When it comes to ADHD, most advice tends to be aimed at boys because it is less common for girls to be diagnosed with this condition. In fact, males are three times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than females. Making things even more complicated, girls with ADHD tend to have less obvious symptoms than boys, meaning they're often undiagnosed.
As a parent of a daughter, it's important to be proactive about providing your daughter with help if she does have ADHD. The best place to start is knowing which signs to look out for:
Your Daughter Struggles to Pay Attention
While boys with ADHD tend to be hyperactive, in girls it presents a little differently. The main sign is often that girls with ADHD tend to have trouble paying attention and get distracted easily. In a conversation, her attention may wander and you may feel like she isn't really listening.
She may tune out her teacher and think about other things instead. You may also notice she daydreams a lot and needs to be reminded frequently to pay attention to the task at hand.
Your Daughter Hyper-Focuses on Specific Tasks
Having ADHD can be frustrating, and one way some girls cope is by hyper-focusing on tasks or hobbies they're especially interested in. So they may leave their chores and homework half-done, but practice their basketball drills incessantly or read a whole book without taking breaks. The combination of struggling to pay attention generally while being great at hyper-focusing on specific things is a telltale sign of ADHD in girls.
Your Daughter Needs Help With Executive Functioning
One area where boys and girls with ADHD tend to be similar is struggling with executive functioning. Executive functioning includes all the skills that help anyone navigate day to day life. Examples include the ability to be on time and the ability to remember what you need to do each day.
If your daughter needs extra help remembering basic responsibilities like turning in her homework on time or putting her toys away before bed, don't get frustrated with her. Instead, help her create systems and processes, such as a simple whiteboard with a list of her most important tasks for the day.
If your daughter is exhibiting some or all of these signs, it's time for a professional ADHD evaluation. From there, you will be able to get her the ADHD treatment she needs.