A brainstorm on my lunchbreak, and a clarification

So, here on my lunch-break, I’m thinking about the idea of increasing the awareness of what students might be struggling with ADHD-I.

First though, I’ve wanted to clarify for a while (and just keep forgetting) that “ADHD-I” stands for “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder–Inattentive.” I’ve seen a lot of people writing ADHD-1 (with the number one). Probably that’s how it looks in this font. I could see how that would seem really technical and confusing, so I wanted to clarify that it’s not a number, it’s a letter: the letter “I” for “inattentive.” (Some people write it ADHD-PI for “primarily inattentive,” but I think that’s even more confusing.) So, the breakdown, for the purposes of this blog, is ADHD-I for “inattentive” ADHD-H for “hyperactive” and ADHD-C for “combined.” Hopefully that makes more sense than the vague and arbitrary sounding ADHD-1 I’ve seen here and there.

Anyway, my thoughts regarding identification during elementary school age are actually just some questions to be asking:

–First and foremost, how does your child feel about studying? Is it a frustration?
–When given a homework assignment, can he or she finish? How much time does he or she spend on it?
–Does your child often lose things like lunch-boxes, lunch-money, notes to have parents sign, etc.? Does his or her backback feel like a black hole where things magically disappear? Do you sometimes get questions asked by the teacher about feedback sent home, either good or bad, that you have never seen?
–Has your child ever missed a fieldtrip because they didn’t get the slip to you to sign? Have there been close calls in this area? Has it happened more than once?
–How is your child’s desk? Is there so much junk that it’s bursting at the seams?
–Has your child gotten feedback about “being more responsible” or “paying more attention to details” on a consistent basis?
–Has a person of authority called your child lazy or commented on a lack of work ethic?

None of these questions mean anything definitively. They are just good questions to be aware of as they might be indicitave of symptoms. There are probably a lot of things I’m not thinking about at the moment–this post is more of a brain-storm for me than anything else, so if anybody has any thoughts or ideas, I’d be happy to hear them.


  1. Question (perhaps you addressed this in an earlier post and I just didn't pay attention, if so then sorry!): how early are kids generally diagnosed? Or in other words, when does it change from being a little kid who's inattentive as a part of being a normal little kid, to a little kid who's got a problem? Did that make sense?

  2. I guess my curiosity (maybe you could consider this in a future post) is about if you do find your child has some of these characteristics, whether or not there is proof that your child actually fits the profile of adhd Inattentive type… what is a good way to be supportive?

  3. Some coping strategies for kids, teens and adults with ADHD: When neccesary, ask the teacher or boss to repeat instructions, rather than guess.Break large assignments or job tasks into small, simple tasks. Set a deadline for each task and reward yourself as you complete each one. Each day, make a list of what you need to do. Plan the best order for doing each task. Then make a schedule for doing them. Use a calendar or daily planner to keep yourself on track. Work in a quiet area. Do one thing at a time. give yourself short breaks. I have more if you like Sister, Walker

  4. Thanks Kathy! Those are all great suggestions.

    jjstringham and Marcia–great questions both. I think I'll explore both in future posts, but jj, I would say that, from what I've seen, the start of school is when diagnosis is most possible, just because that is when a not-fitting-with-the-norm will be most apparent. When 30 kids are all turning in their number chart, and the 31'st kid hasn't gotten to ten, and now must stay in for recess for the 20th time that year, it's clear there's a problem grander than just "kids will be kids." But that kind of problem is less conspicuous before a child starts school. Does that make sense?

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