Attention Deficit Disorder
Mary is a bright, young girl who sits quietly in her chair during class. She pays attention in class, but doesn’t comprehend the material. She struggles to understand her assignments and her thoughts continually lead her mind to wonder. Mary often gets off task as she wonders about the world happening outside. Mary suddenly remembers the task at hand and tries to finish on time, but is unable to do so because her mind was overtaken by her daydream. David is a bright, young boy, yet, has trouble concentrating on any task at hand and often finds himself failing assignments. He cannot sit still in his chair and blurts out answers without being called upon. His teacher wonders if he is lazy or maybe even bored with the material being taught to him. So, which child has Attention Deficit Disorder? Actually, both children have ADD. The biggest difference is that David has the hyperactivity and Mary does not. There are more children diagnosed today than ever, and a majority of them are boys; it is more obvious since they are likely to exhibit hyperactive behaviors. In order to properly diagnose children with ADD/ADHD, we first need to understand what ADD/ADHD is and how it manifests differently in boys and girls.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is defined as “not being able to focus, being overactive, not being able control behavior, or a combination of these” (Attention Deficit n.pag.). Attention Deficit Disorder is all of these except for the hyperactivity as shown in David. When many people, such as teachers, think of ADD, they imagine a boy being disruptive or not being able to sit still. While this is true for many cases for boys, girls often only show the inattentiveness of the disorder rather t...
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...rtant in managing ADD (Block n.pag.). There are many different kinds of counselors that can aid in managing symptoms of ADD. Those counselors include child and adolescent psychiatrists, psychologists, cognitive-behavioral therapists, and educational therapists. Finding one that specializes in ADD or ADHD can be of great benefit, but any medical professional can help an individual with their diagnosis.
Better awareness of the way the disorder manifests in girls versus boys so that girls can get the help they need to succeed in school and in life is important. Just because girls’ symptoms aren’t obvious and apparent doesn’t mean that they don’t need as much, if not more, help than boys do. When the time comes that we can fully understand the differences of ADD and ADHD and how it manifests in boys and girls differently, maybe then, so many girls won’t be left behind.
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