On the other hand, girls with ADHD are more likely to just have attentional problems, which can lead to difficulty in school, but because they are not disrupting the rest of the class, it may take longer for them to get a diagnosis of ADHD and the help that they need.
A new presentation of the LADD.CAT, or Long-acting ADDerall Community Assessment Trial, may help to raise awareness of girls with ADHD and the problems that they may face with underdiagnosis and undertreatment. Girls in this study showed 'significant improvement' in their ADHD symptoms and an 'an improvement in quality of life'.
But girls with ADHD aren't limited to taking Adderall XR. Another study, 'Efficacy of atomoxetine versus placebo in school-age girls with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder', found that atomoxetine, or Strattera, was 'found to be effective and well tolerated for the treatment of ADHD in school-age girls.'
This is good news that girls with ADHD can be helped, with the main problem now being that they have to be recognized and diagnosed first.
In the book, Understanding Girls With AD/HD, Kathleen G. Nadeau states that 'there are many girls left undiagnosed because their symptoms look different,' because 'girls are less rebellious, less defiant, generally less "difficult" than boys.' The book also explores the differences between boys and girls with ADHD and treatment approaches and is a good resource for parents of a girl with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
So consider getting your daughter evaluated for ADHD if she is having problems paying attention at school, even if she isn't hyperactive. Remember that many children, especially girls, can have the inattentive type of ADHD, without hyperactivity and impulsivity. Of course, ADHD is not the only possible cause of attentional problems, so you might also look into getting your child evaluated for a learning disability or other causes of a short attention span before jumping on a diagnosis of ADHD. See our guide to School Performance Problems for more information.
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