ADD vs ADHD

kids listeningIn the DSM-IV TR which is the diagnostic manual there is no diagnosis listed for ADD. What are in the manual are the diagnoses of ADHD, Predominately Hyperactive; ADHD, Predominately Inattentive; and ADHD, Combined Type. What people call ADD is listed in the manual as ADHD Predominately Inattentive.

Often parents and individuals do not think that they qualify for the diagnosis of ADHD because they are not hyperactive yet they are still struggling. The diagnosis of ADHD-Inattentive Type has a different set of symptoms that are related to inattention that have persisted and that are problematic for the individual. The diagnostic criteria in the DSV-IV TR for inattention are as follows:

  • Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities
  • Often have difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities
  • Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
  • Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions)
  • Often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities
  • Often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort (such as schoolwork or homework)
  • Often loses things necessary for tasks or activities (e.g. toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools)
  • Is often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli
  • If often forgetful in daily activities