Congrats, you’re raising a child with ADHD! Or maybe you are a girl or woman who has ADHD herself. Either way, you are welcome here!
After raising two girls with ADHD for the past 15 years, I have a lot of insider knowledge on parenting girls with ADHD.
Girls with ADHD are some of the most engaging and fascinating people on the planet (says my possibly biased opinion). My daughters are full of energy, creativity, zest for life, ambition, and passion.
But, as caregivers of daughters with ADHD know, there are some challenges that girls with ADHD face that a neurotypical girl does not.
If you’re the caregiver of a daughter with ADHD, you probably need a nap. But you are not alone! I’ve needed a nap since 2006.
I am a mom with 2, most likely 3, daughters with ADHD. I am not a medical professional, so take everything I write as personal observation and opinions. If you believe your daughter might have ADHD, speak with your daughter’s healthcare providers or make an appointment with a specialist who works with girls with ADHD.
This directory from ADDitude Magazine has a list of resources for parents.
What are Some Signs of ADHD in Girls?
First things first, does your daughter actually have ADHD? The symptoms of ADHD in girls can be a bit tricky to identify, because not all girls present the same way, and many girls with ADHD look nothing like a typical boy with ADHD.
But in my experience, parents can have a sense for these things. You might not know *for sure* if your daughter has ADHD, but you can see that your daughter is different from other girls and has struggles and challenges that other girls do not.
You can see that she also has a sort of hidden energy, restlessness, and imagination that other girls do not.
My favorite example of a girl with ADHD is Anne of Green Gables. That poor girl who people think is weird, is constantly talking, is hyper and clumsy, and is always forgetting things and getting into trouble is the literary embodiment of a girl with ADHD.
If you’re wondering if your daughter could have ADHD, read more about the signs of ADHD in girls. Always speak with a medical professional if you suspect ADHD or any other condition.
Another common misconception that many caregivers have is that ADHD is always the same in boys and girls. This was not the case for my girls.
While the core symptoms are the same (trouble with attention, hyperactivity, or both), ADHD symptoms present quite differently in girls.
Compounding the issue is a girl’s natural wish to conform and mask her differences, and ADHD in girls can be even harder to spot! If you’re curious about the differences between male and female ADHD, read about ADHD in girls vs boys here.
ADHD Myths about Girls
There are a lot of myths about girls with ADHD, including that girls can’t have ADHD at all. Not only are these myths annoying, but they can be seriously harmful to girls with ADHD because it can make it harder for doctors, teachers, and other professionals to even look at ADHD as a possibility for girls.
It’s time to end these ADHD myths about girls.
One big struggle that girls with ADHD have is anxiety. Anxiety as a side-effect of or co-morbidity alongside ADHD is common for many, many girls with ADHD.
Both of my ADHD daughters struggle with anxiety, but it presents itself differently in both. My eldest daughter masks her anxiety with irritability. She is in constant fight or flight mode, and she chooses to fight almost every time.
My other daughter internalizes her anxiety. She is like an emotional sponge, soaking up everything and holding it all in until she has a meltdown, or until she makes herself physically sick. Her anxiety often manifests as headaches or stomachaches in addition to shyness.
Read more about ADHD and anxiety in girls here.
ADHD in Girls is Different. I share my own personal frustrations with my middle daughter’s ADHD journey.
Hidden Signs of ADHD in Girls are just under the surface. Make sure you’re not missing any of them!
High Functioning ADHD in Girls can cause some problems if it’s not addressed. Find strategies for how to deal with it and what teen ADHD looks like in girls here!
ADHD in teenage girls starts to look different. Here’s what you might see.
ADHD vs Autism in Girls
Some of the signs of ADHD can overlap with signs of mild autism. With 3 ADHD daughters and currently also one with autism, here is what ADHD vs autism in girls looks like in our house.
Helpful Tips for Girls with ADHD
Need more detailed help? I’ve got you covered. Read on for in-depth info on parenting a girl with ADHD.
Parents of girls with ADHD are asking how to help my ADHD daughter. Here’s a few ways that can make a difference!
Good parents really want to provide helpful support to their daughters with ADHD, that’s why understanding my daughter with ADHD is so important to parents! Find some helpful strategies here.
An ADHD behavior chart might work for some girls, but they don’t work well for most girls with ADHD. Here’s why.
If you’re a parent of a girl with ADHD, you’ll love these relatable ADHD things.
ADHD Essentials for Girls
Modify these tools to work with the needs of the girl you’re caring for, as not all girls with ADHD are alike.
Here are some of the ADHD essentials I use in our house:I used this Good behavior tracker to help my girls keep track of their emptions and feelings which helps them improve awareness and reduce impulsivness.
These brain break activities are perfect for girls with ADHD who are in elementary school. We used them between homework sessions.
Here are some things that my ADHD girls find helpful at home and in the classroom:
- Desk lamp (this one with storage is awesome and so is this cat storage lamp)
- ADHD-friendly planner
- Closed storage drawers
- Comfy chair (some kids also benefit from a wiggle chair, mine don’t, they just fall over)
- Weighted lap blanket
- Basic writing tools
- Task timer
- Non-distracting fidget toys
- ADHD sensory tools
- Large, simple calendar
- White noise machine
- Sticky arrow flags
Resources for Raising Girls with ADHD
Products and resources that parents can use when parenting girls with ADHD.
Girls with ADHD sometimes struggle with procrastination and motivation. Read these tips on ADHD motivation tips for girls.
Does your daughter need to fidget? These non-distracting fidgets are a lifesaver for my girls.
You don’t have to buy fidgets- make your own! These DIY fidget toys for girls are tons of fun to make!
Set your daughter up for success! Here’s how to set up an ADHD study space for girls.
Check out these Fidget Bracelets for Girls with ADHD– they are not very noticible but will help your daughter focus in school.
The homework struggle is a familiar and critical struggle for parents of girls with ADHD. Over the years, I’ve figured out a schedule that works for our girls, which might also help your girls, too! Read how to create a homework schedule for girls with ADHD.