The Unknown Prevalence of ADHD in Girls
It is a reasonable assumption that, when this acronym is mentioned, an associated image appears in your mind’s eye. An uncontrollable class clown, the kid at your nephew’s birthday who couldn’t resist the urge to “help” with the unwrapping process, or that 6 year old who is on the sort of impossibly constant sugar high that would make Willy Wonka himself switch to Sweet-and-Low (“okay kid, nice and easy. Now back away from the chocolate bar before this goes nuclear”).
A good number of scenarios, both amusing and exasperating come to mind, though few of them, if any, will involve the image of a little girl.
Last night I was awake reading an article on the use of EEG in the treatment of ADHD and insomnia (for those interested in my ironic late night foray into hyperactivity, the article can be found here), after which, while scanning the internet for articles regarding female diagnosis of the disorder, I was fortunate enough to stumble across this article written late last month, on the myths surrounding girls with ADHD.
Until recently the prevalence of ADHD in the female population was dramatically underestimated due to the differences in how symptoms present in either gender. Girls are socialized differently than boys and, consequently exhibit telltale signs of the disorder differently. They may often appear as unmotivated, introverted daydreamers who may show a calm distractedness rather than rambunctiousness but, nonetheless, do require treatment as much as their male counterparts.
To paraphrase the author of this article, the greatest myth surrounding females with ADHD is the myth that they are not at risk. It is not surprising to think of how many girls have fallen through the cracks because of this.
As much as this thought breaks my heart, I am feeling pretty fortunate today that I get to be a part of the first team to use neurofeedback to create focus exercising games, the sort that can be used as a form of treatment in ADHD, that is specifically marketed for girls. I encourage anyone interested to read the linked articles above and to investigate UpCake2.0 here.
Director of Communications