Did you know that ADHD affects millions of US children? In fact as of 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 388,000 children aged 2-5 years, 4 million children aged 6-11 years, and 3 million children aged 12-17 years have been diagnosed with ADHD.
Luckily, the CDC also estimates that about 77% of children with ADHD are currently receiving treatment. Depending on each individual cases, about 30% are treated with medication alone, about 15% received behavioral treatment alone, and about 32% received both medication and behavioral treatment.
What many people don’t realize is that the treatment for ADHD can vary depending on the type of ADHD. ADHD therapists have extensive experience in identifying, diagnosing, and treating the different types of childhood ADHD. For more information about diagnosing ADHD, see “At What Age Can ADHD Be Diagnosed in Children?” To learn more about treating the different types of ADHD, here are the three types of ADHD treated by an ADHD therapist:
Inattentive Type ADHD
Symptoms of inattentive type ADHD include getting easily distracted, inability to stay organized, trouble concentrating, gets bored quickly, can’t focus on one task, seems to not listen, loses tools necessary to complete a task, move slowly, frequently daydreaming, and missing details. In most cases, inattentive type ADHD is more likely to be diagnosed in girls than boys. According to The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, a person must exhibit six of the nine symptoms of inattentive or hyperactive behavior that impeded normal day to day function.
Hyperactive-Impulsive Type ADHD
Symptoms of hyperactive-impulsive ADHD include constantly interrupting, taking risks, inability to slow down, difficulty staying on task, struggles with quiet activities, extremely impatient, don’t think about the consequences of their actions, and constant talking or fidgeting. Children with hyperactive-impulsive type ADHD can cause class distractions that make it harder for them and their classmates to learn. Just as with inattentive ADHD, according to the DSM-5, a person must exhibit six of the nine symptoms of inattentive behavior that impeded normal day to day function.
Combination Type ADHD
Symptoms of combination type ADHD are a combination of those associated with inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive ADHD. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, most children diagnosed with ADHD have combination type ADHD. According to the DSM-5, for an accurate diagnosis of combination type ADHD, six symptoms of inattention and hyperactive-impulsive behavior must have been displayed before the age of 12 and must be disruptive to everyday life for a minimum of six months.
All three kinds of ADHD can be treated with the help of an ADHD therapist. Generally, behavioral therapy is the first approach used to replace inappropriate behaviors with better behaviors. Behavioral therapy is also predominantly used in younger children with ADHD. For older children, as well as for adults with ADHD, a combination of behavioral therapy and medication are often used. ADHD medications are available as stimulants and nonstimulants, although stimulant-based ADHD medications are effective for 70-80% of ADHD patients.
At the end of the day, an ADHD therapist will carefully evaluate the child to determine the type of ADHD that is present. Once a diagnosis is made, the ADHD therapist will discuss this diagnosis with the parents and together they will develop a treatment plan that works for everybody. Although ADHD can be a lifelong condition, early identification and treatment can help to manage symptoms and improve one’s quality of life.
Dr. Miller is trained in Adult, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. She is also trained in Anesthesia and Pain Management. Because of her broad experience, Dr. Miller is uniquely qualified to treat psychological trauma, depression and anxiety that can occur as a result of injury or disability. For more information, schedule a consultation at NJ Family Psychiatry & Therapy.