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ADD, or attention deficit disorder, is a condition where people cannot stay focused on a task or sit still. In 1994, the name of this disorder was changed to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. Today, both names are used interchangeably. Children who have this condition often act without thinking and have a difficult time finishing a project or activity.

What Is ADD?

ADHD stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Before this disorder was changed to its current name in 1994, the condition was known as attention deficit disorder, or ADD. However, today, ADD, ADHD, and AD/HD are all used interchangeably to mean the same condition. For this article, we will use ADD, ADHD, and AD/HD interchangeably.
In recent years, attention deficit disorder has been a subject of great public attention and concern. ADD is one of the most common psychiatric disorders that appears in childhood. Children with ADD can't stay focused on a task or sit still. They often act without thinking and can rarely finish anything.
If left untreated, attention deficit disorder can have long-term effects on a child's ability to make friends or do well at school or work. Over time, children with ADD may develop depression, poor self-esteem, and other emotional problems.
A child with ADD faces a difficult but not insurmountable task ahead. In order to achieve his or her full potential, he or she should receive help, guidance, and understanding from important figures such as parents, guidance counselors, and the public education system.

Warning Signs

Some of the warning signs of ADD and ADHD include:
  • Failure to listen to instructions
  • Inability to organize oneself and school work
  • Fidgeting with hands and feet
  • Talking too much
  • Leaving projects, chores, and homework unfinished
  • Having trouble paying attention to and responding to details.


(Click ADD Symptoms for a more detailed list of symptoms.)


Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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