It is universally accepted that Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is a genetic, biochemical disorder caused by deficits in two specific neurotransmitters that are believed to be responsible for facilitating attention within the brain and are known to run in families.

Unfortunately, gaining consensus among healthcare professionals on the exact criteria for ADD and the most appropriate methodology to diagnose it is difficult.

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Defining ADD

ADD is a mental health disorder characterized by difficulty focusing, hyperactivity, impulsiveness, and other related behaviors. Historically, this disorder has been defined as a collection of behavioral symptoms that interfere with an individual’s ability to stay focused or manage their attention span. It can affect children and adults alike, but the symptoms may manifest differently based on age.

Since 2013, the term ADD has been no longer included in the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). ADD is generally now diagnosed as inattentive type ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). As ADD was previously in use for a long time, we will continue to use the term ADD throughout this article.

Both adults and children struggle with procrastination and avoidance, but these symptoms are especially prominent in children. Problems like not completing or turning in homework assignments are common for kids due to their difficulty with time management, distractibility, and stress. Adults suffer from the same issues, anxiety, fatigue, and difficulties in task completion. Hyperactivity and overactivity may also factor in why procrastination and avoidance occur among both adults and children. Managing such symptoms can be difficult as they stem from different sources, depending on the person’s age.

Diagnosing ADD

Various assessments may be used to determine whether an individual has ADD. These include clinical interviews, questionnaires completed by parents or teachers, and psychometric tests designed to measure attention span and impulsivity levels. In addition, medical testing may also be performed, such as EEGs (electroencephalograms) or MRI scans which allow doctors to see if any structural changes have occurred in the brain or if any chemical abnormalities exist.

The difficulty faced by healthcare professionals when diagnosing Attention Deficit Disorder stems from trying to accurately identify those affected who meet all criteria for diagnosis without overlooking those who show only some symptoms but who could benefit from support or intervention. Physicians use their judgment along with evidence-based assessment tools when making a diagnosis of ADD.

Studies suggest that Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is commonly misdiagnosed and confused with the symptoms of other undiagnosed disorders. This has created an expansive population that is difficult to treat effectively.

Neuropsychological tests to identify ADD have been found to correspond with self-reported attention issues, and if discrepancies arise, it could be due to another underlying disorder. For example, sleep disturbances, cardiovascular problems, or acquired attention problems brought about by trauma or damage to the brain. ADD can be confirmed through a re-evaluation of individuals displaying the disorder.

Key Symptoms of ADD

Key symptoms associated with ADD include distractibility, inattention, daydreaming, and an inability to finish tasks. Children may be more prone to avoidance behaviors and procrastination and often have trouble completing or handing in homework assignments. Adults tend to exhibit anxiety, time management issues, difficulty completing tasks, distractibility, fatigue, and stress. Hyperactivity, overactivity, and impulsivity are not associated with “Real ADD”.

Children with ADD tend to present with symptoms of distractibility, inattention, daydreaming and failing to finish tasks. These issues often manifest in homework assignments that are not completed or handed in on time. Adults show signs of anxiety, difficulty managing time, trouble completing tasks, distractibility, fatigue, and stress. It is important to note that hyperactivity, impulsivity, and overactivity are not core features of this condition.

People who suffer from ADD often face difficulties in language and emotions. Reading can lead to difficulty comprehending directions or multiple-choice answers, leading to further frustration in school; this lack of enjoyment makes it hard to stay motivated and passionate about college and academics. As a result, avoidance and procrastination can become deeply ingrained in one’s life, along with anxiety and depression, as people close to them grow angry and unhappy. This can lead to an overall feeling of low self-worth and lacking confidence in the ability to be successful.

These struggles not only take an emotional toll on those affected by ADD but can also severely impact their academic performance. The inability to understand written directions or complete assignments quickly leads to more avoidance and usually culminates in a lack of interest in furthering education after high school. Comprehending written material is essential for successful task completion, yet this fundamental skill can elude those struggling with ADD. Not only that, time management becomes increasingly difficult when someone cannot plan out tasks effectively due to their reading problems, thus creating a vicious cycle of lower grades, less enthusiasm for school, more excellent procrastination, and ultimately less success overall.

Medication is often prescribed to help manage attention deficit disorder (ADD). However, it can do little to address the language and emotional struggles that accompany this condition. Among these are reading difficulties, a dislike of reading, and comprehension challenges, all of which cannot be effectively treated by medication. As the initial effect of the medication wears off, dosages may have to be increased, creating further complications due to potential side effects. Without proper testing or understanding what positive results should look like (beyond increased focus or attention), it becomes difficult to know whether the medication has any lasting benefit. The medication does nothing to address avoidance behaviors, procrastination, and literacy issues.

Cognitive Training For ADD

The primary symptoms of ADD include distractibility, inattention, daydreaming, failure to finish tasks, avoidance, and procrastination. When looking at children vs. adults, there are also differences between them regarding specific symptoms such as hyperactivity, overactivity, anxiety, time management problems, and fatigue. The research also pointed out that further studies need to be done to determine an effective way to diagnose this disorder accurately so those affected can receive proper treatment for their condition.

It is far more beneficial to identify ADD symptoms early rather than waiting until the affected individual has developed anxiety and a strong aversion to school-related activities or reading-related tasks. A diagnosis of ADD does not always involve medication; cognitive training programs are often much more effective. Many parents are now turning to cognitive training as their first option instead of immediately medicating their child. This eliminates the need for daily medicine doses and removes the stigma associated with having an ADHD label. With this approach, individuals can focus on treating the root cause without worrying about a negative label.

Cognitive training has revolutionized how Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is viewed and treated. Rather than being a condition that requires pharmaceutical intervention, it can now be seen as a set of issues that can be addressed through learning new skills and strategies. With proper diagnosis, individuals are better equipped to manage their ADD symptoms to lead successful lives. Cognitive training offers an alternative approach to helping those with ADD improve their capacity for focus, memory, and organization.

The goals of cognitive training include increasing self-awareness of your behavior, recognizing triggers for ADHD symptoms, developing techniques for better concentration, and reducing stress and anxiety associated with the disorder. This kind of therapy provides the necessary tools for individuals to change their lives to reach their full potential. Additionally, it helps individuals become more independent and self-reliant by teaching them how to recognize and control problem behaviors associated with ADD.

Cognitive training promotes personal growth by encouraging healthy habits such as goal setting, increased communication skills, problem-solving abilities, and improved time management. As a result of cognitive training, individuals can gain greater control over their behavior; they no longer feel that ADD is a detriment to their success but rather an opportunity to thrive.


Attention Deficit Disorder is a disorder that can manifest itself in different ways, from children to adults. As such, it is sometimes misdiagnosed, and many of its more severe effects go unnoticed because early symptoms may seem quite manageable.

At its core, ADD shares common symptoms: difficulty with distraction and procrastination, lack of focus, daydreaming, and an inability to finish tasks. For this reason, it is essential to consider both sides of these symptoms when assessing any individual – on the one hand, people who suffer from ADD may fixate on certain activities while simultaneously having difficulties with language and emotion.

On the other hand, they often experience anxiety, fatigue, and even stress as adults due to their lack of time management skills or ability to complete tasks. The most suitable approach for those living with ADD should involve cognitive training that improves mental functioning without resorting to medication or drugs, which tend to cause severe side effects.