ADHD in Girls

adhd-in-girlsDo girls also have ADHD? The answer is yes. ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. There are three basic traits that define ADHD –impulsiveness, hyperactivity and inattentiveness. However, hyperactivity and impulsiveness appear to be more descriptive of this condition in boys, while inattentiveness is more common in girls.  It is easy to quickly recognize boys who tend to be hyperactive. On the other hand, girls often tend to portray more subtle symptoms such as forgetfulness, messiness or dreaminess. Due to this difference, girls with ADHD are often diagnosed later than boys—around middle or high school or, unfortunately, even later in life.

Sometimes, it can be difficult to tell whether your daughter has ADHD or something else. Researchers have estimated that about 35 percent of children with ADHD also have a math or reading disability (dyslexia). Take your child for a full evaluation by a trained professional to tease out the differences.

It is harder to recognize ADHD in girls than in boys. However, there are several symptoms that you can watch out for in your daughters.  Here are some of the signs of ADHD in girls.

Could Your Daughter Have ADHD?

As mentioned earlier, it is recommended that you visit a child psychologist immediately once you begin noticing any strange behaviors in your daughter. Here are some of the signs and symptoms that are common in children with ADHD.

 Dreads School  If your daughter doesn’t like school or tries to avoid it, take this as a serious warning sign.

 Low Self-esteem  If she utters self critical comments such as “I’m dumb!” or “I just can’t do math.” These can be a sign of the self-esteem issues that are common with ADHD, especially in girls.

 Social Challenges  (Social Skill Deficits)  If your daughter expresses anxiety over social situations, such as making or keeping friends, she may be struggling with ADHD. In girls, social deficits may show up in two ways—she might be controlling and desirous of attention or just socially awkward. If your child barges into groups and feels unwelcome then she could have ADHD. Most girls with ADHD struggle to fit in with their peers. They may be verbally aggressive or slow to pick up on social cues, leading to frustration.

 Seeks Help Often (Lack of Confidence)  Most girls with ADHD tend to require a significant level of help with homework. If she requires alot of one-on-one guidance to remain focused, there could be a problem.

 Reports from Teachers (Symptoms in Multiple Environments)  If you’re hearing from her teachers that she has trouble completing assignments, handing in homework and needs constant reminders to stay on task,  she may have ADHD.

 Nonstop Talking (Hyperverbal) 

Is your daughter always talking? Without ruling out the possibility of being a social butterfly, she could also have ADHD. Such a kid may even continue to talk even after being asked to stop. Girls with ADHD show verbal restlessness, while boys tend to show physical restlessness.

 Difficulty Paying Attention (Inattention) 

Does your daughter have a problem listening and retaining instructions? This lack of focus and inattentiveness could also be a sign of ADHD.

 Exceptional Messiness and Unfinished Work (Executive Dysfunction) 

Girls with ADHD are likely to have organizational problems. She could have problems handling her homework or even a classroom routine. Agreeably, all kids tend to be sloppy at any given time, but the degree and frequency should be the clue here. If your daughter is consistently faced with problems in completing her homework, be sure to take her for an ADHD evaluation.

 Emotional Disregulation  Does your daughter burst into tears at the slightest issue? Does she turn into a ball of fury when things don’t go her way? While all children have challenges reigning in emotions, girls with ADHD seem to struggle more than other girls their age.

The Sachs Center specializes in the testing and treatment of ADHD in girls. Call us for an evaluation today! 646-807-8900