– Inattention: For many girls with ADHD, maintaining concentration is a constant struggle. They may have trouble focusing long enough to complete tasks both at home and at school. Don’t be thrown off by hyperfocus. Some people with ADHD are capable of focusing endlessly on things that interest them but can’t sustain attention on less interesting but more important tasks: A girl might read a novel cover to cover but find herself unable to finish the one-page book report.
– Distractability: Girls with ADHD may also be easily distracted by outside stimuli, and prone to what Dr. Quinn calls “internal distractability.” Unconsciously swept away by their own thoughts, they end up completely missing things going on right in front of them.
– Hyperactivity: Some girls show more “classic” signs of hyperactivity: being excessively active, struggling to stay still. Most, however, display the urge to be in motion more quietly, doodling, fidgeting, or constantly wiggling in their chairs.
– Impulsivity: This, too, looks somewhat different in girls than boys. Girls may be overemotional, unable to slow themselves down to process their feelings. “Girls are more likely to be chatty and verbally impulsive,” says Kathleen Nadeau, director of the Chesapeake Center for ADHD. “They interrupt and talk out of turn.” Impulsive girls may struggle to interpret what is and isn’t socially appropriate and have trouble making and keeping friends.
– Executive Malfunctions: Many of the issues associated with ADHD stem from poor executive functioning skills. Girls with ADHD can display poor time management and struggle with multi-step directions and task completion. Important items often go missing, sometimes remerging in surprising places: My phone was in the fridge? I have vivid memories of rushed, stupid mistakes that cost me dearly on tests, key buttons (ahem) left undone, vital papers lost only to be found, far past due and squashed beyond recognition, at the bottom of my backpack.How to Tell if Your Daughter Has ADHD
- The main symptoms of HKD are impaired attention and overactivity. Both are necessary for diagnosis.
- Impaired attention – manifested by a lack of persistent task involvement and a tendency to move from one activity to another without completion.
- Overactivity – characterised by restlessness, talkativeness, noisiness and fidgeting, particularly in situations requiring calm.
- Early onset – behavioural symptoms present prior to 6 years of age, and of long duration.
- Impairment must be present in two or more settings (e.g. home, classroom, clinic).
- Diagnosis of anxiety disorders, mood affective disorders, pervasive developmental disorders and schizophrenia must be excluded.
Current ADHD Diagnostic Criteria – DSM 5
Below is the shortened version of the criteria used for diagnosing ADHD.Current ADHD Diagnostic Criteria – DSM 5