ADHD Girls

The majority of children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD) are boys.  Boys are generally identified more frequently than girls are because they are more active, always on the go, and demonstrate acting-out behavior more noticeable than girls.  Girls are often overlooked because they are quieter, are taught to conform, and are less likely to demonstrate acting out behavior.  Signals that your daughter may have ADHD or underlying problems include school phobia, low self-esteem, poor organizational skills, messiness, sleep problems, high intelligence and creativity with low academic performance, and messy appearance. 

If your daughter is struggling and you are unsure if there are underlying problems, consider these important questions: (1) Are these behaviors excessive, long-term, and pervasive? That is, do they occur more often than in other children the same age? (2) Are the behaviors a continuous problem, not just a response to a temporary situation? (3) Do the behaviors occur in several settings or only in one specific place like the playground, home, or in school?  If you answered ‘yes’ to most of these questions, consider an evaluation to help you and your daughter.  You should get information and strategies to use at home and in school that can help your daughter.

Some general strategies parents can try with their daughter include establishing a regular daily schedule, organizing everything, and using homework and notebook organizers.  A useful book for parents is Understanding Girls With ADHD.  Your daughter may be eligible for an IEP in the category “Other Health Impairment” if her ADHD is interfering with her school work and her grades are low.  This would help her and you.