There are three subtypes of ADHD:

  • Primarily inattentive (ADHD-PI)
  • Primarily hyperactive (ADHD-PH)
  • Combined (ADHD-C)

When people picture ADHD they don’t picture the type that I have, which is ADHD-PI. I exhibit some symptoms of restlessness and impulsivity that fall into the hyperactivity category, but not frequently or disruptively enough for me to fall into the combined subtype.

The mental image of a “second grade boy”, to quote one of my friends, bouncing around, climbing trees inappropriately and doing headstands in class, is not at all accurate when it comes to majority of us with ADHD, including women and girls who are more likely to have the inattentive subtype, as well as men as they grow. This causes issues with late diagnosis, as many of us are able to mask our inattentive symptoms by developing compensatory strategies we don’t even know we are doing because we know no different! (For instance, I had multiple sets of house keys from the time I was letting myself in because I’d always forget or misplace my keys! To this day, my mom has an extra set of house keys in her purse for me! Losing, misplacing, forgetting things? One of the biggest struggles faced by ADHDers!)

Some other symptoms related to inattention include frequent careless mistakes, not seeming to listen when spoken to, struggles to follow through on instructions (as I tell my mom, if it’s not on a post-it note it doesn’t get done!), having trouble getting organized for or starting tasks, and forgetfulness. 

And yes, everyone forgets things. Everyone gets restless. The difference with ADHD is that it is constant: every day, multiple times a day, at work, home, school. 

What do you want to learn about ADHD or learning disabilities this month? Let me know!

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