How to Understand Girls with ADHD

Although ADHD is much more common in boys, girls can also suffer from it and the condition is almost certainly under-recognized.

There are some subtle but significant differences in ADHD between boys and girls. Although girls are often not hyperactive, when they are they tend to be more fidgety and less motor-driven than boys, and to be more verbally and emotionally impulsive than physically impulsive. However, occasionally girls can be extremely motor-driven and, if not channelled correctly, can have major difficulties.

They may have difficulties in other, slightly tangential, ways and because they are not hyperactive they just ‘fade away’ in class and underachieve. Watch out for the girls in your class who:

  • have very low and often intractable self-esteem
  • are quite depressed and anxious
  • sometimes self-harm
  • lack confidence in social interactions.

It is all too easy to put this down to being ‘just the way the child is’. However, try to watch the pupil carefully and note whether or not she is daydreaming and tends to be unaware of what is happening. In particular, think about whether or not she can be quite bright and whether her brightness may be enabling her to mask the fact that she is switched off for quite a lot of the class time.

Be aware that although this pupil will not be causing you so much difficulty with disruptive behaviour, calling out in class, and so on, her difficulties may be just as important.

Older teenagers with ADHD are more prone to emotionally impulsive comments and to spending impulsively. They can be easily led, drink and smoke excessively and have a much higher incidence of teenage pregnancy. Remember, girls may be adversely affected by changes in the menstrual cycle and their difficulties may be more pronounced at some times of the month than at others.

Filed Under: Lifestyle & Personality


About the Author: Alan Kennon lives a very happy life with two kids and a lovely wife. He likes to share his life time experiences with others about how they can improve their lifestyle and personality.

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