I’ve decided to split this post into at least a couple of parts. It’s just about ADD, so if you’re looking for me to write something humorous, skip this post and go read about my orange pee, or Mother’s Day is For Porn, or some other post a little odder or older. Same thing.
This post is about ADD for girls. When people think of Attention Deficit Disorder they usually visualize the hyperactive little boy who can’t sit still in the classroom, talks really fast, and runs from activity to activity with energy we are all jealous of. This is Attention Deficity Hyperactive Disorder and it is most obvious in boys because the bouncing around occurs to such an extreme. It is true that it is over diagnosed, but still if you ever meet an adult who has ADHD, you can see that it’s a real thing. And of course ADD can occur without the H, but it’s a little harder to see at first. I almost think that the hyperactivity is an issue mostly seen in boys.
Girls can look completely different. Well-behaved in the classroom, helpful, polite. But her brain is spinning around in that quiet little head faster than she can process sentences. She appears spacey, day dreamy, consumed with her own inner world. Teachers don’t pay her much attention because she’s so quiet and they keep passing her because they assume she’ll work out her issues in time. Progress reports from the school say she’s an intelligent child, but never does her homework. She should be failing. They call her lazy, distracted and she copes with this by lying. Alot.
Homework. That’s the key here. She can’t remember that she has any, or if she does do her homework then it gets lost before it gets into the teacher’s hands. Lies cover this up even when you see her report card. There’s always a reason she flunks 3 classes. Her desk at school is a disaster, as is her locker, and her bedroom. It’ll be clean for a minute or two after you’ve helped her weed it out, but then it’s like she went in and threw everything on the floor on purpose.
It feels, as a parent, like she’s incredibly stubborn, like she’s failing school on purpose. Lying about homework, promising to get better results that never come. Consequences mean nothing to her because she really can’t think beyond this one moment. She’s impulsive. Very impulsive.
The worst part can be that she’s also depressed. Then things get really tangled because she does have issues to work out. And some things improve with treatment, but she’s still failing school. ADD is much harder to see in girls because most of the hyperactivity is on the inside and she just looks like she’s angry. Really, she’s just frustrated with trying so hard and still failing.
(Part 2 next time with “How to Get a 504 Plan, help at school for ADD”)