ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
Understanding ADHD Inattentive Type
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurobehavioral disorder most common in children. Neurobehavioral means there are both neurological and behavioral components to the disorder.
There are three types of ADHD: predominantly hyperactive-impulsive, predominantly inattentive, and combined. The predominantly inattentive type refers to a group of nine symptoms of inattention or distraction.
If you suffer from ADHD inattentive type, you most likely have a hard time with organization and paying attention.
Causes of ADHD
The causes of ADHD are not completely known. However, studies published in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology show a genetic link. Potential causes of ADHD include:
- exposure to drugs
- nicotine products
- alcohol consumption during pregnancy
- low birth weight
- premature birth
Brain injury and exposure to lead paint could also increase your risk of developing ADHD.
The predominantly inattentive type of ADHD is not what many people picture when they think of a child or adult who is hyperactive. People who suffer from inattention are generally less disruptive and active than those who have the predominantly hyperactive-impulsive variation of the disorder.
Symptoms of inattentive type include:
- missing details and becoming distracted easily
- trouble focusing on the task at hand
- becoming bored quickly
- difficulty learning or organizing new information
- trouble completing homework or losing items needed to stay on task
- becoming confused easily or daydreaming frequently
- seeming not to listen
- difficulty following instructions
- processing information more slowly and with more accuracy than peers
Diagnosis of inattentive type of ADHD consists primarily of observation and assessment of a person’s behaviors by a medical professional. You must show at least six of the nine symptoms of inattention to be diagnosed with ADHD. Symptoms must be severe enough to significantly impair your ability to complete everyday tasks and activities.
Your doctor will probably also perform a medical exam to rule out other possible causes. According to the National Resource Center for AD|HD, boys are diagnosed with ADHD overall. However, girls are more likely to have the inattentive type of the disorder than boys.
Treatment for ADHD can include medication and behavioral therapy. Parents of children with inattentive symptoms also benefit from intervention strategies that help their child learn organizational skills, stay on a predictable schedule, and earn rewards for behavioral goals.
Psychotherapy, such as seeing a therapist or counselor, may also helpful for those who experience emotional difficulties as a result of their inattention issues.
Stimulant medications are the most common class of drugs used to treat inattentive type ADHD. Stimulants help the brain focus on tasks in people with inattentive symptoms.
Medications don’t cure ADHD, but they help manage and reduce symptoms. Many ADHD drugs, including amphetamine and dextroamphetamine (Adderal), methylphenidate (Concerta, Ritalin) have long-acting versions. These allow you to focus for significant stretches of time, such as the entire work or school day.
The CDC estimates that between 70 and 80 percent of people with ADHD that take stimulant medications respond well to treatment. However, possible side effects include:
- facial or vocal tics
- sleep problems
- decreased appetite
Behavioral therapy, sometimes called behavioral intervention, helps those with inattentive type of ADHD function at school, work, or home. Eliminating distraction and unpredictability is a key factor in leading a successful life with inattentive type ADHD. There are many tricks to learn how to do this.
Create a routine and stick to it. Turn off televisions, radios, and other electronic devices when completing a task like homework so that you’re less distracted. Changing the way you interact with someone with ADHD can also help. Be brief and clear when giving instructions to make following them easier. Institute a behavior chart to help your child work toward a realistic reward for positive behavior.
Inattentive type ADHD may be a lifelong condition that presents challenge, but it in no way has to slow you down. People with this form of the condition may be perceived as being lazy or apathetic, but this is often far from the case. Proper treatment of the ADHD can help you showcase your intelligence, talents, and interests, allowing you to shine.
- A common genetic factor explains the covariation among ADHD ODD and CD symptoms in 9–10 year old boys and girls. (2009). Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology. Retrieved June 5, 2013, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2634815/
- AD/HD Predominantly Inattentive Type. (2004). National Resource Center on AD|HD. Retrieved June 5, 2013, from http://www.help4adhd.org/documents/WWK8.pdf
- CDC - ADHD, Facts - NCBDDD. (2010). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved June 5, 2013, from http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/facts.html
- CDC - ADHD, Treatment - NCBDDD. (2011). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved June 5, 2013, from http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/treatment.html
- FASTSTATS - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. (2011). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved June 5, 2013, from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/adhd.html
- NIMH · Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). (2008). NIMH · Home. Retrieved June 5, 2013, from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder/complete-index.shtml