Kids (4-12)

Is ADHD Different in Boys and Girls?


It’s important to realize that while ADHD is usually associated with hyperactivity, there is a form that is not associated with hyperactivity. This form is especially common in girls. Girls with predominately inattentive type ADHD will usually be seen as dreamy or detached. Unfortunately, some will be called “airheads” or “space cadets.” Such a young lady can look at a book for 30 minutes without reading a word.

One parent told me that their daughter would lose every article of clothing that wasn’t hooked to her body. Nearly every day, this child’s teacher would have to send her back to the playground to retrieve her sweater or coat, only to have her return 15 minutes later without it, having forgotten what she went after.

A girl with that kind of distractibility would find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to get home night after night with books and assignments written down, and then to complete the work and turn it in the next morning.

Dr. James Dobson has written, “The ‘far away’ child worries me more than the one who is excessively active. She may be seen as a good little girl, who just isn’t very bright, while the troublemaker is more likely to get the help he needs. He’s too irritating to ignore.”

Medical information within this site is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of any health condition. Please consult a licensed health care professional for the treatment or diagnosis of any medical condition.


By: Walt Larimore


iMOM Contributor

Walt Larimore, M.D. has been called “one of America’s best known family physicians.” He is a nationally-known and nationally sought after speaker and health expert.


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  • Mommy23

    Sooooo needed this! Thank you Michelle Dugger for being so willing to put herself out there as a human (not perfect) example. She doesn’t try to act like she has it all figured out perfectly. She is so gracious and non-judgemental. Thank you Susan Merrill so much from a mom who also tends to have a bit of a temper and gets weary and frustrated at times. We are fighting the good fight though.

  • Tosin A.

    When angry whisper. That needs to be my daily mantra as a mother. *takes deep breathe*

  • Jenna Sears

    Great suggestions– I especially enjoy the idea of whispering– not sure how they are ever going to hear me, but I’m going to give it a try! “Soft Spoken Parenting” by Dr. Wally Goddard promotes similar ideals for parenting. Thanks for the reminder to show more love!

  • cdl5555

    This is ridiculous. I realize that times are changing, but let go of the umbilical cord mom’s! Yes, get to know the parents, Yes, have a way to communicate with your child when they’d like to come home. That’s all great, but seriously, “g-rated movies” and “computer filters” and then you lump that in with “don’t micromanage”. A little contradicting? Let them go, see how they do, and assess if you should do that again.. Go with the flow. Children connect best with someone approachable, not the mom handing out rules like M&M’s