What Conditions Commonly Co-Exist With ADD?

Differential diagnosis is often difficult because many conditions tend to co-exist with ADD. This is particularly true when evaluating older children, adolescents and adults, as the longer ADD remains untreated, the higher the potential for developing additional problems.

The following are common co-existing problems:

Academic performance problems

  • Underachievement
  • Erratic or inconsistent academic performance
  • Learning disabilities

Emotional problems

  • Over-reaction to situations
  • Low frustration tolerance
  • Poor self-esteem

Social skills problems

  • May appear selfish or self-centered
  • Intrudes on others or too aggressive
  • Impulsively “blurts out” inappropriate comments to others
  • May not pay attention to social consequences of actions or speech
  • Immature play/social interests
  • Poor self-awareness

Conduct problems

  • Oppositional/defiant behavior
  • Temper tantrums/angry outbursts
  • Destructiveness
  • Verbal and physical aggression
  • Lying and stealing
  • Gets in trouble with the law
  • Substance abuse problems


  • Immature motor coordination
  • Greater incidence of enuresis
  • Increased sleep disturbances

What is ADD?
Classroom Modifications for ADD and ADHD
Counseling and Education for Children with ADD or ADHD
What Conditions Might Be Confused With ADD?
What Conditions Commonly Co-Exist With ADD?
How can you tell if a child is having trouble because of problems such as stress or family problems or if it’s really ADD?
How can you tell if a child with learning disabilities also has ADD?
National Resources for ADD and ADHD Information
Recommended Reading

Referring to this article:
“Attention Deficit Disorder: What is ADD?” was written by C. J. Newton, MA, Learning Specialist and published in the Find Counseling.com (formerly TherapistFinder.net) Mental Health Journal in July, 1997. Parts of the article were published at the ADD/LD Resource Center web site (www.add-ld.com), owned and operated by the Institute for ADD and Learning, in 1995. C. J. Newton was the co-founder of the Institute for ADD and Learning, along with Sandra Scheinbaum, Ph.D. That web site no longer exists.

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