ADHD Symptoms Vary Between Genders

E. Chankin, Staff Writer

When you think of ADHD, the majority of people think of a young boy who is rambunctious and talkative, and but they usually don’t think of an energetic girl who has social skills and wants to get good grades.

Most adults don’t recognize ADHD in young girls because girls have figured out how to channel their symptoms into useful and undisruptive ways in their life. According to Meadow Schroeder, the assistant professor of education at the University of Calgary, “ADHD can look different in girls than boys. A boy who is hyperactive might have trouble sitting in his seat in the classroom […] it is likely, given his constant shifting and unequal balance on the seat, that the back legs of the chair will eventually lift up and the boy may fall to the floor.”

In an interview with CNN News, Schroeder went on to explain, “In contrast, a hyperactive girl may be out of her seat but have taken on the role of classroom helper, wandering around to different desks. A teacher completing a rating scale might rate the boy higher on hyperactive questions than the girl because the second example is not seen as disruptive. Thus, girls do not score as high as boys on these scales and are underrepresented because they do not meet criteria for a diagnosis.”

There is also a social expectation put on young girls to be more responsible and easygoing, therefore covering the stereotypical symptoms of ADHD. Without meaning to, adults have created different expectations for girls and boys. It is important to recognize symptoms early, as ADHD can later lead to other mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. If we break this small but significant stereotype then we are one step further to break the larger and more demanding stereotypes in today’s society.