Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can impact every area of a child or adult’s life, from friendships and family interaction to school, self-esteem and even personal safety.
Although children with ADHD are often bright and talented, impulsivity, irritability and distractibility frequently hinder their progress and performance. In time, behaviors such as fidgeting in class, forgetting assignments and being emotionally volatile can define a child, eclipsing other aptitudes and abilities.
A wide range of behaviors are associated with ADHD. Some of the more common ones include:
- having trouble focusing or concentrating on tasks
- being forgetful about completing tasks
- being easily distracted
- having difficulty sitting still
- interrupting people while they’re talking
If you or your child has ADHD, you may have some or all of these symptoms. The symptoms you have depend on the type of ADHD you have.
Types of ADHD
To make ADHD diagnoses more consistent the condition has been grouped into three categories, or types. These types are “predominantly inattentive”, “predominantly hyperactivity-impulsive”, and a “combination of both”.
As the name suggests, people with this type of ADHD have extreme difficulty focusing, finishing tasks, and following instructions. Experts also think that many children with the inattentive type of ADHD may not receive a proper diagnosis because they don’t tend to disrupt the classroom. This type is most common among girls with ADHD.
Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type
People with this type of ADHD show primarily hyperactive and impulsive behavior. This can include fidgeting, interrupting people while they’re talking, and not being able to wait their turn. Although inattention is less of a concern with this type of ADHD, people with predominantly hyperactive-impulsive ADHD may still find it difficult to focus on tasks.
Combined hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive type
This is the most common type of ADHD. People with this combined type of ADHD display both inattentive and hyperactive symptoms. These include an inability to pay attention, a tendency toward impulsiveness, and above-normal levels of activity and energy. The type of ADHD you or your child has will determine how it’s treated. The type you have can change over time, so your treatment may change, too.