ADD/ADHD in Girls

Did you know that the signs differ to those shown by boys?

Your daughter studies hard, takes hours with her homework, and is a diligent learner. Yet these excellent traits are not reflected in her school grades. You may be left wondering about possible reasons for this. An often-undiagnosed reason for this could be that she may have ADD/ADHD.

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Three times as many young boys as girls are diagnosed with ADD/ADHD. It’s thought that this is because the signs are more obvious in boys, and the associated behaviour seen as less acceptable. Young boys who are always on the go, don’t follow instructions and are disruptive in the classroom (or indeed, wherever they go), are easy to recognise. Young girls who are always involved in many activities,;often volunteer to be teacher’s helper and are chatty and social on the other hand; are unlikely to be diagnosed with ADD/ADHD. Yet this type of behaviour may be amongst the signs of ADD/ADHD in girls and it is usually under-diagnosed. The behaviour is not seen as disruptive as is the behaviour displayed by boys.

Undiagnosed ADHD can lead to problems later in life, such as teen girls engaging in risky behaviour, substance abuse and depression. Some reasons for under-diagnosed ADD/ADHD in girls include the fact that they are more likely than boys to try to meet societal (and their parents’) expectations, and the fact that expectations of the behaviour of girls and boys differ according to societal and family norms. For instance, a boy who is disruptive in class and doesn’t follow instructions is more likely to be seen as a trouble-maker or as having attention difficulties than a girl who displays the same behaviour.

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Some potential indicators of ADD/ADHD in girls which are easy to overlook are:

  • Spending a lot of time on homework and studying, yet her school grades never reflect the effort
  • Poor time management skills; being easily distracted by social media or the internet, and then having to stay up late to complete assignments
  • Struggling with friendships and appears a little socially awkward, because she does not follow conversations well and misses social cues. Her peers may reject her for being “strange” as she does not fit in, which she desperately wants to do.
  • She is forgetful and often leaves items she needs at home
  • She does not pay attention to detail and may miss important instructions in tests. As a result, she doesn’t always understand what she is reading.
  • Often starting projects that she doesn’t finish
  • She talks – a lot, all the time, even in class when she should be concentrating!
  • Getting involved in a lot of extracurricular activities and always being busy
  • She exhibits noticeable mood swings – one minute over-exuberant and the next severely crushed because of a careless comment that someone has said. She may also seem hyper-sensitive.

ADD in girls ADHD in girls

These are only a few of the signs of ADHD in girls. Some additional signs are shared with boys: a general lack of concentration and being easily distracted. Looking at the signs mentioned above, most do not seem too terrible. Some may be seen as cute or endearing, or even be taken as personality quirks. However, taken together (and with others not mentioned in this article), they do cause a negative impact in a girl’s life.

What can you do to help?

If you recognise some of these signs in your daughter or are concerned in any way, you may want to take your daughter for an assessment. For more information, read the full article here.

If you suspect your daughter has ADD or ADHD, it’s important to get advice from a medical professional. Among the ways that you can help your daughter is to provide personalized tutoring, tailored to her specific learning style. BrightSparkz Tutors has many experienced tutors trained to work with students with ADD/ADHD. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help!

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