For many years, ADHD was believed to be a childhood issue that mostly affected boys. But as our knowledge of ADHD has grown, we now know that girls are just as likely to have it as boys. The fact that boys are more frequently diagnosed may be due to the differences between how girls and boys experience ADHD.
Parents, teachers and many healthcare providers tend to focus on the hyperactivity and impulse control aspects of ADHD. These are more typical of boys and get attention because of the disruption they can cause. Girls with ADHD typically display symptoms of the inattentive form of ADHD. They may be labeled “daydreamers” and may exhibit shyness and low self-esteem. As they grow older, girls with ADHD may experience anxiety and depression. There are many signs that a girl may have ADHD, but they may be more subtle than those for boys with ADHD.
Below is a short video that characterizes the symptoms girls with ADHD typically exhibit. It is important for parents to act quickly if they believe their daughter has ADHD. Untreated ADHD in girls can have serious repercussions in their schooling and home life, and later on when they move into the workplace and have children.
Patricia Quinn, M.D. and director of the National Center for Gender Studies and ADHD in Washington D.C. recommends that parents work with an ADHD specialist. They should ensure the evaluating clinician takes a thorough medical history (including family history, due to the high probablility of inheriting ADHD). The doctor should also work with your daughter’s school to obtain more information about her behaviors. And since adolescents are a great source of information about their own experience, encourage a teen to talk directly with her doctor.
ADHD in Girls: How to Recognize the Symptoms