We’ve all heard the terms ADD and ADHD – some of us may have even used the words to casually describe friends or family members. It’s easy to throw around the terms when you aren’t a 100% on what it means to have ADD or ADHD. We’ve created a chart to help clear up any misconceptions about the disorders.


What it means:

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder


Attention Deficit Disorder


What it is:

Is one of the most common neurobehavioral disorders of childhood. It is usually first diagnosed in childhood and often lasts into adulthood.

ADD is now considered to be a subtype of ADHD instead of its own diagnosis that includes all symptoms of ADHD except hyperactivity.


Children may have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors, or be overly active. While it is normal for children to sometimes have trouble focusing or behaving, about 50-60% of children with ADHD have these symptoms into adulthood.

Children may have trouble paying attention, controlling impulses, may be forgetful, and may make careless mistakes often. About 50-60% of children with ADD also have symptoms into adulthood.


Predominantly Inattentive Type: it's hard for the individual to organize or finish a task, pay attention to details, or follow instructions.

Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type: person fidgets and talks a lot. It is hard to sit still for a long time (i.e. for a meal or while doing homework).

Combined Type: Symptoms of the above two types are equally present in the person.

Unlike ADHD, ADD is not categorized by distinct types. 


Causes and risk factors for ADHD are unknown, but current research shows that genetics and chemical imbalances in the brain play an important role.

Causes are unknown but research has shown that it could be caused by genetics or chemical imbalances in the brain. 


In most cases, ADHD is best treated with a combination of medication and behavior therapy. No single treatment is the answer for every child.

ADD cannot be cured, but can be treated with medication, therapy, or a combination of both.


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- Kori Williams is a NYC freelance, who loves music, food, and photography. Her favorite cause is Human Rights.