ADHD series part II: helping parents understand the ADHD diagnosis

ADHD series part II: helping parents understand the ADHD diagnosis

What do you think of when you hear the letters ADHD? Here’s what comes to my mind… Kyle.


Honestly, I’m stressed out just watching this!

Granted, this is just a funny skit and most children aren’t as bad as Kyle, but we still relate to Kyle’s mom on some level.

We’ve all been there and felt overwhelmed.

Just last week I was in the check out line at the grocery store. My 4 year old was literally performing a circus act on the cart-climbing in and out, swinging around and through.

Meanwhile my son was determined to put a lifetime supply of Oreo boxes in the cart, while my oldest (10 year old daughter) was having a pre-teen crisis and tearfully asking me rapid fire questions about the meaning of her dreams and inner workings of the sub-conscious mind. In that moment, I looked and felt like Kyle’s mom . ☺

Smarter Parenting is here to help! To Kyle’s mom and the rest of you ADHD parents, we love you and admire your efforts!

Let’s take a look at the 3 different types of ADHD and then figure out where Kyle fits in.

ADD is now an outdated term, instead there are now 3 types of ADHD

1. Inattentive Type

A person with this type must have six of these nine symptoms and very few of the symptoms of hyperactive-impulsive type

  • Not paying attention to detail
  • Making careless mistakes
  • Failing to pay attention and keep on task
  • Not listening
  • Being unable to follow or understand instructions
  • Avoiding tasks that involve effort
  • Being distracted
  • Being forgetful
  • Losing things that are needed to complete tasks

It is possible for a child to have Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder and not be hyperactive. This is considered ADHD-Inattentive Type.

Kyle definitely fits into this type. Let’s keep going…

2. Hyperactive-Impulsive Type

To have this type, a person has to have at least six of these nine symptoms, and very few of the symptoms of inattentive type

  • Fidgeting
  • Squirming
  • Getting up often when seated
  • Running or climbing at inappropriate times
  • Having trouble playing quietly
  • Talking too much
  • Talking out of turn or blurting out
  • Interrupting
  • Often “on the go” as if “driven by a motor”

Okay, Kyle seems to fit here and therefore meets both criteria so far-so what is the 3rd type?

3. Combined Type. This is the most common type of ADHD

People with ADHD-Combined Type have several symptoms of both inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive types. Kyle fits in here with most other children with ADHD.

They present with symptoms of hyperactivity, inattentiveness and impulsiveness. So, Kyle demonstrated enough symptoms to likely be diagnosed with ADHD-Combined type. But if Kyle or his mother wanted an official diagnosis, they wouldn’t get it from Smarter Parenting.

Receiving an accurate diagnosis, see a physician

  1. There is no single test that can used by physicians to diagnose ADHD. ADHD is diagnosed after a person has shown the above symptoms for at least six months in different settings. In order to accurately receive an ADHD diagnosis please schedule an appointment with a qualified physician.
  2. The physician may ask about the following-current and past symptoms, severity of symptoms, family history of ADHD and other mental health disorders, school records, and the physician may perform a full physical exam and ask general health related questions.

    Smarter Parenting is not a diagnostic tool, but an educational and informational tool. For an accurate diagnosis meet with a physician.

    Meet Jeanette

    ADHD is often the source of several jokes and memes on social media. Admittedly, they crack me up and I’ve posted and shared several myself. ☺ The humor that is often found within ADHD does not lessen the size of the challenge that is ADHD. ADHD is a mental health disorder that can be frustrating, confusing and very discouraging for those closely associated with it.

    Read Jeanette’s story below.

    Jeanette has struggled with ADHD for several years. Jeanette has overcome the challenges associated with distraction and hyperactivity and is now a successful professional adult who has close relationships, competitive hobbies and manages a demanding work load.

    “Growing up with ADHD has been a challenging experience. While adults often believed and expressed that I was “retarded” they did not seem to understand that I simply learn a different way. From simple chores to difficult tasks, it seemed like I just could not “get it together.”

    My room would be a mess throughout my childhood, but I could walk into a room and know where exactly everything was. I have never been able to sit still and was constantly getting bullied at school because of that.

    Patience and understanding lead to acceptance
    Patience and understanding lead to acceptance

    When children hear things like- “Why is Jeanette so annoying? She’s always running around and is busy all the time.” or ” Why can’t she just sit still?” it can directly impact their self-esteem and self-confidence.

    As a result, I often ate candy or anything with sugar I could get a hold of because at least that was soothing to me. It wasn’t until adulthood that I realized eating poorly contributed to increased behavioral problems.

    Unfortunately, this has carried into adulthood. Coworkers often tease me for not being able to sit still or forgetting what I was going to say because I try implementing social skills by not interrupting others when they’re talking.

    My office tends to be disorganized to others who do not understand what ADHD is and how it impacts not only the person who has it, but how it impacts others as well.

    To re-frame this positively however; I have a job where I can go to work and meet a demanding schedule because of the flexibility of work hours while still being able to get some triathlon training in.

    I know what piles in my office contain specific information and I seem to have a plethora amount of energy needed to get things done. I’m commonly referred to by my friends as, “Our bouncing bundle of joy.”

    Thanks Jeanette for sharing!

    Smarter Parenting can help!

    The good news is that there are effective methods for treating ADHD symptoms and there are several successful professionals like Jeanette who are proof that the obstacles of ADHD can clearly be overcome.

    In future posts and videos, Smarter Parenting will explain how to use the evidenced based tools from the Teaching-Family Model to embrace, accept and cultivate the strengths inherent with ADHD personalities and how to use them as a catalyst to create positive behaviors and successful relationships.

    OTHER ADHD RELATED POSTS

    ADHD series part I: Buckle up-an intro to ADHD

    ADHD series part II: helping parents understand the ADHD diagnosis

    ADHD series part III: An ADHD treatment regimen that works

    ADHD series part IV: Preventive Teaching and intrinsic motivation

    ADHD series part V: “What are you eating?” the ADHD/food connection

    ADHD series part VI: Exercise-the other ADHD medication

    ADHD series part VII: Improve ADHD by understanding emotional intelligence

    ADHD series part VIII: Your inattentive child lost in the crowd

    ADHD series part IX: Raising an ADHD generation

    5 Ways to Help Your ADHD Child Calm Down

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