Is ADHD in boys different from ADHD in girls?
The short answer is yes; ADHD is diagnosed in boys three to four times the rate of girls.
A huge factor in the gender difference of ADHD diagnoses is how we, as a society (parents, teachers, doctor, etc.), interpret similar behaviors based on gender, but I'll elaborate more on that below.
But a more accurate response is that Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is complex, and every month new research emerges shedding more light on the causes and treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Before we go any further, we must break down the different types of ADHD symptoms.
1) Hyperactive-Impulsive Type
This type typically affects boys three to four times the rate of girls. Symptoms include extreme activity as if driven by a motor, fidgeting, inability to sit still, and impatience.
It also includes blurting out answers, frequently interrupting others, difficulty waiting in lines or waiting ones turn, risk-taking behaviors, not considering the consequences prior to acting.
Obviously, such outward and often disruptive behavioral symptoms easily gain the attention of parents, teachers, and treatment providers.
2) Inattentive Type ADHD
Those with Inattentive ADHD have challenges focusing and sustaining attention. They are forgetful, disorganized, often lose or misplace things, have messy rooms, and have difficulty following directions and paying attention to details.
This type of ADHD leads to errors and results in poor grades. Those with Inattentive type ADHD have challenges fulfilling school and work responsibilities.
Girls are more likely to suffer from Inattentive ADHD compared to boys. Rather than present with obvious disruptive behaviors, these girls tend to present as "daydreamers" or appear "spacey." As a result, they tend to fall under the radar of teachers and parents are thus at higher risk of being misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all.
3) Combined Type
As the name implies, this type of ADHD is a combination of the first two. For a comprehensive list of the diagnostic criteria for ADHD, visit ADHD criteria.
Boys tend to suffer from ADHD at a rate of three to four times that of girls.
However, because girls tend to manifest the inattentive rather than the hyperactive and often disruptive aspects of the condition, they do not tend to attract the attention of parents and school officials. As a result, they are often under-diagnosed and untreated.
If you suspect your child is suffering from ADHD, seek an ADHD assessment from a mental health treatment provider who specializes in diagnosing and treating ADHD.
Treatment for ADHD can include ADHD medications, ADD natural remedies, the ADHD diet, and behavioral programs such as the Total Focus Program for children and the 30 Days To Better Focus Program for adults.