Treatment for Predominantly Inattentive ADHD

I worked with a very talented surgeon who once told me something about medicine that I think is very wise.  He said; "Just because the only tool that you have is a hammer, does not make everything that you are treating a nail".  In the case of ADHD, the stimulant 'Hammer' is a really good match for the ADHD Combined type and the Hyperactive Impulsive subtype 'nail'. In the case of ADHD Predominantly Inattentive, the hammer is trying to do what the correct screw driver or a wrench might possibly do better.

The stimulants have been a life saver and a God send for ADHD combined type, for ADHD-Hyperactive/Impulsive type, and for ADHD with the exhausting and destructive comorbidities like Oppositional Defiance Disorder. The people with these symptoms are the 'squeaky wheel' of ADHD. Their symptoms are immediately disruptive to a home and to a classroom. The symptoms of ADHD-PI are much more insidious, much more covert, and more poorly understood and treated.

The problem is that we have not yet found the best treatment tool for ADHD-PI and unless pharmaceutical companies invest in the research needed to find a drug to specifically address the symptoms of ADHD-PI, we may never find it.

If the DSM V places ADHD-PI in its own category, we may get the attention that we need. We are a quiet minority that have not really had a voice. Our Inattentive children are quiet, spaced out, lost in their own little worlds and largely invisible in many homes and classrooms. Our inattentive adults respond better to the stimulants than our kids do so they are less able to advocate for our children.

I have great faith that genetic testing and pharmaceutical advances will find the wrench or screwdriver that will help our kids. Until then, we must speak up and let our physicians and teachers know that we too want to do what is best for our Inattentive children but that we will not let them be hit over the head with a hammer that is not getting the job done.


  1. So what your saying is that no medication works well for ADHD-PI? This is not the news I was hoping for. :(

  2. Well medication may not work as well for ADHD-PI as for the other types of ADHD. Thats for sure! Thanks for your comment!!

  3. Thank you for the new post!

    From what I understand the stimulants were originally for the Hyperactive/Impulsive type. They were found to be beneficial (though not enough) to the ADHD-PI, so the doctors just use them(stimulants) for both. Did I get it right?


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