Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"ADD & ADHD in Girls " " Part 2 "Symptoms"

After much reading over the last couple of weeks here are some facts that I have found.
Alarmingly, some studies estimate that as many as 50% to 75% of girls with ADHD are missed. Worse, girls with ADHD are diagnosed on average five years later than boys—boys at age 7, girls at age 12. Five crucial years girls could be getting help are lost. One major reason is that girls’ symptoms manifest differently. “ADHD doesn’t show up in the same ways in girls,” For instance, girls are much less likely to display hyperactive or impulsive symptoms. Instead, they may just appear “spacey,” unfocused, or inattentive. Or they may have trouble staying organized or remembering directions or homework. But even when these symptoms are clearly present, ADHD may be missed. “Girls are less likely to be referred because they cause fewer problems in the classroom.” Socialized to please their teachers and parents, girls can be very good at compensating for the disorder, making it much harder to spot.

So, what are the signs of ADHD in girls? Here are some of the cues you can look for.

Sign #1: Nonstop Talking
A girl with ADHD may a interrupt impulsively. While a boy might leave his seat continually, many girls with ADHD express their restlessness verbally.

Sign #2: Friendship Troubles
Sadly, girls with ADHD tend to struggle to fit in with their peers. “They can be talkative and outgoing, but by the end of the week, they may not have many friends because they got too bossy or interrupted too much,” A girl with ADHD may be slow to pick up on social cues and may even be verbally aggressive when she feels frustrated. Conversely, boys with ADHD are less likely to suffer peer rejection. The rules for boys’ play are less stringent; their games are more physical. But for girls with ADHD—if they don’t receive help and guidance—self-esteem can take a pummeling.

Sign #3: Difficulty Paying Attention
It’s tempting to describe the girl who fiddles with her crayons while you’re explaining fractions, then quickly says, “I don’t get it” as ditsy—a word that somehow seldom gets attached to boys. But trouble listening can be a symptom of ADHD. A girl may have difficulty listening and retaining multi step directions. Finding it hard to stay tuned in when the teacher is talking for several minutes at a time is often a sign of the disorder.

Sign #4: Exceptional Messiness
While girls with ADHD are far less likely than boys to be disruptive in class, they are just as likely to have organizational problems. A very visible sign of a girl struggling with ADHD may be her disorganized desk or backpack. She may also have issues with homework and classroom routine—i.e., she’s not able to keep her papers in order or find a pencil when needed. While all kids can be sloppy at times, the frequency and degree may be a clue.

Sign #5: Unfinished Work
Since girls may try hard to mask their disorder, teachers don’t always realize how much they are struggling to finish assignments. They may appear shy and studious in the classroom and don’t often stand out to teachers. Teachers should take note of girls who consistently fail to finish classroom assignments or tests in the allotted time even though they seem to know the material.

Sign #6: Emotionality
So, if your daughter bursts into tears at the slightest reproach or turns into a ball of fury when play doesn’t go their way. ADHD, can cause an impulsive that might make it hard for them to control their emotions. At the same time, compensating for ADHD in the classroom and on the playground is exhausting and may leave them depleted and vulnerable. We all want approval and success, and when it’s hard to come by, the tears may seem to flow over the smallest incidents.

Makayla "ADD" Part 1 Getting diagnosed

Last week I posted that I had a conference with Makayla's teacher and then an appointment with her pediatrician. That I would explain everything later. Well I dug my heels for as long as I could. I really didn't want her on medicine. I was leery of her being labeled at school, as having to take medicine to control her behaviour. In which she's not a bad child, not disruptive, or mischievous. But I've known for over a year that Makayla had a problem focusing on her work. So after the conference last week I asked Makayla if her mind tried to think about several things at one time. She said no it just drifts off to other things. "I dream of a chocolate land" Wow! Could it get any better than that? Lots, and lots of chocolate. But seriously, her mind wanders when it should be doing school work. Her desk on my goodness every time I happen to be there for a party or something, it's a total wreck. Then there's her handwriting. I don't know how many times we have erased, or started homework completely over. It had all become very frustrating for me, so I'm sure it was for her too. But after talking it over with the two pediatricians that has seen her for the past 6 or so years. In which come to find out, one was on medicine himself when he was a child. I felt alot better about it all. She has been diagnosed as being ADD. I've also explained to her that it's nothing that she has done, just something she was born with. So we tried this morning to start taking the medicine that was prescribed. It's a gel type pill, and this is the first time she's ever had to try and swallow a pill. Just say it didn't go well. We both ended up crying. So we're trying again tomorrow and see what happens.