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Differences between ADHD and DAMP

Abstract: DAMP and ADHD are related diagnoses. The main difference is that DAMP also includes deficits in perception and motor control.

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Differences between ADHD and DAMP

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Written by: Martin Winkler
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 12 Mar 2013.

What is the difference between ADHD and DAMP? What are the core symptoms of DAMP?


DAMP = Deficits in Attention, Motor Control and Perception is a descriptive diagnosis which is commonly used in Scandinavian countries. It was introduced by the Swedish professor Gillberg in the 80's.

The core symptoms of attention deficits and impulsive symptoms are common to both descriptions. The main difference is that DAMP also includes deficits in Perception and Motor control.

A doctor can find characteristic signs of DAMP:

  • coordination deficits
  • deficits in handwriting and other precise motoric functions
  • deficits in sensory perception

Sometimes also "soft signs" are present. These are minor neurological changes that cannot be explained by a severe neurological disorder. This might include differences of sensory perception in distinct areas of the body (or between the right and the left part of the body).

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