You’ve heard about it. Maybe you’ve even seen it firsthand in neighbors, nephews, or you kids’ classmates. ADHD has become more prominent and even commonplace in today’s world. ADHD has also created a fair amount of opinion and controversy, as doctors, teachers, parents, and psychiatrists disagree about both diagnosis and treatment. Since becoming more “mainstream” many have argued that ADHD is being over diagnosed in situations where there are other factors at play. Others believe that medicating children so young is unnecessary and potentially dangerous. But for some, the realities of ADHD are obvious, and the assistance of treatment can be life-changing.
ADHD: A Boy’s Condition?
The general stereotype of ADHD is a rambunctious boy who bounces off the walls. For years it was very apparent when young boys had ADHD, and seemed easily diagnosable. If your child is all over the place, unruly, unable to sit still or obey simple instructions, well, it’s ADHD! Girls were (and are) less likely to exhibit these behaviors, so boys were diagnosed more often. The CDC has shared statistics that boys are over twice as likely to be diagnosed as girls, which indicates why so many people have bought into the stereotype that ADHD is simply a boy’s disorder, or is just more common for boys than for girls. Unfortunately this may mean that girls who suffer from ADHD may be going undiagnosed.
ADHD in Girls
Think back: you may have known a girl or two who just couldn’t sit still, or bounced off the walls. But the vast majority of girls, even those with ADHD, don’t show levels of hyperactivity quite that noticeable. ADHD simply looks different for girls. Girls with ADHD may seem inattentive, distracted, or preoccupied. They may “zone out” or daydream often, missing important lessons or conversations. They may get bored easily in class, or have difficulty remembering things they’ve been told. Sometimes girls with ADHD are described as “ditsy” or “space cadets.” If this is sounding familiar, you may want to check here for more information about ADHD in girls.
So why is this going undiagnosed? It may be that just as many girls have ADHD as boys, but we just aren’t diagnosing them. There are a variety of reasons. It could be the stereotype that ADHD is a “boy thing.” It may be that girls with ADHD aren’t bouncing off the walls or impossible to control. It’s often that the symptoms of ADHD in girls don’t seem very problematic, or that they can easily be fixed if she just tried harder. But the fact remains: ADHD is an intense disorder that can seriously affect girls.
Do not ignore the signs of ADHD in girls. If you notice your daughter seems distracted, flighty, or is struggling to pay attention and perform well in school – you may want to look into an ADHD diagnosis. Ignoring ADHD in girls can lead to serious consequences with school, self-esteem, and misbehavior. If your daughter is diagnosed with ADHD and the problem is more than your family can handle, there are residential treatment centers designed with your daughter in mind, ready to offer the ADHD treatment she needs.