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When we talk about ADD and ADHD in children, are we talking about the same thing, or are they two different disorders? According to the diagnostic manuals, (DSM and ICD, in which a classification of the different disorders is collected) ADD and ADHD belong to the same category, but with different manifestations or implications.
We are going to see in detail all the similarities and differences that exist between ADD and ADHD in children.
ADD, (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) are therefore two variants of the same disorder ADHD, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Within ADHD there are 3 subtypes:
- Predominant Inatento.
- Predominant impulsive.
The main difference between ADD and ADHD in children is the presence or absence of impulsivity. Actually, the correct thing is to talk about ADHD, and identify the subtype, Inate, Impulsive or combined, but in recent years the name ADD or ADHD has been used, to refer and distinguish between children who present impulsivity and hyperactivity and those that don't.
This is the inattentive ADD child:
- Difficulties in focusing attention: failure to pay due attention to details, is easily distracted by external stimuli, inadvertently they make mistakes in school assignments, (do not pay attention) do not follow instructions and do not finish tasks schoolchildren.
- Does not seem to listen when spoken to directly (seems to be in their world).
- Has difficulty organizing tasks and activities, poor time management.
- He is disorganized and careless and loses things.
- You forget things, even the most routine, (you forget your backpack or books at school, you do not write on the agenda, etc)
- Slowness in motor tasks and execution of cognitive tasks.
This is the impulsive / hyperactive ADHD child:
- Hyperkinesia / Hyperactivity: gets up in situations where it is expected to remain seated, (in class for example); they can be noisy: they tend to fiddle or hit with their hands or feet or squirm in the seat and scamper or climb in inappropriate situations.
- Difficulties in sustained attention, (in motor and cognitive tasks).
- He talks excessively and when he speaks he can be disorganized in speech.
- Responds unexpectedly or before a question has been concluded, it is difficult for them to wait their turn, interrupts or intrudes in conversations with others.
- Act and then think. You have trouble planning your behavior and thinking about the consequences of what you do.
- They often seem rude and quarrelsome children, and the reason is that this impulsiveness leads them to act without thinking. They know the rules but sometimes they don't follow them, they don't realize it.
These characteristics are not exclusive to one or another type of disorder (with hyperactivity, without hyperactivity), nor do they all occur at the same time. But they serve as a guide for their differentiation.
Regardless of what we call it and the acronyms we use, let's see the characteristics of each of them.These are the common characteristics between ADD and ADHD in children.
- Both have a neurological origin.
- It is difficult for them to maintain attention (focus and / or maintenance of it).
- They find it difficult to follow routines and orders or guidelines continuously
In both cases, these children present or may present:
- Problems or difficulties in their learning, (reading and writing delay, school failure, problems with mathematics and calculation ...)
- Behavioral problems, (aggressiveness, withdrawal ...)
- Emotional problems, (anxiety, low self-esteem ...)
With these children, both impulsive and inattentive, an adequate and early detection, identification and assessment (medical and psychopedagogical) is essential to make the necessary educational decisions as well as carry out a comprehensive treatment of the child, which includes both training in specific skills (cognitive , social, reasoning, attentional ...) as the appropriate advice to parents and teachers.
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