ADHD Symptoms in Girls vs. Boys

young girl bored at school

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most commonly diagnoses neurodevelopmental disorders in children. 6.1 million children in the United States are diagnosed with ADHD. However, the diagnosis rate for boys (12.9%) is higher than that for girls (5.6%)

What’s the reason for this discrepancy? It is not because boys have a higher chance of developing ADHD than girls. Instead, it largely has to do with the symptoms boys portray as opposed to girls.

Why Girls Are Under-Diagnosed

Boys have more obvious symptoms—like hyperactivity—that make it easier for parents, teachers, and doctors to spot ADHD.

Girls, meanwhile, learn to mask their symptoms or have more internalized symptoms, such as daydreaming or forgetfulness. Their symptoms are not as obvious to outsiders, making it difficult to parents, teachers, and doctors to spot it.

Nevertheless, by understanding how ADHD shows itself in girls and in boys, parents can be better able to spot it.

ADHD Symptoms in Girls

Girls with ADHD often portray the inattentive characteristics as opposed to the hyperactivity characteristics (though of course, this isn’t always the case). This is why so many girls go undiagnosed, because they don’t display “typical” ADHD behavior.

While their symptoms may not be as obvious as those of boys, you can spot them so long as you aware of them. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Low self-esteem
  • Being withdrawn
  • Academic underachievement
  • Trouble listening
  • Difficulty paying attention (inattentiveness)
  • Excessive daydreaming
  • Difficulty with executive functioning
  • Verbal aggression
  • Making “careless” mistakes
  • Difficulty staying organized
  • Avoiding tasks that require sustained mental effort
  • Frequently losing belongings
  • Easily distracted
  • Forgetting regular tasks, such as chores, appointments, etc.

At Steadfast Academy, we help all children develop cognitive, emotional, and social skills that will help them throughout their lives. To learn more about our early learning programs, contact us today!