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ADHD Inattentive Type: Signs, Symptoms, and Next Steps

ADHD Inattentive Type: Unlocking the Mysteries of Inattention

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a complex neurodevelopmental condition that affects millions of people all over the globe. Within the realm of ADHD, there are different subtypes based on which traits tend to show up most dominantly in a given person. In this article, we’ll cover the Predominantly Inattentive Type ADHD, which used to be called ADD. Kids and adults with this type tend to have challenges with attention and focus, and don’t experience the hyperactivity and impulsiveness that others might have.

Our Evolving Understanding

The journey of diagnosing and understanding the inattentive type has evolved over time. First, it was known as ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). Then, it was later classified as ADHD-PI (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Predominantly Inattentive Type), which is a common name for the subtype today. You might also hear it shortened to “inattentive type ADHD” or something similar – these names have so many syllables, and we’re in favor of shortening things when we can (maybe because of our own ADHD, lol).

What Does Predominantly Inattentive Type ADHD Look Like?

People with ADHD Inattentive Type experience a variety of traits that can impact their daily lives. That’s true of everyone with ADHD, but the difference here is which symptoms in particular the person experiences. These symptoms are most prevalent when trying to conduct organized daily activities (think work, school, cleaning the house, etc). An example:

Struggling with tasks that require sustained focus

A teacher is expecting all 20 kids in their class to complete a 30-minute assignment. Someone with inattentive type ADHD might struggle to stay focused long enough to complete the assignment. Students with Inattentive ADHD can be just as successful as their neurotypical peers, but may need accommodations such as an environment modified to be less distracting, extra time to finish the assignment, permission to stand and stretch, or by breaking the assignment down into parts.

Without consideration or accommodations, the school environment can be tough on you or your child’s self esteem and education. Some of the other common symptoms of inattentive type ADHD include:

  • Difficulties with organization
  • Challenges with time management
  • Frequently losing or misplacing things
  • Forgetfulness

Internally, both children and adults might feel overwhelmed and frustrated with cognitive tasks. They might find themselves daydreaming or spacing out, have trouble managing their thoughts and ideas, and describe themselves as scatterbrained.

We’ll cover ways to adjust your environment to be more accommodating to your, your loved one’s, or your client’s ADHD in other content. It’s important to remember that if you struggle to stay organized with your current organization system, you are not the problem! There hundreds of tools, strategies, and tips for ADHD that can help (many of which we cover in our blog).

Recognizing the Signs: Decoding the Impact of Inattention

Noticing and identifying the signs of ADHD, regardless of the subtype, is crucial for early intervention and support. It’s common for inattention to affect a person’s daily functioning, relationships, and academic or work performance. As a child grows up, it’s also important to note that symptoms may manifest differently as they become an adult. While children may have difficulties in school and social settings, adults may struggle with productivity, organization, and staying focused at work.

Seeking Professional Evaluation: Finding Clarity in Diagnosis

If you suspect that you or your loved one may have ADHD Inattentive Type, seeking professional evaluation can empower you to understand yourself better and receive treatment. Consult a healthcare professional, such as a doctor, psychologist, or psychiatrist, who specializes in ADHD. They will conduct a comprehensive assessment, which may include interviews, questionnaires, and observations, to reach an accurate diagnosis. Collaboration between the individual, their caregivers, and healthcare providers is key in this process.

Treatment Options and Support

Treatment approaches for ADHD Inattentive Type typically involve a combination of strategies tailored to each individual’s needs. Medication, including both stimulants and non-stimulants, can help manage symptoms. Behavioral therapies like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and psychoeducation provide valuable tools for coping with inattention. Since ADHD is a condition that describes the way someone’s brain works and isn’t something that can be “cured” (not that we would want it to be!), reasonable accommodations and support plans at school and work are also a valuable tool.

ADHD Strengths and Superpowers

A person with undiagnosed ADHD Inattentive Type will sometimes struggle with things that neurotypical people find easy. It’s a slippery slope that can lead to other struggles like self image, confidence etc. But there are also many rare and wonderful things about ADHD! Creative problem solving, a fantastic sense of humor, and the ability to hyperfocus are just a few gifts that those of us with ADHD get to appreciate and love about ourselves. Our neurodivergence is a key part of who we are – both the challenges and the gifts (and the gifts are pretty sweet if we do say so ourselves.)

To learn more, check out our next article about Predominantly Hyperactive Type ADHD for a comprehensive understanding of the different subtypes and their management strategies. Knowledge is power in the journey of ADHD!

Remember, you have the power to unlock your potential and thrive with ADHD Inattentive Type. Seek help, embrace understanding, and never forget that you are capable of greatness.

A final note about us

We’re not doctors, and we absolutely believe in science. Our resources here are informative only, and should not be taken as medical advice. We’ll update our content as new research emerges, so if you see something that’s gotten out-of-date, please send us a message!

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