There are three sub-types of ADHD:
- Predominantly Inattentive Type (ADHD-PI)
- Predominantly Hyperactive/Impulsive Type (ADHD – HI)
- Combined Type (ADHD-CT).
If I break these sub-types down further then I would say that these would be the Primary Indicators of ADHD:
Hyperactivity: Can’t stay seated – Talks excessively – Runs/climbs all the time – is constantly “on the go” and appears to be driven by a motor – fidgets and squirms – can’t work or play quietly. EVER.
Inattention: Doesn’t listen – no follow through – can’t organise him/herself – loses things – forgetful – difficulty sustaining attention
Impulsivity: Can’t wait turn – blurts out answers – intrudes – interrupts – says inappropriate things at the most inopportune times – acts with no regard for consequences and appears to struggle with the concept of cause and effect – cannot control the urge to ACT RIGHT NOW.
In essence, THIS is what it boils down to:
The kid with the ADHD-PI sub-type (usually referred to as ADD and not AD(H)D) usually experiences difficulty with tasks that require following instructions, maintain attention to detail and focusing. This kid doesn’t listen, can’t organise him/herself, is forgetful, loses things and can’t follow through. Can you imagine how these symptoms/characteristics can disrupt daily activity? Can you imagine what life must be like for this child in a classroom? THESE are often the “forgotten” kids because they tend to be quiet dreamers and usually don’t have behavioural issues – they are not hyperactive and so don’t draw any attention to themselves. Most of the time, girls fall into this category and remain undiagnosed. As adults, they often get diagnosed with Depression.
The child with the ADHD-HI sub-type usually displays hyperactive behaviour patterns. This is usually the kid who sticks out like a sore thumb. For example, this kid fidgets, and runs around all the time. This kid appears to be driven by a motor and simply can’t settle down. This is the kid who displays signs of impulsivity and who talks ALL THE TIME, this is the kid who is SUPER LOUD and doesn’t seem to be able to regulate his pitch when the situation calls for it, this is the child who blurts out answers in a classroom environment and interrupts conversation. This is the kid who LOVES to take physical risks - who will climb on the roof just to see if they really can fly like superman or maybe even run into the road. Just because.
The child with the ADHD-CT sub-type has an displays traits from both ADHD-PI and ADHD-HI sub-types. In other words, you are dealing with an ALL OF THE ABOVE situation.
Obviously it is important for professionals (and parents and teachers/caregivers) to distinguish between the sub-types so that you know EXACTLY what you are dealing with – knowing WHICH type you deal with would ultimately determine things like treatment/discipline etc.
Child1 has the combined-type ADHD. To be honest, the hyperactivity is not that big a deal to me because there are ways to channel it. I am finding that as he gets older, he is not as hyped up as he used to be. I’m not sure if it is because he’s getting older or if he has just learned with time to manage this part of himself. One thing we DO battle with is the fact that he is VERY LOUD. It doesn’t affect us but it can be a shock to other people so we have to work REALLY hard at it. I am confident that at some point it will all just click.
I’ve only touched on the very basic primary symptoms but there are also a number of secondary symptoms of related to ADD/ADHD. The main one is low self-worth and self esteem.
Kids (and adults) with ADD/ADHD essentially live in a world where people (teachers, parents, friends, family, colleagues) cannot understand them and they often experience rejection. In fact, I think that they may find it difficult to understand themselves at times and eventually they start to believe that they are worthless and can never do anything right etc. Can you imagine people finding fault with you ALL THE TIME? That is what many of them live with every single day.
I don’t think that I need to go into all the possibilities and all the things that can go wrong in a kids life if there is low self esteem – ESPECIALLY where there is a history of impulsivity.
I find that as we learn to manage Child1’s condition (i.e. getting him the therapies that he needs, making changes in our lives to accommodate him, finding the right school for him etc) our biggest challenge to date remains building up self-esteem and self-worth. Having said that, we will continue in our quest to make sure he understands that he is completely loved, worthy of all the good things in life and we will forever remind him that he is divine and wonderfully and fearfully made.
Goodness me, I didn’t realise how long this post was. Tomorrow’s one will be SUPER SHORT and a lot lighter. Promise.
In the meantime, please tell me if any of your friends/family have kids with ADD/ADHD and what kinds of interesting/weird/terrible things that you (as the person who doesn’t deal with this on a daily basis) have observed.
Also, feel free to ask me whatever you want to. If I can answer it then I will, if I can’t then I will google and provide you with a link. OK?