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.
“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.”
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. According to psychotherapist Keath Low, “Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has long been thought of as a condition affecting males (think an energetic boy who has trouble sitting still during class).”
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. Dr. Ellen Littman, co-author of Understanding Girls with ADHD, says that if a girl with ADHD does not receive a diagnosis or have treatment as she enters adolescence and young adulthood, she will almost inevitably encounter a “range of adjustment problems.”
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 is a challenge, not necessarily an excuse for kids,” says Steven L. Pastyrnak, PhD, of the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Michigan.