What images come into your mind when you hear the word ADHD?
You might probably picture a child in the church who can’t sit still and finish the whole ceremony. Or perhaps a kid in the class that always goofs off and interrupts his teacher. Or maybe a kid who can’t seem finish a single homework assignment.
Though these are the common symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), girls with this type of disorder don’t show much signs or symptoms. It’s no wonder their parents, teachers and others are having a hard time diagnosing it. If you have a daughter and you suspect that she has ADHD, you may need to pay more attention to specific signs for early diagnosis and treatment.
The ADHD symptoms in boys and girls present differently. For the boys, it’s often characterized by the effect of behavioral problems among other people while with girls, it’s more on how the disorder is affecting themselves.
Below are the symptoms of this disorder in girls:
According to a recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive, there are more girls with ADHD that are unnoticed and undiagnosed. Since girls are more likely to show fewer symptoms and suffer silently, parents and teachers are having a hard time recognizing the symptoms of the disorders in girls.
What happens if you miss these signs and symptoms? Another finding from Harris survey shows that girls may suffer more negative effects from ADHD compared to their male counterparts.
In a school setting, a teacher may suggest an ADHD evaluation when she sees a boy student that is struggling, this resulst to early diagnosis and proper treatment. Girls, on the other hand, are asked to repeat a grade if she’s showing a disorganized behavior.
Girls with ADHD may have their self-esteem more impaired than that of the boys. They tend to have more anxiety, mood disorders and problems with self-esteem which will affect their overall emotional health and general well-being.
Other girls also develop strategies to mask their ADHD as compensation. One typical example of this strategy is perfectionism. She may spend countless hours on certain homework to assure a good grade or she becomes obsessive-compulsive.
In many cases, ADHD symptoms in girls are often first noticed in the classroom. When a teacher thinks that a certain girl student displays symptoms of this condition, she brings this up to the parents of the concerned student. She gathers data on how a student interacts with her classmates and peers in the classroom and even on the playground. The teacher or school councilor will then invite the student’s parents to have a meeting and discuss the next steps.
A closer observation of the child’s behavior is one of the first steps in diagnosing the condition. Special testing may also be performed by your child’s counselor. The counselor will run through several medical exams and checklists of symptoms to rule out any other possible cause of these symptoms. His aim is to gather the following information:
This gathered information will help determine the next steps that you should take to help your child. Aside from all these concerns, your child’s doctor may need to perform an exam to provide accurate diagnosis and create a treatment plan. He may refer your child to a child psychologist that specializes in ADHD symptoms in girls.
It’s very fortunate that many professionals have spent hours on researches and studies to create effective ways to manage girls with ADHD. The follow will do help.
It is important that we pay more attention to the needs of girls diagnosed with ADHD, this way we can be an aid to a more effective treatment of this disorder.