How Is ADD Different from ADHD and Why Should I Care?

How Is ADD Different from ADHD and Why Should I Care

At age 8, Sara was kind of spacey. She ignored other kids and was generally preoccupied with her own world. Homework that should have taken 10 minutes took her three to four hours to complete. And when she turned it in, it often came back with a lot of red marks indicating careless mistakes. Her teacher said Sara seemed like a smart child but added that she was definitely underperforming at school. Her mind wandered and the teacher often had to remind Sara to pay attention.

When a healthcare professional suggested Sara might have ADHD, Sara’s parents didn’t believe it. They thought ADHD kids were loud, impulsive, and bouncing off the walls all the time. After all, the “H” in ADHD stands for “hyperactive.” That didn’t describe Sara at all. They didn’t want to start treatment on their daughter until they had a more complete evaluation, so they had Sara get a brain scan using SPECT brain imaging technology.

The scans showed that Sara had an “inattentive” type of the disorder. This is actually a common type of the condition—especially in girls and women—but it is often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed as a learning disability.

Is it ADD or ADHD?

Did Sara have ADHD or ADD? ADHD is simply the official medical term for the disorder. However, despite that term, it’s important to remember that many people with the condition do not suffer from hyperactivity. As you saw with Sara, there isn’t just one type of this condition. In fact, brain imaging shows that there are 7 types of ADD/ADHD:

Type 1: Classic ADD/ADHD

Type 2: Inattentive ADD/ADHD

Type 3: Overfocused ADD/ADHD

Type 4: Temporal Lobe ADD/ADHD

Type 5: Limbic ADD/ADHD

Type 6: Ring of Fire ADD/ADHD

Type 7: Anxious ADD/ADHD

Knowing which type you or your child have is critical to getting the most effective treatment plan.

ADD Type 1: Classic ADD SPECT Scan


ADD Type 2: Inattentive ADD SPECT Scan


Symptoms of Inattentive ADD/ADHD

The symptoms of Inattentive ADD/ADHD can be very different from those of Classic ADD/ADHD or the other types of the condition. Children (or adults) who suffer from Inattentive ADD/ADHD:

  • Are easily distracted
  • Have difficulty paying attention
  • Have trouble listening
  • Have problems with follow-through
  • Are disorganized and messy
  • Are often late
  • Have a tendency to lose things
  • Make careless mistakes
  • Are forgetful
  • Are daydreamers
  • Are frequently bored
  • Appear unmotivated
  • Seem tired or sluggish
  • Seem spacey

Ways to Help Inattentive ADD/ADHD

When most people think about treating ADD/ADHD, they often assume stimulant medications are the only option. Although stimulants can be effective, it is wiser to take a broader brain-body approach to healing that involves lifestyle changes. For example, people with this type of the condition tend to do better with regular exercise, a high-protein low-carbohydrate diet, and targeted nutritional supplements.

That’s exactly what happened to 8-year-old Sara. Within the first week of starting her treatment program, her behavior and performance at school improved. Whenever Sara veered away from her new regimen, she became spacey, inattentive, and forgetful again.

If you or your child have symptoms of inattentive ADD/ADHD, it’s important to get a complete evaluation to make sure you’re getting the targeted solutions you need. At Amen Clinics, we have helped tens of thousands of people with all 7 types of ADD/ADHD overcome their symptoms, improve their behavior at home, and boost their performance at school or work.

For more information or to speak with a specialist, call 888-288-9834 or schedule a visit online.


  1. Do you provide family discounts? There are 4 of us and do you take HSA cards?

    Comment by Susan — May 24, 2019 @ 2:26 AM

  2. What supplements do you recommend for the innattentive ADD type?
    Thank you

    Comment by Dale Rasmussen — May 24, 2019 @ 3:59 AM

  3. I would love to know more about the supplements you recommend for ADHD/inattentive type. Also any dietary recommendations you have would be very appreciated. Thank you!

    Comment by Tami — May 24, 2019 @ 7:59 AM

  4. I have 3 grandchildren twin girls age 4 soon to be age 5 and an older sister soon to be age 6 birthdays all July 8th. Older sister has been diagnosed with Odd and ADHD. Twins diagnosed with ADHD. All very active! What can we do to help them without using medication! Very concerned for their well being!

    Comment by Brenda Wilkinson — May 24, 2019 @ 8:58 AM

  5. How much is a fmra?

    Comment by Pierette Blackburn — May 24, 2019 @ 3:32 PM

  6. What supplements do you recommend for an adult (age23) with inattentive ADHD? Thank you.

    Comment by Donna — May 24, 2019 @ 6:36 PM

  7. Our daughter and I went to the Amen clinic in Atlanta last month. The testing is very thorough and our treatment varied based on our specific results. The outcome for ADD & panic/anxiety disorder has been amazing so far! They take care credit which helps a lot. Would HIGHLY RECOMMEND going to anyone struggling with these issues, life changing!

    Comment by Trisha — May 25, 2019 @ 9:52 AM

  8. Thank you for sharing Trisha! We wish you the best on your journey to better brain health!

    Comment by Amen Clinics — May 29, 2019 @ 7:22 AM

  9. Wondering about supplements for ADD

    Comment by Carol Chernack — June 5, 2019 @ 4:13 AM

  10. Would like to invest in a good probiotic and omega 3

    Comment by Rachael Badillo — November 15, 2019 @ 6:17 AM

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