As an Attention and ADHD Coach I am often asked, “What is the difference between ADHD and ADD?”. And then to add to the confusion, what about AD/HD?
In short, there is not a difference because all of the acronyms refer to the diagnosis of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. For more details regarding why different acronyms are used, read on and check out the links below.
- The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-IV, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) is defines Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder using a list of criteria. For a full criteria list, you can go to this link on the CDC’s website: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/diagnosis.html.
- Since the official name is Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, the official acronym is AD/HD.
- ADHD is used by many people (including myself) because AD/HD can be cumbersome to read and type.
- The term ADD is an older term that was used before hyperactivity was included into the name. It is still used informally today to describe AD/HD when someone doesn’t have hyperactivity.
What acronym do you usually use? What questions do you have about the acronyms?