Understanding ADHD In Girls

Why Your Little Princess Might Have It Without Anyone Suspecting

Most people, when asked about the typical signs of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), would readily answer climbing on things, being disruptive, stubborn and impatient – signs that usually boys with ADHD would do.And most would think it unbelievable that a very sociable girl with friends and good grades in school might have ADHD, too.


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“But this is very possible,” says an LA-based child psychologist. “What can be presumed as signs of ADHD in boys we might not see girls doing. Thus, the condition looks different when girls are involved.”


Gender Difference

ADHD was viewed traditionally as a disorder affecting the male species. It is in this accord that the behaviors used to assess the condition among individuals may have been based mainly on the actions done by males and not females.

The three main groups of ADHD symptoms are inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. Typically, we see hyperactivity in the classroom in someone who’s continually fidgeting and is not able to sit still. A boy may show this symptom through imbalance sitting causing his chair to topple off and him to fall on the floor. However, a girl with ADHD may exhibit her hyperactivity differently through being the class helper, someone who is consistently out of her chair, fleeting from desk to desk doing little odds and ends.

To the teacher, the boy rates high on the hyperactivity scale because his actions are deemed disruptive in the classroom while the girl’s acts get overlooked and dismissed with a, “Oh, she’s just flighty” remark.

Secondly, aside from exhibiting symptom differences, boys tend to be more hyperactive and impulsive. And because behaviors associated with these two can cause classroom upsets and disturbances, teachers are more likely to refer boys for ADHD diagnosing and counseling.

Thirdly, ADHD symptoms in girls are, at times, concealed by their innate desire to meet the expectations adults have of them. Girls are more likely to follow the accepted norms of their surroundings so as not to cause trouble. In turn, adults always have these expectations about girls – being tidy, organized, more sociable and get good grades in school.


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How Will I Know That My Daughter Possibly Has ADHD?

Both genders share the same ADHD symptoms; girls just have different ways of showing it.

  • Doing homework takes a lot longer. Instead of doing what she needs to do, she quickly gets distracted by other tasks resulting in her doing her school works and projects at the eleventh hour.
  • No matter how hard she studies or appears to, her school performance doesn’t seem to match the efforts she puts into it.
  • Her reading comprehension is weak. She can read well but can’t connect ideas to the words. She also tends to disregard instructions in her assignments and school works.
  • She often forgets things she needs and misplaces them repeatedly.
  • She’s very chatty and sociable with others. While she may not climb or run to channel her hyperactive tendencies, you’ll most likely see her drifting from desk to desk in the classroom or go about being the classroom helper. She may also get involved in a lot of extracurricular activities like school clubs and such.
  • Her sunny demeanor and fun personality draw people in so she has many friends.
  • She’s often late for appointments and doesn’t seem to get ready on time.
  • She often has mood

If your daughter displays these behaviors and you suspect she has ADHD, you should seek someone well-versed in dealing with the condition. Remember, ADHD doesn’t make your child less than the other kids her age; she’s just unique.

ADHD Discipline: When Your Kid Lies

Possible Reasons Behind The Behavior And Ways To Manage It

While not every child with ADHD is inclined to tell lies, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and lying go hand in hand together often to the chagrin of every parent. To make matters more complicated, with kids in this condition, confronting the behavior like how we do with regular children doesn’t always work. So how do we discipline our ADHD kids who frequently lie?

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Determine What Caused The Behavior

There are three possible reasons why kids with ADHD don’t tell the truth.

  • Firstly, they have trouble expressing themselves. ADHD kids have difficulty with their processing and communication abilities. They might tell a lie thinking that they’re just communicating themselves with what they believe is an honest way. They might have forgotten and tell lies to cover it up. Or they just may be struggling to honestly convey what’s on their minds or what they exactly feel.

It’s not that ADHD causes kids to lie. For some who have the condition, the opposite even happens – they just can’t help from blurting out the honest truth!

  • Secondly, compulsive lying in some ADHD kids might be a sign that they’re suffering from low self-esteem.
  • Thirdly, lying could be an ADHD child’s way of dealing with the things around him. Aside from suffering from low self-esteem, maybe he doesn’t want to be perceived as a failure for failing too much or being too forgetful.

Addressing Both The Condition And The Behavior

Know and understand what caused the behavior.

To gain parental control over your child’s lying tendencies, try to understand every circumstance wherein he felt compelled to tell lies. Example, if he lies because he’s struggling with a particular activity, check on him from time to time, give him ideas on what to do and support him until your child reaches the point where he’s not afraid to fail anymore.

Don’t call them names.

What your child needs from you is compassion and understanding, not judgment and punishment.Lying might be something they don’t intend on doing, so don’t label them as such.

Point out the behavior to them.

Not punishing your ADHD child doesn’t mean you sweep up his lies under the rug. On the contrary, point out that lying is not acceptable and that they are dishonest not just to you but themselves as well. Teach them to be more honest in the future by pointing out gently but firmly their behavior the moment they do it.

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Avoid situations wherein lying could be an option.

If you see your child watching TV during a time where he’s supposed to do his school work, don’t ask him if he’s finished with the latter before opening up the TV because you’re giving him the opportunity to lie to you by answering “Yes” even if he hasn’t. Check his notebooks yourself. If you find his assignments undone, tell him to turn off the TV and do them.

As a parent, guiding your child to do what is right and explaining to him why a certain way, behavior or character is wrong is part of your responsibility. Help your child overcome his lying tendencies by building up his self-esteem, reinforcing in him the belief that he is not a failure by pointing out his strengths and by purely supporting him in his journey towards adulthood and independence.

Using Technology For ADHD Management – Yes, It’s Possible!

Can technology help manage ADHD in kids, help them to stay focused? These experts think it can.


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“Yes, exercising and being in the outdoors is important for kids with boundless energy like those who have ADHD. It’s also true that some technological innovations like video games shorten kids’ attention spans,” says licensed clinical child psychologist Randy Kulman. He strongly asserts these next words:

“However, it’s wrong to say that technology is one of the causes of ADHD.”


Technology In ADHD Management

Kulman is one of the growing numbers of experts who believe technology can be utilized to help manage ADHD in children. According to him, technology isn’t going away anytime soon. So why not use it as an aid for kids who have focus and concentration challenges? Why not use it as well for those with learning disabilities regarding processing the information they learn efficiently and enhancing how their minds process these learnings?

“Technology is one perfect tool for kids and adults, normal or those with special needs,” he stresses out. In fact, he believes in a healthy play diet for kids – a concept where outside play is mixed in with doses of video games and other technological recreations.


How Does Technological Innovations Exactly Benefit Kids With ADHD?


Kulman believes that the smartphone is one of the best innovations helpful for those who have the hyperactivity disorder. For one, it can be used to set up reminders of tasks that a person with ADHD needs to do for the day. Secondly, one can use it as extended working memory since this is the usual problem for those who have the condition. Example, if the child with ADHD needs to bring certain things to school the next day, pictures of these can be taken and then accessed later on to see if he missed anything or not.





Joan Green, a pathologist who has worked with kids and adults with communication and other learning challenges, recommends smartpens as a useful classroom tool for those who have ADHD.

“Kids with the disorder find it difficult to concentrate, learn new lessons and write notes at the same time,” she says. With a smartpen, the child will be able to go through his notes and audio recordings of the lessons at a place more conducive for him regarding attention and retention.



Kulman says that apps can help ADHD kids in regards to writing, supporting their weak executive function abilities, and even improve their working memory issues.



“YouTube is an ideal resource for learning especially for young kids with the condition or those who their parents suspect of having it but are too young to get tested,” says Kulman. The platform is rife with interactive songs, dances and educational videos. However, as much as there are many materials geared towards educating young minds in the platform, it is also filled with inappropriate content, so parents have to be careful that their kids don’t get to that.


Video Games

Joan Green doesn’t think all video game to discern those that are good from those that are junk. She recommends fixtures that allow movements and interactions and encourages focus in players like Minecraft.


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To Minimize Technological Disruptions

But while technology is a great help, it is also a great distraction that can steer those with focus issues away from the tasks they need to do.

In this matter, the experts hand out these pieces of advice:

  • Do a digital environment decluttering. There are available apps that get rid of disrupting online ads.
  • Most browsers have “reader views” which allow the user to read a “text-only” version of whatever document he has online without online ads and promotions popping in every second.
  • Parents can also block distractions from the internet using Guided Access to their electronic devices.

“People with ADHD easily get distracted from a dropping pen to whatever workings they have in their minds. To say technology is one of these distractions is right. But blaming it as THE main culprit is wrong. Its benefits are not only for those who are normal like us. Innovations are greatly advantageous for those with special needs as well,” concludes one of the experts.


Can Certain Foods Lead To ADHD?


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Some experts linked diet and nutrition to ADHD. Certain food items like chocolate, coffee, sugar, soda, and pastries have been associated with the hyperactivity and lack of focus in children. Do they really prove to aggravate the symptoms of the condition or it’s just all another urban myth?

Apparently, there is a trace of truth to this claim. In 2011, a study to determine whether there is a connection between the food intake and the appearance of detectable ADHD behavior in an unselected group of children was conducted. In this research investigation, children with ADHD between the ages of 4 and eight were randomly selected and assigned to a five-week restricted elimination diet. This control group received rice, meat, vegetables, pears, and water. The other half received a regular meal during the study. After five weeks, those who were in the control group showed some changes, a significant improvement in their ADHD symptoms. The other group remained the same, or no significant results were observed.


What is restriction diet?


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From the word itself, this practice utilizes the trial-and-error method in detecting whether certain types of foods affect the child’s behavior. When this happens, the child has food sensitivity and should refrain from eating this kind of meal. Take note – food sensitivity is different from food allergy. Apparent reactions like rash or hive and difficulty of breathing are examples of responses that one can get form having a food allergy. A health care provider can rule out food allergy through a blood test; but not on a food sensitivity.

The process can be started by eliminating specific food items in the child’s meal for at least three weeks then slowly introduce the food again into the meal and observe the child’s behavior. If you notice certain changes like decrease in hyperactivity or enhanced focus, being calm for longer periods, getting enough sleep, then you are on the right track.


Some important considerations

Getting into the restriction diet can have its ups-and-downs. This is normal especially if you are just starting. Patience and consistency are major requirements, as we should say. Make sure that you have consulted the child’s doctor and a dietician for proper food elimination process. In our attempt to help manage the ADHD, we might be helping a new medical problem secondary to restricting the child from eating. It is also a good strategy to involve your children in this endeavor. Help them understand the process and be aware that their ADHD can be linked to the food they eat. Once they know this, they can take care of themselves and get hold of the situation.


So, what foods are not allowed?


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Genetic plays a major role in the development of a medical or mental condition. In ADHD, the knowledge that food can be a link to its symptoms, more studies are still needed to ensure that all individuals with ADHD are presented with the variety of food items or type of diet that they should continue or stop. The reason for this is that a certain food may prove to be sensitive to one person but not to another.  Therefore, there should be proper identification of all the food items.

To date, experts recommend that these food substances are linked to ADHD symptoms: wheat, dairy, nuts, soy, or artificial food dyes.