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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Diagnosing ADD

05/11/2004

Question:

I have a nine year old child who makes good grades in school but has difficulty focusing on his work. He seems to do better at a task if he is not given too much at one time. Could he have ADD without the "hyperactivity" part?

Answer:

Your son could have inattentive AD/HD although, without knowing specifics, it is quite difficult to tell. I urge you to discuss it with his doctor and his teacher. Also consider going to the library and taking a look at books that discuss "ADD/ADHD inattentive type" and see if he fits.

Unfortunately for boys, since most children diagnosed with inattentive AD/HD type so far have been girls, most information on inattentive AD/HD has been written about girls. This is similar to what happened to girls in the past who had hyperactive AD/HD. Since most children diagnosed with hyperactive AD/HD were boys, most information written about that type of AD/HD referred to boys.

Inattentive type has a very nice checklist out for girls, one that is meant to be used as "food-for-thought" rather than for true diagnosis---I use it for boys as well when I am thinking about inattentive AD/HD. It is the ADDvance Checklist to help identify girls with ADHD and you can get to it using the link below. Remember, it does not make a diagnoses for either sex, it just helps one to think about things more clearly and may give you more information to discuss with his physician.

By the way, in case you or anyone else was wondering, if your son fits a number of the points on this list it does not say anything about his sexuality, just about his possible AD/HD.

Related Resources:

ADDvance Girls ADHD Rating Scale

For more information:

Go to the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Susan Louisa Montauk, MD
Formerly Professor of Family Medicine
University of Cincinnati