Wednesday, April 04, 2012

ADHD: how boys and girls act differently

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By Sarah Gilbert


We often hear of parents complaining that they are coping with the feeling that things are completely out of control. Activities like putting the kids to bed and tucking them in there through the night have become a major task that take up most of the evening which leave the parents exhausted, frustrated and sometimes, tempers flare.

Two children, a boy and a girl, Carlo and Tanya whose behaviors look very different, have been diagnosed with having (ADHD) Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder after having gone through professional counseling. ADHD is a behavioral disorder characterized by three major symptoms namely:

Inattention: having difficulty maintaining attention, being easily distracted, often losing things, and being forgetful and disorganized.

Impulsivity: having a low level of tolerance, trouble waiting, sharing, and taking turns.

Hyperactivity: talking excessively, being constantly in motion, running, climbing, and squirming more than other children.

For a long time, ADHD was considered to be a "boy's problem" however, professional counselors believe that it is widely under diagnosed in girls. Apparently, gender differences in ADHD, different manifestations of symptoms in boys and girls, have become clearer. According to experts, this disorder and how it manifests itself differently in boys and girls is the crucial first step in facilitating early effective diagnosis and treatment by professional counseling.

Girls with ADHD will have difficulty with social relationships whilst boys tend to have difficulty getting along with others. Most often, girls are misdiagnosed with depression because girls tend to internalize their symptoms.

Carlo, 11 years old, gets into trouble often in school. He shouts out answers without being asked and keeps standing up. Homework and classroom assignments are always a mess. At home, his room is totally disorganized, as is his backpack. He lacks focus on schoolwork but will concentrate for hours playing computer games.

Tanya, 13 years old was observed doodling in her notebook, staring out on windows, daydreaming while curling her hair. At home, as she sits down to do her home assignments; she realizes that she forgot her book to do the homework. Tanya is bright and never troublesome at school, but lately, her grades have been affected due to her difficulty in concentration.

Both situations are examples of ADHD. Most parents are not equipped to deal with ADHD and are often left wondering what they could do. Parents can take a proactive stand, paying close attention to the indicators of ADHD and consult a professional counselor immediately for proper evaluation and guidance.




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