Types of ADHD: Hyperactivity, Inattention, and Impulsivity
The three types of ADHD
Some people with ADHD have problems sitting still. Others with ADHD have trouble paying attention. A third group is those with who can’t sit still, have trouble paying attention and are impulsive. All of these people have ADHD. But, how can they all have the same condition when they act so differently?
All three types of people may have serious problems focusing and concentrating when they are not interested in a topic. That is why they are seen as having ADHD. However, these attention problems result in very different behaviors.
ADHD-Primarily Hyperactive and Impulsive (ADHD-HI)
People with the hyperactive type of ADHD are much easier to spot. They tend to always be in motion or talking. They often describe themselves as feeling “driven by a motor.” This makes it hard for these people to sit still and learn in school or function well at work. They often have problems with too much behavior in different places, like in a library or in a car.
ADHD-Primarily Inattentive (ADHD-I)
Those with the inattentive type of ADHD are often overlooked. They are quiet and do not have the same type of behavior problems. They are often in trouble for things like:
- Forgetting to do as they are told
- Not paying attention
- Losing work
- Missing deadlines
These people are often seen as daydreamers. Children with the inattentive type of ADHD sometimes feel disconnected from friends. They need to be taught the skills that are missing so that they may become successful. This is the most common form of ADHD in girls.
ADHD Combined Type
Some people with ADHD are inattentive, hyperactive, and impulsive. They are constantly moving, impetuous, and have trouble paying attention. This is the most common type of ADHD.
All three kinds of ADHD can be treated successfully with medication and behavior management. Contact your health care provider for more information.
- Bird, H. The diagnostic classification, epidemiology and cross-cultural validity of ADHD. In: Jensen, P.S., & Cooper, J.R. (2002). Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: State of the science, best practice. Kingston, NJ: Civic Research Institute.