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ADHD in girls without the hyperactivity(5 Posts)
My daughter has just turned 9, since reception every teacher has talked about her poor concentration. It is a problem at home too, very similar to her Dad. She moved schools in April and her teacher has now started discussing ADHD and getting her assessed. My initial thoughts were no way but after reading a few articles she seems to fit pretty much every symptom - literally everything I have read, I think Yes, that’s her.
Looking back, I feel that previous teachers have said that she displays all these typical symptoms but they have never gone as far as to suggest assessing. Wondering whether this was deliberate and that they were waiting for me to connect the dots.
I’m not really sure what my question is but I guess I wanted to open a discussion of others experiences and how they have dealt with it. We have recently moved stateside and her teacher has a grown up son who was diagnosed so has personal experience both as a mother and teacher.
It actually feels like a massive relief and that all her behaviour makes sense now.
What are her symptoms? My daughter's Y3 teacher suggested we get her assessed for ADD. I was originally a bit taken aback, because it hadn't crossed my mind. I had also always been told that she has problems concentrating, etc, but she has some learning difficulties as well as other issues so I put it with that. Then when we completed the Connors questionnaire it seemed so obvious. She isn't disruptive in the way that I think boys maybe are a bit more, but she can't sit still in the classroom. She can't concentrate, is fidgety and makes excuses to have to walk around (eg, needs to sharpen a pencil, needs the toilet, etc, anything she can think of to get up, without being "naughty" and wandering around without permission). She was officially diagnosed with ADHD in Y4, and It's now so obvious to me that I can't believe we didn't discuss it sooner!
1. the first symptom was that tantrums lasted for much longer than toddlerhood
2. DD said she was very popular at primary school, because she made the other girls laugh by being extremely silly and she just fell about laughing at things, which in itself made them laugh...
The problems got worse as she left primary school:
3. losing/forgetting things (after she left school, I found about 12 calculators in her bedroom, because she kept telling me she had lost her's). I can't count how many times she lost her keys to the house and ended up locked out....All the neighbours had to take her in!
4. the sheer difficulty in organising thinking for things like essays
5. not knowing what to do in lessons, because she had failed to attend to the instructions; and then asked her classmates, who explained it and again she had not paid attention, so she still did not know what to do and got in a mess in experiments!
6. pretending to pay attention with eye contact and making empty comments in conversations, like "Yeah" or "Cool!", so it looked like she was listening but in fact hadn't the faintest idea what had been said!
7. did not like films or books, as she could not follow what was going on
8. could only follow short answers to her questions, any more than that and she switched off
9. non-stop fidgeting
10. she said she could not bear to sit down in lessons for an hour, but she knew she had to - it took an effort not to walk out
11. being late/forgetting appointments
12. emotionally volatile
I suspect teachers have not brought it up over your DD, because they are not trained to recognise it - everybody seems to expect the way ADHD presents in boys, as the behaviour. Girls get overlooked as "scatter brained", "a daydreamer", etc; plus they are better at covering up their difficulties in front of others at school, while they can't so much at home - the sheer disorganisation becomes so obvious!
Thanks. Yes it all sounds really familiar. Her concentration is really poor and always has been but has become more of an issue in years 3 & 4. She isn’t disruptive in the normal sense but talks constantly to anyone. The teachers have always liked her as she is helpful and enjoys talking to adults as other children don’t always get her chat. She won’t play with groups of girls only very one on one types of friendships. Ten minute homework can take 45 minutes plus. She forgets and loses everything, I can’t send her to do tasks as she forgets and gets distracted. Really messy and always the last out of school dragging something along behind her🙂
Looking back, she didn’t sleep more than 20 minutes as a baby during the day unless held. Getting her to sleep was awful and didn’t sleep through the night until 2. Very sensorial with everything in her mouth and being fiddled with. Her tantrums were bad but normal to me as she was my first child. I always thought my second was sooo easy but I think now that he is just more “normal” (if i’m Allowed to say that!)
I read yesterday that children with ADD have more wee accidents - she had so many during the day but not one at night from the beginning of potty training which I never quite understood.
I keep reading articles relating to girls and it all just fits. DH says but she’s not a problem child and she isn’t in a naughty sense but she is really hard work!
Thanks for your experiences, it helps.
I also thought that she had got a lot better but I think that I had put in place step by step guides to morning/bed/homework routines that worked. But of course, in a school environment where it’s not a step by step process, too many things can go awry.
Another thing I mentioned to the teacher was that her teachers have always said that she is bright but I see it as homework doesn’t get done/spelling is poor etc. I thought that teachers were softening the blow of her poor concentration but her current teacher said that we see her write a sentence with no full stops and capital letters and just think that’s wrong! Whereas the content and questions/observations in class exceed other students. I found this interesting and really made me look at it in a different way.
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