TEEN BOARDING SCHOOLS
ADHD and Girls
While most people think of ADHD as a disorder affecting primarily boys, some experts believe that there may be more girls with ADHD than previously thought. One of the reasons that this disorder is not diagnosed as readily in girls as in boys in the past is that it is often not recognized. This is because the symptoms of ADHD are often very different in girls than in boys.
Boys with ADHD have problems paying attention and are often easily distracted, impulsive and hyperactive, behaviors that may cause them to be referred for diagnostic assessment. Girls, on the other hand, have an equally difficult time paying attention but don't as often exhibit impulsive and hyperactive behaviors. While there are some girls with ADHD that are equally as disruptive as their male counterparts, most are perceived by parents and teachers merely as "dreamy" kids-which often prevents these children from getting the help they need until later in life.
The biggest problem with girls not receiving treatment for symptoms of ADHD is that girls in general tend to internalize their failures. While a boy with ADHD can blame a failed test on the teacher, a girl more readily feels to blame for the bad grade. Such school failures will eventually lead to lowered academic functioning, and for some, difficulties with self-esteem, which can affect all areas of life, including family life.
Girls with ADHD are also more likely than boys with ADHD to have other mental health issues, such as mood disorders such as depression, or anxiety disorders. They are also more likely to have problems with substance use and abuse.
For these reasons, it's crucial to have a child who is inattentive or dreamy in the classroom be evaluated and treated for ADHD. Girls respond well to the same behavioral and medication treatments as do boys with ADHD.