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Can My Child Have ADHD If They're Not Hyper?

ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is often associated with hyperactivity, impulsivity, and an inability to focus. However, not all children with ADHD display hyperactive behaviors. Here at Northeast Pediatric Associates PA, our medical team offers insight into the predominantly inattentive presentation of ADHD.

Why an ADHD diagnosis might not mean your child is hyper

ADHD has three subtypes: predominantly inattentive presentation, predominantly hyperactive-impulsive presentation, and combined presentation. 

Here, let’s focus on the predominantly inattentive presentation of ADHD. It’s characterized by the following:

Children with this type of ADHD may struggle in school because of their inability to concentrate on tasks or follow through with assignments. They might seem dreamy or lost in their thoughts, leading parents or teachers to overlook the possibility of ADHD because the child doesn't fit the hyperactive stereotype.

Recognizing ADHD without hyperactivity can be challenging because the symptoms are less overt. You might be inclined to attribute your child's behavior to laziness or a lack of interest rather than considering ADHD as a potential cause. Consequently, your child may not receive the support and interventions they need to thrive academically and socially.

Understanding that ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder

ADHD affects how the brain processes information and regulates attention. Though hyperactivity can be a prominent feature in some cases, it isn’t a prerequisite for an ADHD diagnosis. 

Children with the inattentive subtype often go unnoticed or are misdiagnosed because their symptoms don't align with the stereotypical image of ADHD.

If you suspect that your child might have ADHD without hyperactivity, we recommend that you bring your child in to see us at Northeast Pediatric Associates PA for a professional evaluation. A comprehensive assessment is necessary to accurately diagnose ADHD. 

This evaluation typically involves gathering information from you as the parent, teachers, and observations of your child's behavior in various settings.

What to expect after a diagnosis

Once diagnosed, we offer various strategies and interventions to support your child with ADHD. These may include behavioral therapies, organizational skills training, academic accommodations, and, in some cases, medication. The goal is to help your child manage their symptoms, improve focus and attention, and enhance their overall quality of life.

We aim to raise awareness about the different presentations of ADHD to help dispel misconceptions and ensure that children with ADHD receive proper recognition and support. Understanding that ADHD manifests in diverse ways beyond hyperactivity can lead to earlier identification and better outcomes for your child.

If you have concerns that your child might have ADHD — even though they don’t display hyperactivity — we’re here for you. Reach out to our team today at the office nearest you in San Antonio, North Central San Antonio, Schertz, or Castroville, Texas. Simply click here to book an appointment. Telehealth is an option, too.

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