What Are the
Three Major Types of ADHD and The Symptoms of Each Type?
Symptoms of ADHD are generally present before the age of 12. The criteria outlined in the DSM-5 state that a child must exhibit at least six symptoms of a given type to qualify for a diagnosis, and a 17 or older person must display at least five signs. The presentation of ADHD can change as a person gets older, and it is possible to show one type in childhood and a different type as an adult.
The three types are:
Predominantly Inattentive Type
- Makes careless mistakes and lacks attention to details
- Attention wanders easily, often appears not to be listening
- Struggles to sustain attention on a given task
- Exhibits difficulties with organization
- Often loses items
- Avoids tasks that require sustained attention
- Easily distracted by external stimuli
- Fails to follow directions, especially when given multiple steps at once
Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type
- Has difficulty remaining seated and sitting still
- Runs or climbs excessively (children); very restless (adults)
- Struggles to stay quiet when expected to do so
- Acts as if or feels as if driven by a motor
- Very talkative
- Blurts out answers and interrupts when others are talking
- Difficulty taking turns
This diagnosis is appropriate when a person exhibits a combination of symptoms from both types.
How is ADHD
Diagnosed in Children?
There is no single diagnostic test for ADHD. A comprehensive evaluation focused on a person's academic, social, and emotional functioning is necessary to determine whether ADHD is the most appropriate diagnosis. A developmental history, physical examination, and behavioral checklists are standard components of an evaluation for ADHD. Other conditions, including anxiety and depression, can present with similar symptoms or co-exist with ADHD, so it is essential to include trained professionals in the diagnostic process. Computerized testing (CPT) is also available to measure attention span and impulse control for age and gender.
How is ADHD
Treated in Children?
Successful ADHD treatment for children often involves a combination of medication, counseling, and behavioral therapy. Training for parents can also be a part of a treatment plan, especially for younger children. Stimulant medications are commonly prescribed for ADHD. However, there are also non-stimulant options.