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Specialty ADHD Testing for Girls

The Center for CBT is proud to offer specialty ADHD testing services for girls.  Traditional ADHD testing is fantastic, but it was designed for boys. And, since ADHD tends to look significantly different in girls than it does in boys, girls undergoing ADHD testing that doesn't specifically and methodically account for those differences risk their ADHD being overlooked and/or mis-diagnosed.  If you are wondering whether your daughter may be struggling with ADHD, give us a call at 267-551-1984 to speak directly with an ADHD evaluation expert who specializes in ADHD evaluations for girls. 

Why does ADHD tend to get overlooked in girls?

  • Girls exhibit hyperactivity differently than boys.

    • For example, in a classroom setting, a boy with hyperactivity might call out answers in front of the whole class or repeatedly tap his foot, whereas a girl might demonstrate hyperactivity by talking too much with peers.

    • A girl who talks all the time is often viewed by the teacher as being overly chatty, not hyper or problematic (and consequently less likely to be recommended for an evaluation).

  • Girls are more likely than boys to suffer from the inattentive sub-type of ADHD (as opposed to the hyper-active/impulsive sub-type).

    • The symptoms of inattentive ADHD (i.e. shortened attention span, forgetfulness, distractibility, poor attention to detail) tend to be less disruptive and obvious than those of hyperactive ADHD, so teachers are less likely to notice their difficulties and refer them for an evaluation. 

What are some of the common signs of ADHD in girls?

  • Daydreaming quietly in class

  • Procrastination

  • Feeling overwhelmed by work/tasks

  • Avoidance

  • Feeling anxious or sad

  • Exhibiting excessive silliness or spaciness 

  • Acting shy or withdrawn

  • Trouble maintaining friendships

  • Picking at nails or skin

  • Perfectionism

Symptoms like procrastination, avoidance, and feeling overwhelmed by work/tasks may be interpreted as anxiety in girls with ADHD. This is especially true for girls that might fall into the twice exceptional category (those who are gifted and have ADHD); because these girls may perform well academically, these symptoms might not be noticed until teenage-young adult years and are often misinterpreted as anxiety/perfectionism. A comprehensive evaluation with a psychologist who has specific expertise in ADHD in girls can parse out whether symptoms are caused by Anxiety, ADHD, and/or something else so that proper treatment (which, of course, depends on an accurate diagnosis) can be provided.   


Why aren't there more psychologists who specialize in evaluating for ADHD in girls?


The entire history of the ADHD diagnosis and all of the early research on ADHD was with school-aged Caucasian boys, meaning that there is bias baked into the original conceptualization of the disorder and the ways that many psychologists were trained in identifying it.  We are proud and passionate about our Speciality ADHD Testing Program for Girls and hope that more psychologists follow suit in offering thoughtful, comprehensive ADHD evaluations that take into account the gender-specific nuances of ADHD so that girls get access to accurate diagnoses and, consequently, appropriate and effective treatments.

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