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  • Writer's pictureRev. Carlene Appel-M.Div.


By Rev. Carlene Appel, MDiv., PC, SC, CERC, CISM, CTP, CDCS, CCFP, CGP

Today, I want to bring attention to a problem that affects mainly girls, and impacts their ability to learn in classroom settings. With the help of the editors of ADDITUDE, the on-line and printed journal of “Strategies and Support for ADHD & LD,” let's talk about Inattentive ADHD.

If I mention the word ADHD in regard to children (and actually adults too), how would you describe them?

The usual understanding is a kid who is hyper, and these kids are most often the first to be evaluated and diagnosed with ADHD. However, there are actually 3 types. INATTENTIVE ADHD is the second type. Those will be mainly the girls in the class quietly staring out the window at the Monarch butterfly that just

landed on a tall milkweed in the schoolyard. Meanwhile their schoolwork is on their desk in front of them not done.

The National Institutes of Mental Health says the symptoms in these kids have a greater likelihood of going unrecognized by parents, teachers, and medical professionals. I suspect it may be because they are the quiet ones. Let’s face it, what parent, especially those with other children who are bouncing off the walls with with energy, doesn’t appreciate having a kid who’s calmer. And what teacher doesn’t appreciate having a few kids in class that they don’t have to focus as much attention to. Pediatricians rely on parents input when assessing their patients. So if nothing is mentioned as a concern by the parent, then something is likely to be missed. As a result, the kids rarely get diagnosed or treated in the beginning as they are starting to struggle with the unrecognized symptoms. That struggle turns into frustration with schoolwork, apathy, and undeserved shame that can last for somebody’s whole life.

That’s not right to have these kids fall through the cracks. So I am hoping that parents, teachers, pediatricians who are listening out there, will think about your kids, your students, your patients who might be fit the profile of those who are silently suffering because of Inattentive ADHD. Let me stress that not all kids who appear to have vast amounts of energy or are shy and quiet have some form of ADHD.