Understanding the Different Types of ADHD in Children

a child with autism  using an adaptive communication  device
Discover the different types of ADHD and their characteristics. This comprehensive guide helps parents understand, manage, and seek effective treatment for ADHD in children. Learn about early interventions and how BHCS can help.
September 1, 2023

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting both children and adults worldwide. Often associated with hyperactivity, impulsiveness, and an inability to focus, ADHD is not a one-size-fits-all condition. Much like snowflakes, each case of ADHD is unique, manifesting in three distinct types, each with its own set of characteristics.

When Does ADHD Typically Start Showing Up in Kids?

Most of the time, ADHD symptoms start showing up when kids are between 3 and 6 years old. But it can be tough to tell if a child has ADHD because a lot of kids this age are naturally super active and can be impulsive. That's why it’s important to pay attention to your child’s behavior and see if you notice any patterns or if their behavior is different from other kids their age. And remember, it’s always okay to ask for help. If you’re worried about your child, you can talk to their doctor or a specialist.

The Importance of Early Intervention

Catching ADHD early can make a big difference. Early intervention can help your child learn skills to manage their symptoms and can make things easier for them at home and at school. It can also help them build their self-esteem and get along better with others.

ADHD, Inattentive Type:

You might have heard of this as ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). Kids with this type of ADHD find it really tough to pay attention, they forget things a lot, and get distracted easily. Imagine trying to watch a movie, but people are talking around you, someone is making popcorn, and your phone keeps buzzing. That’s what it can feel like for someone with Inattentive ADHD. 

Common signs include:

  • Making mistakes in schoolwork or other activities because they’re not paying attention.
  • Having trouble sticking with tasks or play activities.
  • Often switching from one uncompleted activity to another.

ADHD, Hyperactive-Impulsive Type:

This type is all about being super active and impulsive. Picture a race car speeding down the track with no brakes - that’s what it’s like for someone with Hyperactive-Impulsive ADHD. 

Common signs include:

  • Not being able to sit still, fidgeting with hands or feet, or squirming in their seat.
  • Talking a lot.
  • Having trouble waiting their turn.

ADHD, Combined Type:

This type has symptoms of both Inattentive and Hyperactive-Impulsive ADHD. Imagine trying to read a book while riding a roller coaster - that’s kind of what it’s like. Common signs include having six or more symptoms of inattention and six or more symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity.

Knowing about the different types of ADHD is important for helping manage it. Each type might need different treatments and support. If you think your child might have ADHD, it’s really important to get them checked by a professional. At Behavioral Health Consulting Services (BHCS), we offer personalized and caring support for kids with ADHD, Autism, and other behavioral challenges. Plus, we accept most major insurance plans in Connecticut. Get in touch with us to learn more about how we can help your loved ones.