Types of ADHD

Condition Types

ADHD is one of the most widespread neuro-developmental disorders faced by children. In most cases it is initially diagnosed in childhood but can still be a problem all the way into adulthood. In certain cases ADHD is easy to diagnose, the subject will display classic symptoms such as constant fidgeting and inability to pay attention or finish tasks, but in other cases a diagnosis can be much more difficult to achieve. ADHD can have symptoms that mirror other conditions or that are more subtle and as a consequence harder to distinguish.

There are three different types of ADHD:

  • Predominantly inattentive type
  • Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type
  • Combination type

The symptoms that a person experiences the most of tell us what form of ADHD they have. These symptoms also need to impact the individual’s day to day life and significantly affect their daily functioning in order to be considered a diagnosed case of ADHD.

Symptoms fall into three broad categories:

  • Inattention- lack of concentration and easily distracted.
  • Impulsivity- tendency to interrupt and to constantly engage in risky activity.
  • Hyperactivity- fidgeting, unable to slow down and rest, constantly talking and problems sticking to a task.

No two people are alike so nobody is likely to experience these symptoms in exactly the same way. As a guide the three types of ADHD are outlined below.

Predominantly Inattentive Type

Statistically more girls seem to suffer from this form of ADHD. They will become bored very quickly and have problems focusing on a single task and organizing thoughts and learning new information. A person with this type will not seem to listen and move slowly and look as if they are daydreaming much of the time.

Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive

Someone suffering from this type of ADHD is characterized by the symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsiveness. They may also show signs of inattention but this is not as strong as their impulsive and hyperactive symptoms. What to watch out for is a tendency to fidget and squirm around and inability to sit still for any length of time. They will tend to talk incessantly. They also have a habit of picking up and playing with objects often at times that are inappropriate to whatever task they are working on. They are impatient and have problems doing any activity that is quiet. They will make inappropriate comments and blurt out answers and often interrupt conversations. This makes a child with this condition very disruptive to the learning activities of other students.

Combination Type

As the name suggest this form of ADHD is a combination of the previous two types. This is also the most common type among children. It is diagnosed if the person has six symptoms from predominantly inattentive and predominantly hyperactive.


Although ADHD is a challenge that will last for the person’s lifetime it can be managed by medication and modification to behavior. It’s important to understand that if you have this condition that you are just as intelligent, motivated and inquisitive about the world as others.

Last Updated: April 18, 2018