ADHD Awareness Month: Types of ADHD

5 Oct by HPA/LiveWell Clinical Psychology

ADHD Awareness Month is celebrated every October, to bring increased attention, education, and access to services to the public. At HPA/LiveWell in Albany, New York, we join the efforts of ADHD Awareness Month to promote this very important cause and to identify the various types of ADHD.

What is ADHD?

ADHD, or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder is a very common neurodevelopmental condition, affecting approximately 11% of school-age children. Although children are the population most affected, some adults do suffer attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. ADHD affects the daily functioning and overall wellbeing of those who have it. Yet how a person is impacted depends on the subtype, as there are three different types of ADHD.

Types of ADHD

The three subtypes of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder include:

  • Predominantly Hyperactive/Impulsive type: the symptoms of this subtype primarily manifest through risk-taking behaviors, difficulty slowing down, and/or frequent movement and fidgeting.
  • Predominantly Inattentive type: this subtype presents with inattentive symptoms, meaning difficulty with concentration, easily distractible, and poor organizational skills
  • Combination ADHD: this subtype means symptoms do not fit into one specific subtype. Combination ADHD is the most common subtype, where individuals struggle some level of distractibility, restlessness, and sometimes, risky behaviors.

Causes of ADHD

The cause(s) of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder are widely misunderstood. This applies to all three types of ADHD. Also, unfortunately, there is not an identified test used to screen for, or assess the risk of developing ADHD. Nonetheless, research does indicate a neurobiological basis for ADHD, and scientists believe a combination of genes and environment can contribute to one’s possibility of developing ADHD.

Symptoms of ADHD

The general symptoms to look out for if you think your child may suffer from any of the types of ADHD are:

  • difficulty sustaining attention and concentration
  • easily distracted
  • inappropriate activity level for the child’s developmental stage
  • being impulsive

Because ADHD can present quite differently depending on the age of the individual and the sub type they suffer from, there is a wide range of possible symptoms.

Inattentive Symptoms

A child with symptoms of inattention may:

  • have difficulty paying attention to a task for more than a few minutes
  • appear to have trouble listening when spoken to
  • lose things often
  • be easily distracted
  • be forgetful

Hyperactive Impulsive Symptoms

A child with symptoms of hyperactivity may:

  • fidget often
  • have trouble staying seated
  • struggle with playing quietly
  • talk a lot

Treatment for ADHD

Although there is no cure for ADHD, with appropriate treatment your child’s attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder can be well managed. Thankfully, this applies to all three types of ADHD.  Treatment options include:

  • Behavior therapy – this is often for both the parents and the child with ADHD.
  • Medication – if behavior therapy alone is not effective in managing your child’s symptoms, medication may be suggested. Depending on the type of ADHD, either stimulant or non-stimulant medication may be prescribed.

If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, or you think he or she may be struggling with one of the three types of ADHD, contact HPA/LiveWell in Albany, NY at 1-518-218-1188 to find out more about treatment options and interventions.