Differentiating APD from ADHD

Everything is new to a child. There are so many firsts he will encounter and be amazed at. He will try and learn what makes something tick and how to make it behave like that again. Their brains, like their bodies are operating at gazillion miles an hour. No wonder it is so hard to get their attention. Or maintain them. A normal five year old has about 10-15 minutes attention span for an activity that interest them any younger than that you can’t even quantify.

A lot of adults will point out inattentiveness of a child. This can both be good or bad news. Good because parents can be aware and be more vigilant. Eventually they may do more tests to actually learn what might be wrong with the child. Bad because in the hands of too enthusiastic adults, they may wrongly diagnose the child. Some are quick to say what it could be but there are ways of differentiating APD from ADHD

A child with Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder has enormous difficulty to pay attention and control their behaviour. The three primary characteristics of ADHD are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. They may show strong signs of one and moderately of the other two but they are there. They are not all the bouncy, disruptive kids. Sometimes they are inattentive, but neither impulsive or hyperactive. At around five or six, school age mostly, children with ADHD are easier to spot as their hyperactivity and inattentiveness becomes more conspicuous.


Coincidentally, this is the age when children with Central Auditory Processing Disorder also gets to be diagnosed. They share the same inattentiveness symptoms with ADHD but here it is more that there is a delay in the processing of the audio commands. Their ears and brain do not fully coordinate  or what the child hears and how he interprets them. Children with this disorder have a tendency to be easily distracted as the sounds they hear are different to how we hear them. They are also unable to distinguish between similar sounds or homophones. Generally, when the cause of the inattentiveness is somehow sound related then it could be APD. To be very certain, consult a certified audiologist. If diagnosed, we suggest another testing be done after a few years, just to be absolutely sure.