Attention deficit disorder (ADD) is a form of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). There are three basic types of ADHD.
This form of ADHD is characterized by distraction, trouble focusing on a task, difficulty organizing thoughts, and losing items. Children with inattentive ADHD may seem to be daydreaming and may have trouble learning. It is more common in girls than boys. Inattentive ADHD was once known as ADD, but ADD has become an outdated term.
The predominant symptoms of this form of ADHD are restlessness, difficulty sitting still, constant talking, impatience, and trouble engaging in quiet time. Children with this form of ADHD are disruptive in the classroom. It affects boys more than girls.
People with combination-type ADHD have symptoms of both inattention and hyperactivity-impulsiveness. This is the most common form of ADHD.
ADHD usually appears before the age of 7, which is the average age of diagnosis. It is a pervasive condition, disrupting life at home and a school. To qualify for a diagnosis of ADHD, at least six of the nine major symptoms must be present. A qualified psychiatrist or psychologist must diagnose ADHD because it shares symptoms with other disorders.
ADHD can and does change over time. An adult diagnosed with one form of ADHD as a child may exhibit a different form as an adult. Approximately 40% of children diagnosed with ADHD outgrow it by their mid-20s and no longer display symptoms. But ADHD can remain a lifelong problem for some people, which is why qualified medical diagnosis is important.