10 Signs and Symptoms of ADHD in Girls
You Must Know
By Haziqa Ishtiaq
ADHD is a hyperactivity and inattention disorder that can affect a child at any age. Most young kids are by nature volatile, impulsive, hyperactive and inattentive, but ADHD tends to make these behavioral problems an everyday occurrence.
Both boys and girls showcase symptoms of ADHD; but in case of girls, they tend to go undiagnosed.
Girls are different than boys – a very general, obvious fact; but, one that cannot be denied. No matter the age of women empowerment and feminism, some differences between the male and female gender cannot be overcome.
Similarly, due to their nature and physique, the symptoms of ADHD in girls are different than boys; thus why it is believed that ADHD is more common in boys than girls.
It takes time and various behavioral tests to determine whether a child has ADHD, but following are the common symptoms of ADHD you’ll find in young girls...
1. Talkative and Impulsive
Excessive talking is in correlation to hyperactivity.
When you say hyperactivity, you are more likely to imagine boys bouncing off of walls or running around with endless energy. For girls, however, hyperactivity is a little bit different.
Girls with ADHD tend to be “quietly” hyperactive; meaning, they will be fidgety, silently shuffling in their seats, or show excessive talking.
They can switch from one topic of conversation to the other in one single breath without pause. Some girls also tend to be impulsive in their speech and blurt out whatever’s in their mind; not to mention, they are most likely always to be interrupting you.
This excessive talking and impulsive speech gets taken as a personality problem, and the ADHD in girls goes undiagnosed.
2. Good Grades Require More Effort
Though, doing poorly in school is not primarily a diagnosis for ADHD, needing to spend more time on school assignments and tests is one of the symptoms of ADHD in girls.
Homework takes longer than needed, and the overall progress in school is not as well as it should be considering the time spent studying.
During kindergarten and primary school, ADHD in girls is hidden as there are no clear signs to look for; but, as they get into middle school and the pressure rises, the difficulty to keep up with their peers starts to make itself known.
Besides homework and tests, their reading comprehension is also lacking. They can pick up facts from texts, but relating ideas to what she reads is where she draws short.
Girls with ADHD, as they grow up tend to realize their shortcomings and try to work extra hard to overcome them. Their effort to not fall behind hides their symptoms of ADHD.
3. Mood Swings
ADHD in boys or girls tends to make them unable to control their emotional outbursts.
Every child has a tantrum once-in-a-while; some more than others, but for children with ADHD, these tantrums are more often than not.
For girls with ADHD, they tend to have a range of mood swings.
One minute, they’ll be happy and bursting with energy; then the next, they’ll be crying over something minor. The smallest of difficulties or not getting things her way can have your ADHD daughter burst into tears.
In addition to their ADHD, girls can also suffer from depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem which can worsen the symptoms of ADHD.
4. Extracurricular Activities
In contrast to excessive talking or fidgeting, girls with ADHD can also be super athletic.
Some girls may take an active part in sports and games but be termed “tomboy” for their athleticism, and their symptoms of ADHD overlooked.
As a way to curb their excess energy, girls with ADHD can be reckless as they play. They take part in many extracurricular activities including swimming, school clubs, soccer, etc.
5. Inability to Follow through Projects
One of the symptoms of ADHD is the inability to pay attention or stay focused.
For girls with ADHD, while they might be exceptionally creative and have numerous ideas and projects they want to start; they fail to reach any of them to completion.
They get distracted halfway or lose interest.
On the other hand, tasks that pique their interest and stimulate their hyperactive brain can have them focus for hours on end. It is termed “hyper-focus.”
6. Socially Inept
The ADHD in girls also makes them socially inept.
Hyperactive-impulsive parts of ADHD increases a child’s natural impulsiveness. That impulsiveness in girls and their excessive talking makes them miss relevant social cues.
They don’t comprehend what is socially appropriate and what is not, thus find it difficult to maintain friendships.
Their impulsiveness is also written off as pushy rather than be a sign of ADHD.
Forgetfulness is one of the symptoms in girls with ADHD.
The inability to focus makes them more prone to forgetting things, missing instructions or homework. They are also likely to misplace their possessions more often than not.
Being forgetful is not a high-risk symptom of ADHD hence gets overlooked, especially when the girls with ADHD have friends or parents to compensate for their shortcomings.
As mentioned before, a child with ADHD is more easily distracted by their surroundings. Toys, television show, video games, anything can gain their attention pulling them away from the task at hand.
In girls, that symptom of ADHD is daydreaming. They tend to drift off into their thoughts, unaware of what’s happening around them.
While people without ADHD can be daydreamers, for girls with ADHD, it can be more frequent than not. However, they are considered as ditzy or clumsy; instead of being diagnosed as ADHD.
9. Poor Time Management
Some girls with ADHD display poor time management skills.
Their distractibility and inability to stay focused makes it challenging to be on time for anything. Plus, being forgetful makes them miss assignment due dates, homework submissions, task completion, etc.
They are also never ready when they need to be.
These symptoms of ADHD are of varying nature; hence why people overlook them or write them off as immaturity or carelessness.
Girls with ADHD are also self-critical.
For instance, if a girl without ADHD cannot do something her peers can, she won’t think much of it; whereas, a girl with ADHD will be more self-discriminatory. She is likely to believe there is something wrong with her.
Being aware of their weaknesses affects their self-esteem which can be damaging for their confidence.
ADHD in girls also leads to them being too hard on themselves; they are more prone to thoughts such as "I'm stupid" or "I'm broken."
ADHD, like any other disorder, needs to be handled with care and love. As parents being resentful or angry at your child for something out of their control can be detrimental to their health and wellbeing.
There are many parenting tips to ADHD out there to help you overcome this hurdle and take the pressure off your shoulders. Now that you know the symptoms of ADHD in girls, you can understand your child better and help them improve their lives.