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WHAT’S UP WITH ADD AND ADHD?

ADD and ADHD appear to be common issues now. I tackle this with my grandson and many grandparents are dealing with this in the grandchildren they are raising.

WHAT”S THE DIFFERENCE?

First, there is a difference between ADD and ADHD.

ADD

It can be much harder to diagnose ADD. They have trouble focusing and appear to daydream a lot. He has trouble keeping up with things, makes careless mistakes, doesn’t respond when spoken to, is unorganized, and doesn’t like tasks that require him to focus for long periods of time. He may seem “slow”, as some people would put it.

While this is frustrating, is it just that they aren’t interested, or are they UNABLE to focus? Some caregivers think a child is not listening, but he is listening to everything. He just can’t filter things to decide what is important.

Since the signs are not as noticeable as those of ADHD, this real disorder is often overlooked. I would suggest that if you are raising a child who has continual problems focusing on anything you talk to a qualified professional. A pediatrician should be trained in recognizing the difference.

Parents or caregivers often think he is just not trying hard enough, and this creates more tension. Often, the harder he tries, the worse it gets.

Actually, the term “ADD” is outdated in the medical community. It is now considered a subcategory of ADHD known as “ADHD, Predominantly Inattentive type”. It is much easier for me to remember ADD!!

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ADHD

The child with ADHD is easier to recognize. He can’t seem to be still, talks “all the time”, squirms, and interrupts conversations. He also has the problems focusing that the child with ADD has.

It is a tough situation. First, most people my age grew up when spanking was the normal way to deal with misbehavior. That doesn’t always work with children who have ADHD.

ADHD children usually want to behave, but it is a much harder struggle for them than children without ADHD.

Why? Research shows that ADHD is a legitimate neurological disorder.

The brain is different. The part of the brain responsible for problem solving (the frontal cortex) is not as active because of decreased blood flow and lower levels of dopamine and nor-epinephrine,

This makes it hard for people with ADHD to understand why they do what they do and recognize the possible consequences for their actions.

I know this sounds like an excuse too some people. Until my grandson got old enough for us to realize that he had a problem, I had doubts about whether ADHD was just undisciplined behavior.

Since ADD is harder to recognize and diagnose and since I deal with ADHD on a daily basis with my grandson, I will try to offer what I have learned in my next posts. For now, I hope I have offered some useful observations on this subject.

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