Question: When I was younger, children were diagnosed with ADD (attention deficit disorder). Now my grandson has been diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). What is the difference between ADD and ADHD?
Answer: ADHD is now the preferred term for the biologically-based neurological condition that was known as ADD until 1987. Before then children were diagnosed as ADD with or without hyperactivity. There are commonly three types of ADHD: (1) Inattentive (easy distractibility), but not hyperactive or impulsive; (2) hyperactive-impulsive (both hyperactivity and impulsivity), but not inattentive; and (3) combined (inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity). Instead of using types of ADHD, some just describe a child’s symptoms.
It is important to understand that ADHD is still the diagnosis even if a child is not hyperactive or impulsive. Children who have a pronounced inability to pay attention can, and do, have ADHD and need to get help. A diagnosis of ADHD needs to be made by a trained clinician.