How does ADHD look different in girls?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or #ADHD for short has three types: Primarily Hyperactive Presentation or Primarily Inattentive Presentation, or a combination of both. The hyperactive presentation is the more obvious one: always in motion, acts as driven by a motor, lacks impulse control. Inattentive type is harder to see. And it tends to look different in girls.
Sometimes these traits get overlooked like they're personality traits, not ADHD symptoms.
Here are some signs and symptoms to look for with girls:
Daydreaming and in a world of her own
Difficulty maintaining focus; easily distracted
Disorganized and messy (in her appearance and physical space)
Doesn’t appear to be trying
Doesn’t seem motivated
Highly sensitive to noise, fabrics, and emotions
Hyper-talkative (always has lots to say, but is not good at listening)
Hyperreactivity (exaggerated emotional responses)
Looks to be making "careless" mistakes
Might often slam her doors shut
Often late (poor time management)
Problems completing tasks
Seems to get easily upset
Shifting focus from one activity to another
Takes time to process information and directions; seems like she doesn't hear you
Verbally impulsive; blurts out and interrupts others
If ADHD is diagnosed, it can be treated and managed. Interventions can be put in place, including behavioral management, organizational strategies, counseling, medication and support.
Simply having the ADHD diagnosis can relieve a girl of a huge burden of guilt and shame. It can also free her from the damaging labels of being “spacey,” “unmotivated,” “stupid,” or “lazy.” She is none of those things; she simply has ADHD. Strategies can be put in place to make life a little easier and her future much brighter. Click here to find out more about diagnosis.