ADD and ADHD – What Do They Mean?

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We hear the words ADD and ADHD a lot. You or your child may have been diagnosed with one. Still others are sometimes told “you’re ADD/ADHD” either in jest or as a subtle suggestion.

Let’s look at what these labels mean, how you may be able to recognize the characteristics, and some mainstream treatments used by doctors, therapists, and schools.

ADD is Attention Deficit Disorder while ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. These are easier to understand when we consider the various subtypes that make them up.

The first is inattentive, traditionally called ADD. Then, the hyperactive impulse is referred to as ADHD. Some individuals have both types.

Everyone is different with their own personality, intelligences, and disabilities. Symptoms of ADD and ADHD vary widely. They can range from a child who is full of energy that he is bouncing off the walls to a girl who is quiet yet unfocused and finally to an adult who is terribly disorganized.

Think for a moment and you can probably visualize people you know who have one of more of these traits. You may have even experienced these symptoms yourself.

These conditions have been known for more than 100 years. Today the Centers for Disease Control say a little over 1 in 10 children and teens in the US have been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD.

While we all have moments when our minds won’t focus or we aren’t paying attention, people with ADD or ADHD have greater difficulty more often. A student with either may not pay attention in class and make a lot of careless mistakes. Even when the teacher speaks to him, he may appear to not be listening or retain much information. 

Others have difficulty organizing tasks and may not want to do anything that takes a lot of thinking. They are easily distracted and often forgetful.

Doctors, therapists, and schools use a range of medications and different teaching styles to reach young people. Adults can often use therapeutic strategies to lessen the effects.

Please contact our office to inquire about getting help with ADD/ADHD. 


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