The 3 Types of ADHD

You may hear the terms ADD and ADHD used interchangeably. But technically, ADD is the unofficial term for one of the three subtypes of ADHD.

Many people think of the word hyperactive when they hear the term ADHD. But it’s possible to have ADHD without being hyperactive. Hyperactivity is not a sign of the “ADHD, Predominantly Inattentive Presentation” subtype.

Learn more about the three different types of ADHD.

1. ADHD, Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation

Kids who have this type of ADHD have symptoms of hyperactivity and feel the need to move constantly. They also struggle with impulse control. Typically they don’t have much trouble with inattention.

It’s often easier to spot signs of this type of ADHD. Kids who have it may struggle to sit still in class and manage their behavior.

2. ADHD, Predominantly Inattentive Presentation

Kids who have this type of ADHD have difficulty paying attention. They’re easily distracted but don’t have much trouble with impulsivity or hyperactivity. This is sometimes unofficially referred to as attention-deficit disorder (or ADD).

Kids with this type of ADHD may “fly under the radar” because they may not be disruptive in class. In fact, they may appear shy or “daydreamy.”

3. ADHD, Combined Presentation

This is the most common type of ADHD. Kids who have it show significant problems with both hyperactivity/impulsivity and inattention.

Explore a complete list of signs of ADHD. Find out how ADHD is diagnosed and how it can show up differently in girls and boys. And if you’re concerned your child might have ADHD, find out what to do next.


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