3 Types of ADHD Seen in Children

3 Types of ADHD Seen in Children

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that occurs in early childhood through adulthood. The term neurodevelopmental refers to a disorder of the brain that is related to challenges with learning, emotion regulation, self-regulation, and memory and develops over time as the individual grows. ADHD also has strong biological contributions with known heredity/genetics that make the largest contribution to the expression of the disorder. Where heredity does not appear to contribute to the diagnosis, issues that occur during pregnancy, prenatal exposure, low birth weight, high lead levels, prematurity and injury to the prefrontal regions of the brain have been found to contribute to being at risk for all types of ADHD. Rates of all types of ADHD include 3-7% of children and 2-5% of adults, with gender ratios at 3:1 M:F.

Furthermore, researchers identify three well researched type of ADHD. Moreover, as early as three years of age, children may exhibit detectable signs. As early as three years of age, psychologists can detect these symptoms.  Challenges associated with most types of ADHD include delaying gratification, sustaining attention, behavioral inhibition, impulse control, concentrating on rote/boring tasks, difficulty with organization.

Below are described these three types of ADHD and their associated challenges:

1. ADHD, Predominantly Inattentive Type of ADHD (aka ADD):

  • Associated with more daydreaming, sluggishness, passiveness, trouble with staying focused or selective attention (attending to one piece of more important information versus the other)
  • Slow processing, mental fogginess and confusion
  • Being socially quiet or apprehensiveness, hypo-activity
  • Inconsistent memory retrieval

2. ADHD, Predominantly Hyperactive/Impulsive Presentation:

    • Difficulties primarily with impulsive and hyperactive behavior
    • Often fidgeting and tapping hands or feet or squirming in seat
    • Leaves her place when it’s not time to do so
    • Cannot engage in leisure activities quietly
    • Talks excessively, interrupts others and/or blurts out answers
    • Has difficulty waiting his/her turn
    • Acts “on the go” as though driven by a motor and/or runs about

3. ADHD, Combined Presentation:

  • Both symptoms from the Inattentive and Hyperactive/Impulsive Presentation
  • The majority of ADHD diagnosis are combined presentation
  • And research suggests children with this diagnosis are likely to develop their hyperactive and/or impulsive symptoms first (during the preschool years) and then eventually progress to developing the difficulties associated with attention and persistence within a few years of entering school and are then diagnosed as having the Combined Type.Identifying the correct type of ADHD is important. Therefore, comprehensive evaluations and testing are the first step in recognizing your child’s needs.  An accurate understanding of the type of ADHD is relevant as it can guide therapy interventions and ways in which your child or teen can be supported in school and home life.

Additionally, for more information on 3 Types of ADHD Seen in Children and other ADHD related questions, contact us today to schedule your free phone consultation. And our psychologists can support you in taking the right step in the correct direction. We serve families in San Diego North County, including Carlsbad, Encinitas, Rancho Santa Fe, Escondido and surrounding cities.

About Susan Gehrig, PhD

Susan Gehrig, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and founder of Paradox Psychological Services located in Carlsbad. She has a passion for supporting the wellbeing of children and teens. Her expertise is in child mindfulness and self-compassion, cognitive behavioral therapy, and child development. Dr. Gehrig provides psychoeducational testing and therapy services to help build a plan for success. Paradox provides services for families of San Diego North County and greater areas.

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