Many people think that there are only two types of ADHD: Inattentive Type and Classic. The first is characterized by daydreaming and execu-tive function struggles. The second combines the daydreaming and ex-ecutive function challenges with hyperactivity and impulsivity.
While this may serve quite nicely for some of us, it confuses others be-cause our kids seem to have something EXTRA, something more than just these basic issues.
Classic ADHD is the most commonly known type of ADHD. In fact, many people think it’s the only kind there is. Surprisingly, even Dr. Daniel Amen of the Amen Clinics predicted when he started scanning brains in ’91 that ADD would look the same in everyone.
It does not. In fact, Dr. Amen found that brain activity in people with ADD and ADHD differ from type to type.
Eve Kessler, Esq. from Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities, has taken Amen’s findings and boiled them down to this precise analysis:
Symptoms: Inattentive, distractible, hyperactive, disorganized and impulsive. Normal brain activity at rest; decreased brain activity during concentrated tasks.
Cause: Dopamine deficiency; decreased blood flow in prefrontal cortex and cerebellum, as well as basal ganglia, which helps produce dopamine.
Treatment: Stimulant medications, such as Ritalin, Adderall, Vyvance or Concerta, or stimulating supplements, such as rhodiola, green tea, ginseng, as well as the amino acid L-tyrosine, which is a building block of dopamine; extra physical activity; fish oil that is higher in EPA than in DHA.
Dr. Amen also notes that:
- People with Classic ADD usually show it at an early age; their hyperactivity, constant need for excitement, and (sometimes) conflict-seeking behavior attracts a great deal of attention.
- This pattern tends to be seen more frequently in boys.
- Due to the hyperactivity, conflict-driven behavior, and impulsivity, these children, teens, and adults are in trouble with someone nearly every day of their lives.
- As a group, Type 1 ADD individuals have low self-esteem.
Coaching clients with Classic ADHD
I have Classic ADHD. My father called me a mountain goat for much of my childhood because I climbed everything! I also like to stir things up for excitement… “what will happen if I…?” That’s how our bookcase came to have a complete set of imprints of my top teeth embedded in one of the shelves (I didn’t bite it, I fell down when I was climbing it), how I sta-pled my hand, how I stained our hall carpet with chocolate milk, and how I have a scar under my chin!
As for low self-esteem, I see this in many of my clients. It’s hard when you have a history of being misunderstood by people who have power over you – teachers, sports coaches, your own parents. At Blocked To Brilliant, I work with families toward understanding and being support of Your Particular Child. What your child needs may not be what another ADHD child needs. We look at behavior, communication, focus, motiva-tion, organization, and time management across the whole family. My view is that this isn’t about blaming; it’s about getting to solutions as quickly as possible.
I find that moving a lot (what the Classic ADHD body wants to do natural-ly) is good for the brain. More exercise, more play when doing chores, more fun, more laughter, more physicality even with serious tasks like homework and chores.
What a lot of people don’t understand is that we can feel the energy (or whatever it is) coursing through our legs and arms, even our shoulders and feet. It feels weird so we wiggle or try to “get it out” or “calm it down” by shaking or other repetitive motion.
There are some great fidgets and toys out there to help kids with Classic ADD get more done and feel better about themselves.
Take this assessment to get some idea of your or your child’s type of ADD/ADHD. This is not a substitute for medication, seeing an Medical Doctor or Naturopathic Doctor, or getting the therapeutic or coaching help that you or your family might need.
(My information comes from ADDitude Magazine, Smart Kids with LD, Amen Clinics, and from my own experience as a former teacher and school counselor, and current ADHD Coach and Strategist.
Copyright 2017 Yafa Crane Luria All Rights Reserved
About Yafa Crane Luria
Yafa Crane Luria is a 30-year veteran teacher and school counselor, a Positive Discipline Trainer, and the author of the Mom’s Choice Award®-Winning book: How To Train Your Parents in 6 ½ Days and the Amazon Kindle Best Seller: Getting Schooled: 102 Practical Tips for Parents, Teachers, Counselors, and Students about Living and Learning with ADHD. She was diagnosed with ADHD (then called “Minimal Brain Dysfunction”) in 1980, one of the ﬁrst to be diagnosed as an adult. Yafa specializes in helping ADHD families who have tried everything and are still frustrated by their child’s or teen’s Blocked but Brilliant brain. Fun fact: Yafa’s nickname as a child was “Mountain Goat” because she climbed on EVERYTHING! She can be reached at her website: BlockedToBrilliant.com
To read about the other types of ADHD view all posts by Yafa Crane Luria here.