ADHD: Inattentive Type

Medically Reviewed by Dr. K on 12 March 2021

ADHD: Inattentive Type

Children are dreamers by nature. It's not uncommon to see them deep in reflection, looking out a window.

However, if your kid has difficulty concentrating all of the time, they might have the inattentive form of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).


How It's Different From Other Kinds of ADHD

Attention deficiency disorder was also known as inattentive ADHD. It leads children to have a lot of trouble paying attention. This is how you can differentiate it from the other two forms of the condition.

  • Children with hyperactive-impulsive ADHD appear to be constantly moving. Their limbs and mouths are constantly moving, as if they were driven by a motor
  • When a child has both inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive signs, they are diagnosed with combined ADHD.

How Inattentive ADHD Is Diagnosed

In order to diagnose the disorder, a doctor would need to know if your child does at least six of the following:

  • frequently daydreams
  • easily distractible
  • Misses important details
  • frequently makes careless mistakes on homework and tests
  • Gets bored quickly
  • Difficulty staying focused
  • Very unorganised
  • Doesn’t seem to listen when spoken to
  • Avoids tasks which require a lot of focus
  • Often loses track of tasks or things
  • Is forgetful in day to day activities
  • Has trouble following instructions and often shifts from task to task without finishing anything

The doctor may also recommend certain tests to rule out some diseases that have similar symptoms, such as:

  • Hearing or vision problems
  • Learning disabilities
  • Anxiety or depression


How to Help a Child With the Condition

If your child is diagnosed with ADHD, their doctor can prescribe drugs to make them focus properly, offer treatment, or use a small implant to activate the part of the brain that is supposed to be responsible for the condition. The Monarch external Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation (eTNS) System, which was recently FDA-approved, can be used for children aged 7 to 12 who are not currently taking ADHD medicine.

The most popular solution is to use a mixture of medication and counselling.

In comparison, behaviour counselling shows you certain parenting techniques, such as:

  • Set up a reward system for positive behaviour.
  • Withhold rewards to deal with poor behavior.

These techniques should be used by parents, instructors, and psychologists to help children with inattentive ADHD keep on track:

  • Make to-do lists. Make a list of your child's assignments and household tasks and write it somewhere where he or she can see it.
  • “Bite-size" projects. Projects and requests can be broken down into small roles. Rather than saying, “do your homework”, you might say, “finish your math questions". After that, read a chapter from your English textbook. Finally, write a one-paragraph summary of what you've just read."
  • Give specific directions. Keep them simple and clear.
  • Organize. Ensure that your child's clothing and schoolwork are kept in the same location and are easy to locate.
  • Get into a routine. Inattentive children benefit from a sense of order. Each day, follow the same routine: “get dressed, brush your teeth, eat breakfast, and put on your shoes." Post the timetable in a visible place in your home, such as the kitchen or main hallway.
  • Minimise distractions. At home, switch off the TV, phone, radio, and video games to the greatest extent possible. Request that your child be seated away from the windows and doors in class.
  • Give rewards. All enjoys being complimented for a work well done. Let your child that you cared when their homework is done on time or their room is washed. You could promise to take them to the zoo or to have ice cream with them.

Since your kid spends so much of their time at kindergarten, you'll want to stay in touch with their teacher to see how they're doing. You will come up with a number of ways to assist your kid while you work together. The school will be able to make modifications to help meet your child's needs. Speak with the school's principal.

When a child gets the care, resources, and support they need, they may be able to concentrate and achieve their goals.


Referenced on 2.3.2021:

  1. National Institute of Mental Health: “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)."
  2. Nemours Foundation: “What Is ADHD?"
  3. Bope, E.T., and Kellerman, R.D. Conn’s Current Therapy 2012, 1st edition, Saunders Elsevier, 2011.
  4. UpToDate: “Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents: Overview of treatment and prognosis."
  5. American Psychiatric Association: “What Is ADHD?”

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