ADHD or Type 3 Energy? How to See the Difference

Some research can help your child get what they need most

Then “What does Type 3 energy look like compared to ADHD?”

This episode’s question comes from a parent whose second-grader brings home bad behavior reports from school every week. She doesn’t know if he’s just a high-energy child or if he has a medical condition that needs attention.

In this episode, Carol and Anne share important questions to consider, resources to research, and things to pay attention to in your unique child.

This Episode’s Parenting Practice

Don’t settle. Medical conditions like ADHD are connected to brain health, and so many factors affect the brain. Before going along with any educator’s recommendation, educate yourself. Look into the resources in this episode. Trust that you will be led to the information that is correct for your child so that you are informed about the decisions you make on your child’s behalf.

Transcript of podcast episode

Carol: There’s a lot to look at here, especially when we’re dealing with a very… This is a medical diagnosis. I do not take this lightly. You’re messing with your kid’s brain. You’ve got to make sure you’ve got good medical care that knows what they’re doing with a drug when you have a developing brain. Welcome to The Child Whisperer Podcast. I’m your host, Carol Tuttle, author of the best-selling parenting book, The Child Whisperer. I’m with my co-host, Anne Tuttle Brown.

Anne: “I have a 7-year-old son who is a Type 3. I’ve been getting reports of bad behavior from the school since kindergarten on a weekly basis. I don’t know if he has ADHD or not. He’s very good academically, but I get complaints from teachers that he doesn’t pay attention, talks too much, gets up from his chair. What does a Type 3 look like at this age compared to a child with ADHD?”


Carol: Seven years old and in second grade?

Anne: Mm-hmm.

Carol: A second grader… Now this is where the four Types’ variable is going to create different scenarios. In our Rewarding Communications course that we have in Lifestyle, which I recommend you all go through, we look at the combination of each of the 4 Types in relationships. So you could actually apply that to what your Type of child is with the Type of teacher they have. Because with a Type 2 or a Type 4 teacher that has a Type 3 child, and especially if they’re Type 3/1, and let’s say… also in Lifestyle, we have this beautiful video that shows you the level of movement from the highest to the lowest looking at dominant secondary Energy Type.

So the highest movement is Type 3/1. And the lowest movement is Type 2/4. So let’s say that a child is a Type 3/1, and that teacher is a Type 2-4, there are ten spaces between them. They live in different worlds, completely different worlds. Now, let’s say the teacher was a Type 1/3 and stood right next to that Type 3/1 child in the lineup, they might not even have an issue because you’re going to have a higher movement classroom.

The one that might struggle in that classroom is the Type 2/4 down to the other end of the spectrum because they’re more inward, and they have a more introvert quality to them. See? So all these variables are creating the culture and the environment. This is where your children are. The more you practice using this tool, the more you can assess. This isn’t ADHD, this is my child in an environment that just isn’t conducive to the level of movement they have.

Anne: I was on the Child Whisperer Facebook group looking to see how many people have asked this question. And I was reading through comments and moms who have had this experience. So many times I read that the teacher suggests that they might have ADHD. I think there’s a pattern there that once the child gets into first and second grade, that’s still a young age to be expected to sit, you know, through the school for seven hours. And the teacher sees a higher movement. Then the teacher suggests this is different, this is high movement, this is distracted, this could be ADHD.

Carol: When you were in grade school, I remember in kind of the culture of education.

Anne: Sounds like the early ’90s.

Carol: Yeah. ADD and ADHD became very prolific and being more common. And that somehow teachers were in this experience of suggesting…

Anne: Part of the diagnosis?

Carol: …which I find fascinating because I’m like, “You’re not a diagnostic professional.”

Anne: I guess they have a lot of experience with lots of kids over the years, maybe they feel like they can see the difference.

Carol: Yes, but again, they have a limited point of view that they don’t know what’s going on at home. They don’t know the child’s diet. There’s so many variables that can feed into this. It’s like just to say, “Your kid needs meds,” I think it’s kind of a stretch for the role they play. You know, if there’s a counselor involved, there’s a doctor involved, if there’s testing involved, they have a healthy home environment, they’re eating well, well, we might need to consider this. But there are so many things that stimulate a child’s behavior to be more aggressive. They might not be in their bodies. They’re not grounded. You know, they’re just not present because they don’t have the proper support in their home environment, possibly, that they need.

Anne: So the question is, what’s the difference between… How do I know the difference from a high energy like Type 3 or Type 1 versus ADHD?

Carol: Well, I would read The Child Whisperer and then I’d read Dr. Daniel Amen’s book on ADHD. And he has clear symptoms and references to what this really looks like. And then differentiate the two because they’re very different. Because a 7-year-old Type 3 child can—when supported in the proper way—be motivated to be cooperative in a school situation and follow the rules. But if they’ve been pegged as the problem child, and now they have a perception of themselves and this teacher keeps, you know, giving feedback that it’s never right or never good enough, their nature is to react.

They’re not motivated. So, again, you can’t just straight out say, “How do I know the difference?” There’s a lot to look at here. This is a medical diagnosis. I do not take this lightly. You’re messing with your kid’s brain. You’ve got to make sure you’ve got good medical care that knows what they’re doing with a drug when you have a developing brain.

Anne: We have a mom in the Child Whisperer community who shared her success story with this. I’ll just read what she shared on the Facebook group. Her name is Angie and she says, “In December, one of my sons was diagnosed at the Amen Clinic with high functioning autism, ADHD and OCD. Since then…”

Carol: Which means… I want to jump in real quick. In Dr. Amen’s world… He has six clinics around the country. I’ve been to his clinic twice to have my brain scanned. He’s one of the only psychiatrists that does SPECT scans for the brain. He’ll call this, it’s brain health. This child needs… his brain needs to get healthier. Rather than a mental illness, he really likes to classify things as a level of brain health. So it’s kind of like the brain is not functioning to the level it can and there’s an ability to correct that and improve the health of the brain.

Anne: Okay. All right. She continues, “Since then, we’ve made food/supplement changes and started behavior modification techniques and speech therapy. But the thing that has been the most impactful by far is Carol’s Healing Center. He and I have been starting the day with the cleaning session, and then during cleaning sessions when he gets overwhelmed, defiant, angry, etc. Every time he does one, he has an instant mood change and is able to think clearly and relax. I feel like I’m able to fully see and appreciate the real him, the caring, compassionate, deep feeling, intelligent boy he is for the first time.”

Carol: I appreciate Angie’s acknowledgment of what’s available there. And you might wonder why has that made such a big difference? Because he’s overstimulated. He is running all this energy that then provokes the behavior that shows like defiance or too extreme or out of balance. They’re moving that energy. They’re shifting it, they’re cleaning it up, they’re bringing it back into balance. They’re restoring his energy system into a state of calm. That then is exhibited in his behavior, and we have the power to do that.

We’re affected energetically every day of our lives. You feel it when you’re with certain people, your emotions change, you can feel more and more that we’re very vulnerable to states of energy. That’s why they even now have a diagnosis called highly sensitive people because we have a very stimulating world and we’re processing a lot of emotion in our world. You can tell that by the way, people will lose control of their language in what they verbally share in social media platforms. This emotion is provoking all of these conversations that are uncivil. And so we just have a lot of energy moving and The Healing Center teaches you how to clean it up, bring into balance, and how to carry a very high…we just say a state of a higher frequency energy that is what we call feeling good.

Anne: Can you give an example of maybe what she might be doing with him in The Healing Center and what’s there that would be beneficial for children?

Carol: We use tapping. It’s the hands-on process for clearing. I have videos that take you through what’s called a clearing session. And let’s just say clearing for anger. You’re just listening to me and you follow along with me. And, you know, in many cases, he wouldn’t have to even be sitting down and tapping on acupressure points that are on what’s called meridian lines that the energy moves, because you’re actually releasing an over stimulus of energy by the tapping process. And so even he, as a boy, could listen to this and his energy system would respond.

And so it’s just like permission, the phrases are like, “Let go of: I’m not good enough, being put down, negative labels, releasing, it’s never good enough, getting in trouble at school,” whatever it is that I’m saying in the script, and then we shift to the positives. It’s like we’ve cleaned all that out. And now we’re going to really stimulate and activate this positivity that I believe is really the innate truth of who we are. It’s not like we’re having to create it, we’re allowing it to get turned on to become present.

So let’s say, “I’m succeeding, I’m appreciated for who I am, I’m praised for my good behavior.” So we’re tapping that and that shifts the energy. He might be learning to do a spinal flush with him. We’ve actually taught that publicly in Child Whisperer content, where that just runs down what’s called your governing meridian down your back, your spinal cord, and it just basically fleshes off extra energy and brings your whole energy system into a calm. You feel light. We’ve done those since you were little. Do you remember when I was doing those when you were little?

Anne: Mm-hmm.

Carol: Mark would come home from grade school and I’d have to spinal flush him because he was so stimulated and we now know that he’s highly sensitive to other people’s emotional states. And he’d come home from school and act out. And I would be so like, “Ah, what does he need?” I wouldn’t even peg it on him. I was advanced enough in this work to know something’s going on for him. That’s when we started doing the spinal flush, cleaning up his energy, letting him get grounded, but knowing he was a Type 4 made a big difference. So he wasn’t this intersection for everybody’s energy and he could hold his own. You learn all of these tools to create a healthy state of energy that’s, I think, more necessary than ever in our world.

Anne: Hold that thought. Let’s continue this discussion after a short break.

Woman: What’s your mom uniform? Yoga pants, jeans, and a t-shirt? As a mom, you’re busy and wardrobe isn’t high on the priority list. But do you ever get tired of feeling blah about how you look? Carol Tuttle’s Dressing Your Truth program helps you create a personal style that works for you, for your budget, for your family, and for your life. You can look more pulled together in less time. All you need is a little know-how and Carol can show you. Just sign up for a free account at

Anne: I think this is really admirable what this mom did. I mean, that’s a lot of changes, food changes, supplement changes, behavior modification techniques, speech therapy, daily clearing sessions. Like, the behavior must have been so, you know, upsetting for the mom and the child both that it was like, this needs some serious help. And they have seen amazing shifts.

Carol: Angie is a Type 3 and I hope… Yeah, I know I’m a good leader for my Type 3 tribe to go, “You guys can do this.” So that determination is a blessing when you’re a Type 3.

Anne: So what would you recommend for this mom who asked the question, her son’s 7, so maybe first or second grade has been getting bad behavior from the school on a weekly basis. You know, that’s hard to deal with as a parent.

Carol: Yeah. And I’ve told the story before where when my Type 2 son was little, about 18 months, you know, he kept getting diagnosis after diagnosis of ear infections. And I was told he needed to have tubes and he kept getting increased dosages of antibiotics and I got educated. I needed to know what’s going on here. I wasn’t going to take someone else’s word for it. I started to read, study. Those days, you didn’t have the internet. But I did a lot of reading and I got informed. And I knew this wasn’t about his immune system, it was about diet and he had an allergic reaction to numerous foods. And we went a whole different route. And that’s because I got educated. You’re being invited to start learning. What is ADHD? What’s the difference? What’s does the healthy Type 3 look like? So you know and you can make good decisions for your child. You can get that information in today’s world easily.

Anne: So where would you recommend someone starts?

Carol: Well, I think when it comes to diagnostic issues for children, Dr. Amen has the best content information out there.


Carol: Yeah, even on his website, you can find content and he has a book about ADHD. He’s looked at brains. He’s looked at so many children’s brains. And that’s why Angie paid… Does that cost more money to go in an Amen Clinic? Yes, but…

Anne: But you can get that cleared up, and it’s worth it.

Carol: They knew exactly what they were dealing with then, to what degree too, because you can see your scan and you can see…

Anne: Look at the success she’s setting her child up for then. You get them these tools, that’s amazing.

Carol: Well, the difference too, and like in Chris’s case, I cleaned up that allergic reaction early. It took us about a year-and-a-half of dietary changes, very strict. You were all eating brown rice pancakes. It wasn’t the world we live in today when you can find no grain options. I mean, it was tricky, but I was like, “You know, I’m going to do this. I don’t want my child to have this issue.” He doesn’t have a food allergy to this day. So she’s setting her son up again to now move into his adult life with an advantage to say…Will he have these tendencies? Does he have these vulnerabilities? Yes, they’re learning how to make up the difference so he can have a really successful life.

That’s what parenting is, folks. It’s just what it is. And some of your children require a bigger investment than others. But you learn so… I mean, I can teach what I teach because what I’ve learned because I wasn’t willing to settle. So this is showing up in your experience with your children that’s inviting you to get more informed, to educate yourself, to be led to the information that’s correct for you to know so you are in that position to be informed in the decisions that are being made in your child’s behalf. And you’re saying yes or no to them first.

Thanks for listening. For more support, go to where you can purchase the book, subscribe to our weekly parenting practice email, and find a transcription and audio of The Child Whisperer Podcast.

Anne: If you’re listening on iTunes, thank you for leaving your review. If you have a parenting question, please send it to [email protected].

Related Articles