The difference between ADD and ADHD

Watch Video: The difference between ADD and ADHD by Allison Kawa, PsyD, ...
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The difference between ADD and ADHD

Many parents are confused about the differences between ADD and ADHD. ADHD is the official label or diagnosis. There are three subtypes of ADHD. There's the primarily inattentive type. That's the child who daydreams, who can't focus, who can't pay attention. There's the hyperactive or impulsive type. That's the child who can't sit still. They are very figety, they are impulsive. They blurt things out, they touch things. Then there is the combined type which is both the inattention and the hyperactivity. What the research is showing is that the diagnosis is stable throughout the course of the lifetime, but the subtype changes. What that means is that if you were to evaluate someone at the age of 5, 15, and 25; you would find they meet the criteria for ADHD at all three points in time, however, they might be assigned a different subtype. Typically, we see symptoms of hyperactivity in younger children, and they tend to dissipate and it becomes primarily inattentive by the time the child reaches adolescence or adulthood.

Watch Video: The difference between ADD and ADHD by Allison Kawa, PsyD, ...


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Allison Kawa, PsyD

Child Psychologist

Alison Kawa is a licensed child psychologist specializing in the evaluation of children and adolescents.  Her pre- and post-doctoral training emphasized child and adolescent testing.  She was a fellow in the UCLA Autism Evaluation Clinic where she acquired extensive training in the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders and a range of other developmental disorders.  During this time, she also obtained certification from the University of Michigan Autism and Communication Disorders Center (UMACC) on the gold standard instruments (i.e., ADI-R and ADOS) used in autism evaluations.  Following her fellowship, she became Senior Assessor at UCLA where she worked for four years.

Alison completed the PsychoEducational Diagnostic Services Program (PEDS) Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Pediatric Assessment at the Reiss Davis Child Study Center at Vista Del Mar.  In this setting, she conducted comprehensive psychoeducational evaluations for children and adolescents with a diverse range of issues including ADHD, Learning Disabilities, mood disorders, and anxiety disorders.  She also completed the Child Therapy in a School Setting program offered by Phillips Graduate Institute, where she gained training and experience in play therapy, social skills groups, and therapeutic interventions appropriate for adolescents. 

While completing her graduate training in psychology, she held a staff position at Working With Autism, Inc., where she worked individually with children with autism, provided case management and supervision, and developed and implemented a staff-training curriculum.  It was through this position that she acquired a love for teaching and training. In addition to her private practice, she teaches pre- and post-doctoral fellows at the Reiss Davis Child Study Center at Vista Del Mar, where she also works as a supervisor and consultant.

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