Three Categories of ADHD Symptoms

Tonya Langdon —  May 2, 2011

They fidget, squirm, blurt out answers, bug their neighbors and they often appear as if they are not listening.  Their minds are anywhere but on the lesson, or at least that’s what it seems (think Calvin & Hobbs). Many children who are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have difficulty transitioning from one activity to another, challenges with impulsiveness, maintaining their attention span, and hyperactivity. Additionally, many of these children lack critical social skills to interact with their classmates successfully. What can we help children with ADHD in Sunday school and church related activities?

On average, 3-8% of the children in your class will have a diagnosis of ADHD. We need a basic understand of what the symptoms are in order to better address their needs in the church setting. There are three categories for symptoms: Inattention, Hyperactivity, and Impulsivity. For some children, the only symptoms may be found in the inattention category or hyperactivity-impulsive but for others it maybe be a combination of both types. Children that are diagnosed with the inattentive type tend to be less disruptive than those with the hyperactive-impulsive or combination type.

  1. Inattentive Type:
    Easily bored in class
    Appears as if he or she is not hearing what is being spoken to him or her directly
    Often misplaces things for class or tasks
    Difficulty with multiple sets of directions given at one time
    Dislikes to engage in task or projects that needs sustained metal effort
    Easily distracted
  2. Hyperactivity:
    In constant motion, fidgety with hands or feet, as if driven by an internal motor
    Talking constantly
    Difficulty staying seated and/or climbing inappropriately
  3. Impulsivity:
    Blurts outs the answers without waiting for their turn
    Does things without thinking about the consequences before hand, lacking forethought
    Difficulty waiting for their turn, interrupting conversations or games
    May get aggressive or act out in frustration and/or anger
    May exhibit symptoms of anxiety or low self-worth

What can we do to balance needs of the entire classroom while still meeting the needs of the child with ADHD? Tomorrow, we will take a look at eight suggestions, in addition to prayer that I have found to be very successful in working with children with ADHD.

Tonya Langdon

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Tonya is married with three children. Tonya currently spearheads The Agape Connections (special needs ministry), teaches the 4th & 5th grade Sunday school class and leads a support group for parents who have children with A.D.H.D. and Behavioral Disorders at Skyline Church in La Mesa, Ca. The Agape Connections work with families who have special needs children so the entire family is able to attend church services and age appropriate church activities. In Tonya’s “free time” she is studying for ordination, writes articles and co-owns an office products business with her brother.

2 responses to Three Categories of ADHD Symptoms

  1. great summary of ADHD!

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  1. Meeting the Needs of Kids with ADHD | Kidmin1124 - May 3, 2011

    […] I wrote about the three categories of symptoms for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.  Today,  I would like to offer some suggestions for how to balance needs […]