Attention Deficit Disorders - ADD & ADHD

What is Attention Deficit Disorder?

Children with attention deficit disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) can be helped

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) are two of the most common neurological disorders diagnosed in children and teens.

ADD is characterized by the person's brain not being able to correctly regulate attention. This makes it hard to control impulses or complete a task that is perceived as routine or boring, while able to focus on a task found stimulating, such as a video game.

ADD is a developmental disorder that is present in up to 7.8 percent of children and about 4 percent of adults.

Can a Calm Child Have ADD?

If you look only for symptoms such as fidgeting, excessive running, jumping, climbing, or difficulty staying seated, you may miss a majority of ADD cases without hyperactivity. Only 25 percent of people show symptoms of hyperactivity (ADHD). Also, while impulse control - acting without thinking, answering questions before they are finished being asked, speaking out of turn, etc. - is a major factor often seen in ADD cases, it is not necessary for a diagnosis of ADD.

Not sure if your child has ADD or ADHD? View our complete ADD symptoms checklist to get a sense if your child may have ADD or ADHD. Even better, request an appointment with us at one of our offices, to see if our thorough and scientifically validated evaluation is the right first step for improving your child's academic performance. Read on if you'd like to find out more about ADD and ADHD, and how we treat it.

Is ADD in Children Real?

Selected Attention Disorder is a more appropriate name for this condition, since a person might have the ability to pay plenty of attention to things they find interesting, but lack the ability to motivate themselves to complete a task they consider boring.

For example, a child might have the ability to pay attention to playing the XBox for hours, yet be unable to complete two pages of homework. Another might be able to read an interesting novel cover to cover. This often causes confusion for the parents and caregivers, believing that their child is not trying hard enough, is lazy, spacey, or just does not pay attention.

It is understandable that a mother who sees her child playing XBox or other "fun" computer games believes that her child has plenty of attention and for some people to believe that ADD is nothing more than a discipline issue.

But ADD is a very real neurological condition, with very real brain behavior and brain wave patterns strongly correlating with the above symptoms. Learn more about ADD medical evidence here.

ADD / ADHD Diagnosis Techniques

Although scientific evidence shows that ADD / ADHD is based on neurological causes, symptoms are also strongly influenced by a wide range of other factors. That is why at the Attention and Achievement Center, we examine all related areas, including family and medical history, physical and emotional development, social skills and self esteem, prior and/or current environmental stressors, and sleep issues.

  • Wrong Diagnosis of ADD/ADHD. While it's important to correctly diagnose a child with an attention deficit disorder, it's equally important to not give a misdiagnosis of ADD to a child as well. There are other neurological disorders that can impair a child's ability to learn that on the surface appear to be ADD, but in fact require a different solution. Learn more about how we can evaluate your child to determine the correct diagnosis and solution.
  • Can Someone Bright Have ADD? Although people with ADD often score higher than average on IQ tests, they have a hard time staying on task, completing homework, keeping work areas organized, and paying attention to instructions. They also may have low tolerance levels and become bored easily.
  • Can a Focused Child Have ADD? Some people with ADD tend to be over­focused. As a result, they cannot shift from task to task. Plus, some people with ADD argue a lot (46 percent), have rapid mood swings (16 percent), and suffer from depression and anxiety (more than 60 percent).

Visit our ADD / ADHD FAQ section for further information.


For additional information, call
us at 925-837-1100 or 408-740-3100

Offices in San Ramon and Los Gatos


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