ADHD | ADD for Women and Girls
Most people think fidgeting, running around and interrupting others are typical symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). And they are - in boys. (Note: these are also symptoms of every child who is growing up too. so don't be alarmed just yet.)
Girls with ADHD usually behave differently than boys with ADHD. Girls are more forgetful, easily distracted and tend to not follow directions. They can be constantly talking for an hour straight and then transition to just sitting quietly in class, not listening to the teacher or anyone around them.
However, since they’re often less defiant and cause less trouble than boys, girls with ADHD are more likely to be overlooked and not get the help they need. Research also shows that students who struggle with attention problems and are uncooperative with peers and teachers are more likely to fail in school and be ostracized by classmates.
The most troubling is girls with ADHD are more likely than other girls to attempt suicide and inflict self-injuries by their late teens or early 20s, according to a 10-year study published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology in August 2012.
Despite the challenges, parents can make a huge difference in helping girls with ADHD achieve at school and thrive with friends.
Here are tips for raising happy, successful daughters:
Eat better. The biggest change you can make as a parent to help your daughter with ADHD is remove refined sugars and processed foods form her diet. Whole grains, leafy greens or at least some vegetables and organic meats should be chosen over quick foods high in starch and sugar. My Mars Venus Wellness Solution for Women is a great foundation for proper nutrition and can be given to children. You might want to only give half the amounts of minerals and shakes until they reach 11-12 years old. Depends on the child size and weight.
Get help. Find out if the school offers support services. Reading or math specialists, for example, can develop an individualized program for your daughter.
Test her. Ask the teacher and school psychologist to test your daughter for learning disabilities. If she qualifies, your daughter may be entitled to special help, such as tutors or special programs.
Establish goals. Ask the teacher to work with your daughter on goals and rewards that help her pay attention in class and complete tasks on time. If this is not possible at school, then set goals and offer rewards at home. Rewards can be phased out over time.
Move her. Suggest moving her desk away from friends and to the front of the class. If she isn’t near girlfriends, she’ll chatter less.
Switch classes. If your daughter is in a large classroom, or a class with casual supervision and loose work deadlines, ask if she can move to another class.
Schedule homework. Make sure she does her homework at the same time every day, and in the same quiet place. This minimizes the temptation to get into other activities.
Be prepared. On school nights, have your daughter lay out clothes for the next day so she isn’t distracted by morning decisions. Help her estimate how long it takes to get ready for school in the morning. Set an alarm clock and post a large schedule in her bedroom, so she’ll know when to get up and is ready to leave on time. It is also a good idea to place everything she needs for school by the door.
Role play. Does your child interrupt a lot? Practice switching your roles and interrupt her, talk over her or boss her while talking. Then, without criticizing or lecturing, talk about how it makes her feel – this might help her to become more socially aware. Girls with ADHD often have relationship issues. They may be excluded from birthday parties or special events because other girls see them interrupting, barging into social groups and acting bossy. If your daughter has attention problems, she may also miss social cues, so it’s harder to make friends.
Play hard. More active girls often flourish socially and it’s easier to make friends. Some studies suggest that exercise itself can improve cognitive performance and help kids manage ADHD symptoms.
Promote her. Find something she’s really good at, like drawing, theater, sports or caring for pets. Help her spend time with that activity and make sure she gets recognition for it.
Try therapy. Girls with serious self-esteem issues may benefit from talk therapy to help challenge her negative thoughts. Depression and anxiety often accompany ADHD in girls. If your daughter seems more anxious or withdrawn, spends a lot of time alone, changes her sleep habits or seems unmotivated., then she may benefit from a therapist.
Lead her. Teach by example and show her ways to manage and reduce her stress. The right diet and proper nutrition will help reduce her stress, but certain stress-management techniques like meditation, yoga and deep-breathing exercises can help anxious girls with ADHD.
My Son Has ADHD
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The statements and products referred to throughout this site have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. They are the expressed opinion of John Gray for the sole purpose of educating the public regarding their health, happiness and improved quality of relationships. Individual results may vary. Seek the advice of a competent health care professional for your specific health concerns.