Types and Signs of ADHD
Jake tries harder than everyone else in his class, but he keeps falling short. He makes the silliest mistakes, he forgets his homework, he daydreams in class, and he only finishes half of the exam before the timer buzzes. His teacher calls a conference with his parents, “I’ve seen this before, and I don’t think it’s because he’s not trying …” his teacher begins to explain.
“Beth, sit still,” her mother says. “I don’t get it, you said you wanted me to get you this movie, and now you’re not even watching it!” Beth tries to explain, “I want to watch it, I just can’t sit still for two hours for anything!”
ADHD is generally a lifetime disorder. Between 30 and 50 percent of individuals diagnosed with ADHD in childhood continuing to have symptoms into adulthood.
Adolescents and adults with ADHD tend to develop methods of coping to deal with any impairments of normal functioning caused by ADHD. However, many aspects of daily life can by more difficult for one with ADHD.
ADHD is one of the most common childhood disorders. The American Psychiatric Association estimates that between 3 and 7 percent of children suffer from ADHD, and many other children who don’t actually qualify for the diagnosis still struggle with significant symptoms.
Kids with ADHD are chronically inattentive, hyperactive, or both—so much so that their daily lives are disrupted. They have trouble paying attention in class, doing their homework, finishing their chores, and adjusting their behavior to meet the demands of a situation. As a result, they struggle in their friendships, family relationships, and in school performance.
The inattentive type
Kids with ADHD have problems paying attention, especially with difficult learning tasks such as memorizing their multiplication tables, reading their assignments, or listening to their mom or dad’s lectures.
Other characteristics of inattentive kids include:
- Lack of organization
- Difficulty finishing tasks
- Lack of attention to detail
- Tendency to get distracted
- Withdrawn or shy behavior
- Difficulty with social conversations
The hyperactive-impulsive type
Kids with ADHD are not necessarily more active than their peers on the playground. But when they come in from recess, they have trouble calming down. They can’t sit still, and they disrupt the rest of their classmates with their loud voices and boisterous activity.
They also have difficulty delaying gratification. Renowned ADHD expert Russel Barkely describes these kids as being “creatures of the moment.” They will spend all their allowance each week rather than save up for something nice.
Hyperactive-impulsive kids also display:
- Frequent fidgeting
- Difficulty sitting or standing still
- Overactivity (running, jumping, climbing)
- Aggressive behavior
- Inappropriate social behavior (such as grabbing things and speaking out of turn)
Although ADHD begins in childhood, often it is not diagnosed until a person is a person, and occasionally ADHD can go undiagnosed until a person reaches adulthood. Because ADHD is a broad category that manifests in different ways (i.e., attention, activity, and impulsivity), ADHD can people in contrasting ways.
Some of the signs of ADHD include:
- Difficulty paying attention
- Difficulty staying focused on a task or activity
- Difficulty finishing assignments at school or home
- Jumping from one activity to another
- Difficulty focusing on instructions
- Loses or forgets things such as homework
- Becoming easily distracted, even with recreational activities
- Difficulty paying close attention to details
- Making careless or simple mistakes
- Difficulty organizing tasks and activities
- Difficulty waiting one’s turn
- Interrupting or intruding on other people
- Blurting out answers before questions have been completed
- Fidgeting with hands or feet or squirms about when seated
- Difficulty engaging in activities quietly