Understanding the Different Types of ADHD

Understanding the Different Types of ADHD

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects millions of kids in the United States, interfering with their ability to succeed in school, in social settings, and even in family relationships. Fortunately, there are safe, effective ways to treat ADHD, beginning with an understanding of its symptoms.

The team at Nevada Pediatric Specialists uses a patient- and family-centered approach to ADHD treatment, reducing not only the symptoms, but also the frustration kids and their families often encounter. Knowing the three types of ADHD is critical for diagnosing the condition and managing it successfully. Here’s what our team wants you to know.

Three types of ADHD

ADHD has three general subtypes, determined by the symptoms that are most prevalent.

Inattentive type

These kids are often thought of as daydreamers, exhibiting difficulty paying attention or staying focused. Easily distracted, children with this ADHD type can have trouble with organization, forgetting homework, or leaving tasks unfinished. They also often have problems following instructions or paying attention to conversations.

Hyperactive-impulsive type

When most people think of ADHD, it’s the “H” they tend to focus on. That’s the hyperactive component, and it’s what makes kids with this type of ADHD so fidgety. Children with the hyperactive-impulsive type find it hard to sit still, and sometimes, it can seem like they’re constantly in motion.

These kids have a difficult time waiting to take their turn in class, during a game, or even in a conversation. They also struggle with listening to directions, may blurt out answers during class, or interrupt at inappropriate times. Impulsivity can also make them more prone to reckless behavior and accidents.

Combination type

Sometimes, kids exhibit roughly an equal amount of symptoms of both the inattentive type and the hyperactive-impulsive type. In that case, they’re considered to have the combined type of ADHD

Identifying which type your child has isn’t always as straightforward as you might think, which is why it’s important to schedule an office visit for an evaluation. 

Complicating things even more: The type of ADHD your child has now could change as your child gets older. Regular office visits ensure your child’s treatment stays on track with their needs.

Treating ADHD

No one knows what causes ADHD, but many researchers believe there’s a genetic component. ADHD isn’t anyone’s “fault,” nor is it caused by consuming too much sugar or by getting vaccines during childhood.

There’s no cure for ADHD and no test to confirm a diagnosis. Instead, a doctor diagnoses ADHD after ruling out other problems and by using in-depth interviews or detailed questionnaires

Once our team diagnoses your child, we work closely with you and your child to develop a treatment plan based on your child’s symptoms, lifestyle, school needs, and other factors. For most kids, that treatment includes a combination of medication, behavioral therapy, and lifestyle changes like eating a healthier diet and getting plenty of exercise and quality sleep.

Getting support is important, too — for your child and for you. In addition to local support groups, the advocacy group Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) has a website loaded with resources to help parents and other caregivers understand the unique challenges of ADHD and the struggles your child may be facing. 

Help for your child — and your family

ADHD comes with challenges for parents, family members, teachers, and, most of all, the child who suffers from its symptoms day after day. Early treatment can help your child succeed in school and other settings, giving them the confidence they need to become happy, healthy adults.

To learn how Nevada Pediatric Specialists can help your child manage their ADHD more successfully, call our offices in Henderson or Las Vegas, Nevada, or book an appointment online today.

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