Symptoms of impulsivity

  • very impatient
  • blurts out inappropriate comments
  • has no restraint in emotions
  • acts without thinking about others
  • has difficulty waiting to take a turn

The diagnosis for ADD or ADHD is performed clinically. Neurological tests, such as MRI, have not been able to prove that the nervous system is involved in this disorder. The cause of the disorder has been determined to be the result of the diet, genetics, and the environment. With regard to the diet, sodium benzoate and artificial coloring have been identified as two substances that have a direct link to ADD and ADHD.

The treatment for this disorder is behavioural in nature. ADHD students can join groups that provide them with the supports that they need in order to function and to be able to interact normally with others. There are drug treatments available as well – usually methyl phenidate. However, it has not proven to be really effective and there is a risk of becoming addicted to this medication. Children who have ADD or ADHD usually encounter difficulties in school and often have a learning disability.


  1. ADD and ADHD refer to the same disorder.
  2. It usually affects children and more boys than girls.
  3. There is no known cause for this disorder.
  4. Artificial coloring and preservatives in food have a direct link to the disorder.
  5. Behavior therapy is more effective as treatment than drug therapy.


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