2601 E. Main Street Ventura, CA 93003
Phone: (805) 643-7500 | Fax: (805) 643-7510

The Difference Between ADD And ADHD

Get the facts about ADD and ADHD.

Many people think that attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are the same thing. Some people even mix the two up, but they are a bit different. Whether you have a child with ADHD or you are simply curious to learn more about ADD and ADHD, our Ventura, CA, pediatricians are always here to answer any of your questions at Surfside Pediatrics.

What is the main difference between ADD and ADHD?

ADD refers to a single type of ADHD, mostly the inattentive type. Of course, ADD is an outdated term and is no longer considered a diagnosis. Now it’s simply that children and teens are diagnosed with ADHD; however, ADD may be used to refer to a specific inattentive type of ADHD known as Predominantly Inattentive Type ADHD. ADHD also includes the Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type ADHD and Combined Type ADHD.

What are the symptom differences between the two?

When referring to ADD, this misses the hyperactivity aspect that is a common symptom of ADHD; however, kids do not need to have all three main symptoms—inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsivity— for our Ventura, CA, pediatricians to diagnose a child or teen with ADHD. Let’s break down these three main symptoms of ADD and ADHD a bit further.


A child who is inattentive due to ADHD is easily distracted. They may misplace items regularly or make careless mistakes on their homework. They may jump from one task to another never completing one before starting something new. They may also have trouble following instructions and may be called “daydreamers”.


A child with impulsivity due to ADHD will have trouble waiting their turn. They may cut in line or blurt out answers to questions before they are called on. They may also interrupt conversations frequently.


A child with Predominantly Hyperactive Type ADHD will often look like they have a ton of energy. They seem like they are “bouncing off the walls”, having trouble playing quietly or sitting still. They may squirm around in their seat or have to get up often.

If you are concerned about ADD or ADHD and your child, our Ventura, CA, pediatricians here at Surfside Pediatrics would be happy to sit down with you to discuss your concerns. To schedule an evaluation, call us at (805) 643-7500. We also offer telemedicine visits!

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