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Talk to me about ADHD particularly girls

(59 Posts)
Waitingforsleep Wed 10-May-17 19:43:16

I'm wondering if I have missed what could be ADHD for my Dd , can anyone chat about this or their experiences of particualry a girl or mild ADHD / inattentive ADHD?

beautifulgirls Wed 10-May-17 21:25:04

Inattentive ADHD far more common in girls than hyperactive type or mixed. Often off the radar of the staff at school as they are not disruptive, just great at not doing what they should be doing as so easily distracted by the falling pencil or the bird tweeting outside. Take forever to get started on a piece of work in class or homework at home. Self organisation skills very poor despite checklists and often last to be organised, running late, forget to put things in book bag etc. Self esteem issues are there - my daughter thought for a long time she was useless, couldnt do the work when actually what she could do was actually academically very good but just not getting down on the paper infront of her. Verbally good but ability to write this all down poor so marks not reflective of actual ability a lot of the time.

There is a lot of info if you have a google of girls and ADHD. It took a long time for her school to see what was happening infront of them. They would deny a problem then write a summary of her character that listed all of her issues but still not recognising them as ADHD. Thankfully we had a good consultant who could see exactly from what had been written that the issues were both at school and home and enough to recognise her ADHD. School now much better educated and understand things and support DD - self esteem so much improved and she is doing well.

Waitingforsleep Wed 10-May-17 21:29:58

Could temper outbursts be a part of ADHD? This is one of the main concerns we have about her - 0-60 temper and gets so angry and rude. I'm wondering if the explosive reaction could be classed as impulsive?
She has dysgraphia, high iq low working memory, finds processing information hard, always fidgeting, cartwheels, tapping,humming asking questions and talking and finds it difficult to sleep- on melatonin..

beautifulgirls Thu 11-May-17 15:09:21

Yes, absolutely, it's an impulsive thing and often down to frustration on their part. DD is calmer and happier these days with medication and it's easy to tell a non medicated day! She's on the whole a good kid, was before diagnosis but very moody and low self esteem back then.
Our consultant described it like an map. non ADHD brains have only a few active pathways and navigating these and working out what is happening between them is relatively easy. In an ADHD brain there are hundreds of active pathways and instead of following a direct route they overlap so it's really easy to take a wrong turn and stray off the intended route. DD used to call it zoomer brain! She's not used that for a while now though. She hated the diagnosis at first but she's accepted it much more over time and understands much better as time has gone by. I wont pretend everything is simple now but we have come a long way since before diagnosis and I'm glad we looked into it.

BertieBotts Thu 11-May-17 15:13:12

Yes when I get home. I was diagnosed at 27 and I wish it had been picked up when I was at school. But because I have a typical girl presentation it was not.

Waitingforsleep Thu 11-May-17 20:16:40

Thank you, please any more info would greatly be received. I have been in camhs for 6 years, had Ados twice but felt it wasn't asd and twice been told anxiety. However I started looking ADHD and it does resonate with me. But worried about the image of what ADHD is supposed to be like versus what it actually is. Have been told she has to be like it in two settings. The explosions only happen at home as she holds it in. But I know she has low level fidgeting in the class room as I think she controls it as she is very self aware. She flaps when exicited as her emotions are big whatever- which makes her such a fab little character on the plus side. She will stand in a queue at school and wouldn't push in as she knows the etiquette of queuing but would not queue at a theme park and gets so bored easily!
She won't shout out in class as much as she used to but as the teacher reported on her record she "needs to share her wonderful ideas when asked and try to talk so much in class"

BertieBotts Thu 11-May-17 21:32:52

Sorry - I have to get back to you tomorrow because I've just had too much on this week and am exhausted.

In two settings doesn't necessarily mean at home and at school, it can also be on trips outside the home, when she's with another carer (e.g. family member), clubs and organisations etc, it's just meant to rule out the idea that the symptoms are actually due to something else such as poor parenting or the stress associated with school for example. It is true that many children will mask at school and then "let go" for the people they feel comfortable with.

Look at Russell Barkley stuff, especially his talks on youtube though they are long. (I got through them while ironing). ADDitude magazine website is also very good.

BertieBotts Thu 11-May-17 21:36:39

To keep you going here is a thread I wrote - it's a bit of an info dump - about adult symptoms which probably isn't that helpful, but can be helpful from a "how typical symptoms can differ" perspective? I don't know if it's really useful or not, but i wanted to add something just in case.

Checklist Fri 12-May-17 14:01:49

Iirc, girls are hyper-reactive (ie tantrums/meltdowns) rather than hyper-active! Chronic disorganisation is the biggest problem we notice, although inability to pay attention is the biggest problem for her!

Waitingforsleep Fri 12-May-17 21:14:32

Omg am 20mins into the hour long one on u tube and it is fascinating!!!!!

Waitingforsleep Fri 12-May-17 21:15:55

Checklist- that hyper reactive - yes yes yes. That's exactly what we have been telling prfiessionals for years is our biggest concern/problem.
Why on earth have camhs never suggested this before?!

Clearlynotmyname Mon 15-May-17 10:57:49

Oh wow this thread could not have come at a better time, thank you Waiting for starting it and everyone else for the advice. I will work my way through the reading. Waiting I hope you get the help you need.

Beautiful - what you wrote could have been written about DD (6, in yr1). She is funny, happy, loves life. But I sometimes feel like she's on a different planet. She simply can't stick at any task if it doesn't engage her, and will even get distracted midway through putting on a piece of clothing. Super impulsive, and will regularly run off with no thought of telling us where she is going, or her safety. Barely notices other people are around and will lean on/step on strangers regularly because she's in a world of her own.

Her school work is ok, but she often gets in trouble for not handing in homework, chewing things, not listening (even when she actually is listening, she doesn't look like it because she is fiddling and staring into space).

DH and I are at our wits end because the simplest of tasks like going out or tidying up are a major struggle, and we often end up shouting at her out of frustration. Then feel terrible because deep down know it's not her fault, but we don't know how to help her sad

We have seen an ADHD parenting coach a couple of times but she mainly seems to advise constant praise for good behaviours, which is only getting us so far. DD enjoys the praise and it makes us feel more positive, but it never seems to alter her behaviour.

School sees a problem and "ADHD traits" but her teacher actually advised against getting a diagnosis, as she feels that children who get diagnosed often then use it as an excuse not to do things, or to do things badly. MIL has also noticed a problem but is terrified of us getting her diagnosed and stuffing DD full of drugs hmm. I also worried about the multiple settings thing because she is worst at home but ok at school.

So we stopped considering diagnosis or even talking to camhs but now I'm wondering if we've got bad advice? Either way we need some help - can anyone advise where we go from here?

Waitingforsleep Mon 15-May-17 22:35:41

Glad you have joined the discussion. Interesting your Dd is fine at school too.
My Dd is so fab, funny and quirky too she is just great so it really is sad when I see her explode at things so often sad
She just can't seem to handle her emotions. When excited and happy that's mega too!

I have actually had her down for a sensory praxis assessment but now wondering if it's more this than that.
Dd does find it hard to stay on task too, mainly down to her really poor working memory, boredom, distraction or getting another idea stuck in her head that she NEEDS to do!

Waitingforsleep Mon 15-May-17 22:38:13

Oh keep meaning to say though that Dd is very aware of strangers and wouldn't run off etc so she isn't Impulsive like that- more impulsive having to do a cartwheel in the living room, talking lots and temper. So still not sure if I'm on right track.
She will wait for a swing at the park would t push past anyone to get anywhere but will
Moan about waiting "ages" has no concept of time and thinks things are longer than they actually are

Clearlynotmyname Tue 16-May-17 12:13:40

Our DDs would get along like a house on fire smile
Very similar apart from the running off thing. How old is your DD (sorry if I missed that upthread)? If she is older that may mean she is less impulsive, but still more so than she should be for her age iyswim. Also from what I know, the impulsive-hyperactive part of the diagnosis has 9 parts and they only have to have 6, i.e. they may not have every feature.

It's good that you have got into camhs. Did you do that through your GP? Our GP told us that the referral had to be through school, but I don't see how that works if the problem is mostly in other settings...

Also interested to hear your DD is on melatonin. Our DD also has problems getting to sleep and we considered it. Has it helped hugely?

Waitingforsleep Tue 16-May-17 17:28:47

We have been under camhs for 6 years it's a nightmare! They have done the Ados twice now for asd but no dx which is why I'm frantically searching.
We are now at her tutors who says she thinks it's asd not add but how do I know?!
Melatonin is a life saver for us. Had to battle to get it but without it she simply can't get to sleep!!!

Waitingforsleep Tue 16-May-17 18:33:03

Will post more later too as its good to have this chat!

Waitingforsleep Tue 16-May-17 22:30:42

Oh she is 9

Checklist Wed 17-May-17 08:37:10

"but her teacher actually advised against getting a diagnosis, as she feels that children who get diagnosed often then use it as an excuse not to do things, or to do things badly."

IMO, they have a neurodevelopmental disorder, and this will cause them not to do things, or do them badly - not the label for it! A label helps with their self esteem, because they know why they struggle with these things, rather than them thinking they are just useless! Dd struggled all the way through school, because she did not have a diagnosis and the problems get worse, as what is expected of them gets more complex, not better because there is no label! At least with a label, they get extra time in exams, to help them plan their answers, which is a problem in GCSEs and A-levels.

I have not seen anything that changes behaviour - like tidying up! I find it is no use telling Dd to to tidy up bedroom, because she says she does not know where to start, and even if she does start, she'll get distracted onto something else within 10 minutes! Better I find is to sit in her bedroom, break it down into smaller tasks, and direct her onto each stage. Likewise going out always takes her ages to get ready and find everything she has lost. Hopefully, if I give her strategies enough times, she will take them on board eventually!

Clearlynotmyname Wed 17-May-17 10:24:41

Waiting I'm sorry you've had such a nightmare. You think they would have been able to help after 6 years in the system!! It's so dispiriting isn't it flowers

Checklist - thank you, yes, that chimes much more with how I feel too. DD can be prone to use excuses sometimes ("I didn't sleep well, that's why I can't tidy up" hmm). But mostly she doesn't do these things because she can't!

Think I need to have another word with her teacher. What about the GP's opinion that a referral needs to come through school, is that correct?

Waitingforsleep Wed 17-May-17 11:23:37

Quick one- can you have ADHD but surprise the anger and only shout and scream when at home?

Clearlynotmyname Wed 17-May-17 14:08:11

Hi Waiting, sorry it took a while for me to understand what you meant - I assume you mean suppress the anger?

In that case yes, I would think that is very common, though in lots of children, rather than being a particular sign of ADHD.

Of course I am not an expert in any of this and hoping someone with more experience can help...

Waitingforsleep Wed 17-May-17 14:49:11

Yes, sorry was in a rush!
I mean with Dd she will go 0-60 at home with her anger but is very aware this isn't socially acceptable so won't do this infront of friends or at school and rarely infront of grandparents although if they are here long enough it creeps out (my mum saw it on holiday with us)
She knows she shouldn't react like that hit can't help it.
I wondered if that means that isn't ADHD as how can you suppress an impulsion to scream etc and regualte you emotion?

Checklist Wed 17-May-17 22:01:39


Yes, IME, Dd could control her emotion at school and in front of friends - but it all comes out at home!

Waitingforsleep Thu 18-May-17 09:37:28

Thanks as this is a stumbling block for people it seems. Sorry I'm asking lots but we at a crucial point with camhs..
I just wonder about add / ADHD as emotional regulation has been the number one of dd's problems bless her and after reading I'm really thinking this may be why.
The constant carthwheeling round the house is driving me bonkers at the moment lol! I asked if she felt like doing them at school she said yes but would t as she would get told off.
I send her to get dressed she goes to the toilet before hand then if off jumping on the bed- I'm like arnt you supposed to be doing something? So I have to remind her to get dressed for school. But then again a lot of kids would do this but I am constantly keeping her on track..

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