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Girls with "hyperactive" ADHD

I’m just wondering what people’s experiences are having girls with ADHD.

Personally, my daughters have classic “ADHD” with emphasis on the “H”, but all the articles about “Girls With ADHD” discuss how usually it manifests differently, how they are less hyperactive and more spacy.  Googling “girls with adhd” brings up tons of articles about girls going unnoticed and undiagnosed due to the “difference”. 

As this has not been the case for me, I find it hard to find useful information relevant to my daughters.

Does anyone else have girls who are “obviously” ADHD in the hyperactive way that is apparently thought to apply to boys?  Are there ANY articles or resources out there that talk about these girls?

Replies

Mine is as hyper as can be. She does not fit the typical symptoms for a girl either. Not sure I have anything that will help u. But u deff are not alone.

Posted by mom2cadie on Jun 18, 2011 at 11:52pm

My daughter is so hyper and never stops talking or signing. Goes from one activity to another etc. She has always been a terrible sleeper, but we use Melatonin. She is on Focalin and has been since age 6 1/2. She is now 7, almost 8. Meds. have been great, made a big difference. It’s a Jeckyl and Hyde effect on and off medication. But I agree that there is limited hyperactive girl info. I’ve only read a liitle about it. If I find stuff I’ll let you know. You are not alone having a hyperactive girl and it is exhausting.

Posted by Alexmom on Jun 19, 2011 at 1:49am

Although my daughter fit the more ADHD without the “H”, her best friend definitely had the “H”.I don’t think you need to find ADHD info for girls that are hyper, but rather, you can just read what is out there in general on ADHD. The reason you see the write-ups that you do for girls, is that they typically present differently than boys. There’s lots of free information that may be useful for you here: http://sos-research.com/ . Good luck!

Posted by dmschott@pacbell.net on Jun 19, 2011 at 10:57am

Just wanted to let you know that my 6yr old neice is VERY active, so there are others out there.
Best of luck with it all.

Posted by Maddmum on Jun 19, 2011 at 5:32pm

My daughter is VERY active as well.  And I can relate to the “night and day” difference when she is on medicine vs. off.  It can be so exhausting when her medicine wears off.  She has described it as feeling “free” and she wants to take full advantage of that time to do and experience as much as possible.  Competitive gymnastics has really helped her.  The in depth conditioning and constant body movements several days a week feel good to her, and gymnastics helps give her a positive outlet for her abundant energy and practice in controlling it!

Posted by Hopeful333 on Jun 20, 2011 at 9:27am

My daughter is 8 yrs old has been diagnosed since 2.  I finally put her on meds when school became more of a challenge and was beginning to get into trouble.  I am currently reading books “ADHD FOR DUMMIES” I have found that book to be very helpful in terms of treatments, diet, discipline etc.  I take the reading and advice with a grain of salt and apply what I think is applicable to my child.  Not everything is going to work but its worth trying.  I belong to CHADD as another resource but have not been to any seminars yet.  I have many other books that have been given to me by a friend of mine whose daughter is also ADHD I don’t remember the actual titles but it has to do with Sensory issues.

Posted by swdw2002 on Jun 21, 2011 at 1:32am

There are less girls than boys with with the impulsive/hyperactive subtype….but I am all of the subtypes. 
It could be that girls present the impulsiveness/hyperactivity differently than boys, or there may actually in fact be less of them out there. I recommend reading a book called “Understanding Women with ADHD” by Kathleen G. Nadeau and Patricia Quinn.  It’s a great book and presents the gender specific problems that arise being an ADHD female. smile

Posted by kathyl on Jun 21, 2011 at 3:25am

My daughter is 11 yr old and was diagnosed at age 6.  She definitely sound like your daughter.  Always on the GO and NEVER stops talking.  We have her and her father on Concerta which is GREAT!  Luckily my daughter has never had problems sleeping (a blessing).  I also recommend “Understanding Women with ADHD” - very good book!

Posted by DAKB on Jun 21, 2011 at 5:19am

chiming in with a DD who is adHd as well.. She is now 10 and has been on meds since she was 8 when it was really becoming hard to manage in the classroom.  She is doing well on Concerta and Melatonin is starting to be our friend. smile

Posted by sanaroph on Jun 21, 2011 at 8:19am

My 9 year old daughter is hyper.  She is constantly fidgeting or talking.  She rolls constantly when watching TV.  She switches from one activity to the next.  She can never hold a conversation for all the jumping around of her thoughts.  She begs to do an activity and in the middle of that she is begging for the next thing.  We constantly have to reign her in.  She takes trazedone at night to sleep.  It has been a lifesaver for us.  She is on vyvanse and prozac.  Recently we went up to 40 mg on vyvanse and she lost 15 pounds and her hair started thinning out.  We are cutting it back now but she is getting in trouble in her summer camps for being disruptive.  She is such a sweet girl who can’t control her impulses.  I worry about the future.

Posted by momtotwo on Jun 21, 2011 at 8:23am

I also am ADHD with a bit more H. haha, you can call me the energizer bunny pretty much. Unlike typical girls diagnosis with ADD, It’s actually gotten me in trouble a few times :O. I also stopped taking concerta for it, but thinking of going back because I could really use it for driving. Way too distracting, it’s scary. But any who, I am pretty much that, non stop, always on the go kid, like a typical boy with ADHD.

Posted by Katie.G. on Jun 21, 2011 at 8:54am

My DD, 15, is extremely hyperactive, and I agree, it is frustrating trying to find information specific to parenting hyperactive girls. You’re not alone!! smile  Sorry I don’t have any specific resources to give you, although I agree with the above poster that said that the “boy” information is probably applicable for the most part. Although, our girls I think have a harder time with hyperactivity in general… Boys are “expected” to have a certain amount of activity by society (i.e. the “boys will be boys” comment), whereas girls tend to be “expected” to be quiet and more self-controlled. As a result, I think my daughter ends up feeling even more ostracized by her non-ADHD peers than she would if she were male.

My DD is the classic “boy” ADHD, the “Energizer bunny,” and is constantly going-going-going. She’s on Metadate, Seroquel (which helps even out her moods and helps her sleep & wake up with less struggle) and a new med - can’t remember the name offhand! - to see if maybe it will help with the extremes of emotion and activity. Her bio dad is bipolar, so we’re concerned that might be appearing in addition to just ADHD. Keeping fingers crossed…

Posted by adhdtees on Jun 21, 2011 at 9:41am

My daughter is 15 yrs old and was formally diagnosed at age 7 with ADHD, emphasis on the H. She takes Strattera & Seroquel. She NEVER stops talking, or singing, or making noises. She gets very giddy, silly, & goofy to the point that it’s embarrassing. She doesn’t sleep much. She was diagnosed with bipolar mania last year and was well controlled until last month when it surfaced again.  So imagine your daughters when they are at their “highest” and then multiply that by100…then add her father who is also ADHD…and you can imagine the delight at my house some days/weeks.

Posted by gloworm on Jun 21, 2011 at 10:30am

Wow, well good to know we are not alone!  Thank you everyone for your responses.  I do think is true that it is different having a “hyper” adhd girl because with boys a lot of it goes along with over-the-top but “expected” boy behavior.  It seems like girls have been less studied in general, I keep my eye on research since there seems to be more and more all the time. Thanks again and I will check out the recommended resources!

Posted by klab3 on Jun 21, 2011 at 10:39am

I have a 9 year old daughter who is extremely hyperactive and impulsive. She wears the Daytrana patch during school hours and it works really well. Unfortunately she has to give up anything close to a healthy lunch for “A B” Honor Roll. I have relied on the live and learn method since she was able to walk. We started seeing a Pediatric Therapist when my daughter was 5, the therapist gave me her “educated opinion” and referred us to a Psychiatrist. He also returned a diagnosis of ADHD-hyperactive type. To my dismay, and my daughter’s joy, the diagnosis and process of launching an effective treatment plan occured after a few suspensions from Kindergarten (yes, Kindergarten). If anyone is interested in knowing which meds and the number of therapy sessions ea. month we tried before finding the balance that worked for us, I will be happy to share.

Posted by KristiPi on Jun 21, 2011 at 4:27pm

My daughter was diagnosed at an early age as well.  My daughter (now 12 almost 13) is also on Daytrana.  It has been a true godsend.  Alas, the normal eating routine is out the window.  One thought that her psychiatrist suggested was to cut a patch down to see if that worked.  Since it is summer, she is taking her “break” from medication.  That works too, gives her body a break and she truly learns the differenced between on/off medication.  Going to bed and waking up are still issues, and we are still trying to figure some of that out.  Currently no therapy, but wonder if we shouldn’t be looking into some of it.

Posted by AGerver on Jun 21, 2011 at 6:52pm

My 8 year old daughter is ADHD - VERY H!  Is well controlled on extended release Ritalin.  But mornings and evenings are excruciating.  She is very impulsive - I can’t even list all the times she has ruined/broken something or I’ve caught her in a dangerous situation at 4:00 am.  Has never been a sleeper.  Am interested in more info from you who have your daughter’s take Melatonin.  My daughter doesn’t have trouble falling asleep at night, just trouble staying asleep.  Can Melatonin also help with this?

Posted by Wisconsin Mom on Jun 21, 2011 at 8:21pm

Those of you looking for get-to-sleep and stay-asleep suggestions might want to check out the reader tips in…

Get-To-Sleep Products That Work for ADHD Children

Sweet Dreams, Great Mornings

ADHD Sleep Problems: Causes and Tips to Rest Better Tonight!

I hope this helps!

Posted by Anni Rodgers on Jun 21, 2011 at 8:27pm

My 8yr old was diagnosed after getting sent to the office 3X in the first month of kindergarten, though the signs of her ADHD were there when she was about 10 mos old. Talked, walked and ran by 12 mos. Thank God she’s not mean, though she is very destructive. Sometimes we refer to her as “Demolisha”. She can make short work out of a room… Very difficult to keep the house in any sort of order. As fast as I straighten, she is demolishing 3X as fast… She’s on Vyvanse, Prozac (Anxiety) and takes Clonidin so she can sleep. Extremely impulsive girl. Psychiatrist just added a clonidin dosage IN THE MORNING to slow those impulses. After 3 years of trying various meds, I think we are FINALLY getting somewhere. Mornings and nights are a nightmare. I worry about her long-term prognosis with such a strong H and impulsivity going on. She requires close and constant supervision. I’m afraid she’s always going to need very close supervision so she doesn’t accidently hurt herself or someone else. People keep saying “she’ll grow out of it” but with this severe ADHD, i’m very skeptical. We have her in Girl Scouts (she’s usually a menace, very disruptive), Irish Dancing (private lessons…very costly and about half the lessons are a bust b/c she won’t pay attention or is disrespectful), and soccer (menace, running off, fighting with team mates). Melatonin worked for about 5 weeks. then…no go.

Posted by RaleighMom on Jun 21, 2011 at 9:51pm

I have and my dd has ADHD. I think girls just manifest it differently because boys are taught that being rough/tumble is normal and good, however, girls are expected be more calm and composed. So, it’s taught from birth to be that way, so the boys just go a bit over bounds, and the girls are trying their hardest to fit the girl mold but don’t.

That’s what happened to me. I ended up running into the bathroom to be silly or laugh so others wouldn’t be bothered by my “weird” outbursts. It was years of holding back my emotions and personality because I’d get into trouble if I didn’t.

Posted by maidmarian4 on Jun 21, 2011 at 11:07pm

I also have a daughter with ADHD and a high emphasis on the hyper!  She is almost 9 and has been on medication since kindergarten.  She was on the Daytrana Patch (methyphenidate) for a while because she couldn’t swallow pills.  It is however very expensive.  She is on methyphenidate er tablets when she is in school (much cheaper!), but is off of them now in the summer.  I have also have been frustrated by the lack of information available for girls with ADHD and are hyper.  With the number of posts here, it is obvious that girls with hyperactivity is not an isolated issue.  There needs to be more research done with this.  There is a book that I have called Understanding Girls with AD/HD by KathleenG. Nadeau, Ellen B. Littman, and Patricia O. Quinn.  It has been somewhat helpful.

Posted by dodger1985 on Jun 22, 2011 at 1:17am

You may also appreciate ADDitude’s Mom blogger, Kay Marner, who writes about life with her ADHD (with hyperactivity) daughter, Natalie. Check out her ADHD parenting blog! As sosresearch said, the emphasis on girls without hyperactivity is because many girls don’t experience the hyperactivity their ADHD gets overlooked.

All the best,
Mary

Posted by ADDConnect Community Editor on Jun 22, 2011 at 1:59am

I wrote my master’s thesis on girls and AD/HD and I have a few ideas for you. I agree that the book by Nadeau & Quinn book that has been recommended is very good.  I also highly recommend Sari Solden’s book Women with Attention Deficit Disorder. Many girls with the hyperactive-Impulsive subtype of ADHD of display hypertalkativeness instead of hyperactivity, however there are definitely girls that are hyperactive as you describe your daughter.  It is especially important to be aware of any changes (in regards to her ADHD) that she goes through at puberty, as puberty changes the brain.

I think the most important thing you can do is advocate for your daughter until she gets what she needs and teach her to do the same (this may be in school, with her physician, or elsewhere).  It is hard to give specific advice because I don’t know you or your daughter, but helping her understand her strengths and weaknesses (especially in regards to ADHD) and then advocating for herself will help her improve the quality of her entire life for the rest of her life.  Finally, parents of kids with ADHD have a much higher divorce rate than the general population.  To me this means it is more stressful to have a child with ADHD. (I’m sure this is not news to you!)  Therefore, I think it is very important that you find ways to de-stress.  If you are too stressed out, you cannot do your best as a parent.  I am sure you already know that, but I think as females we frequently put our needs on the backburner while we help others.  Carve out a time that is just for you and do NOT ever compromise that time.  Good luck and know you are not alone!

Posted by PuraVida on Jun 24, 2011 at 12:22am

Well my 10 yr old daughter definitely has the H in ADHD. I think the H mostly just makes life more exhausting!. I know you have to spend alot of time advocating for the ADD type, but at least when the hyperactivity isnt present you could probably take a few minutes to think or finish your thought. My daughter is either moving towards activities that will cause some trouble or asking me a million questions every few minutes in the unmedicated state. I am wondering what new challenges will present when puberty hits her!  Like Alexmom, I get two different children- one on meds & one off. It is hard for those who don’t have kids like this to understand.Thankfully they are seeing her 95% or better while medicated.

Does anyone know of any ongoing studies to find out more on ADHD girls?

Posted by LauraS on Jun 25, 2011 at 7:53pm

I also have a daughter who is ADHD with a big emphasis on the H. What really makes it worse is her younger brother has ADHD. Not so much with the hyper just the impulsive. Together they can really send me up the wall. Then add in their little brother who never sleeps and is way worse then she ever was and a daddy with ADHD (undiagnosed) and I have ADD. Chaos is in control some days.
I am very thankful for concerta. The older two are on it and it has been a blessing. I tried taking them off their meds for a break. Thinking a break once a week would help their appetites. That was a mistake.
I will look into the books mentioned here. Anything to help control the impulses and five them ways to control themselves in a public environment.I t can be embarrassing.

Posted by mama00cobra on Jun 27, 2011 at 9:18am

For those of you who have mentioned sleep problems, I have something that worked to help my daughter go to sleep (and stay asleep) at night.  She had a REALLY hard time settling down, and she has some sensory issues.  Some nights were so bad and she was so hyper, I’d literally have to bring her to my bed and put my arms around her to snuggle until the warmth and security helped her fall asleep.  Someone suggested I try a weighted blanket and it’s been WONDERFUL.  The blanket gives her the sense of being snuggled, and she has slept much better since we got it.  They aren’t inexpensive, but it’s been worth it for us.  She now stays asleep again throughout the night, and on the nights she is really having difficulties, a song and a back scratch along with the blanket really works wonders.

Posted by Hopeful333 on Jun 28, 2011 at 9:06am

My almost 8 year old daughter has the ADHD with the H as well. She is on Methdate CD and has been for over a year. It helps but as the saying goes only so much.. Her younger brother who Is 4 also has the Hyper and the two of them together can be enough to send you right up the wall. Where’s they are both very defiant my daughter has never been nasty to strangers at home is a different story. Her Brother will freak out wherever we are on whoever he wants. We have been to multiple doctors, currently she see’s a psychatrist who just writes the script, and we just started working with a new Nuerologist. He recommended stopping slowly the Ambilfy that she takes with her Methdate. She also has aniexty problems with many social things. You can only hope you make the right choices, and only people in your shoes could ever understand what its like to live in an ADHD household. I myself also am…

Posted by krazy3mom on Jun 28, 2011 at 9:23am

My six year old daughter was recently diagnosed last week with ADHD, emphasis on the H. And, it is really comforting knowing I am not the only one dealing with a special daughter, like ours are. I always knew she was different from the children she is normally surrounded including her 10 year old sister. But, I guess I was in denial thinking she was just very active like her grandfather(my dad) and I, who now thinks may have ADHD too! It started becoming a problem in school and that is when I realized I couldn’t let it go unnoticed anymore. I have been so stressed and overwhelmed these past days that my suspicion became a reality. I have been praying a lot and asking God to guide me through this new journey in my family’s life. Trying to find answers and remedies online is when I came across this website. It has been very helpful in dealing with my feelings, questions and concerns towards my daughter’s behavior. Since it has recently been confirmed I have a daughter with ADHD I do not want to try meds immediately though I am not oppose to them if she needs them to help her thrive.  I feel I want to try alternative options first since I never treated her any different than my other daughter however my special daughter was always in trouble. I want to try supplements(magnesium and omega 3), watch her diet much closely, create a new structure based on her needs and practice more regular physical excersice. I have began reading The AD/HD Parenting Handbook 2nd edition by Coleen Alexander-Roberts and it has been really informative and educational. I want to begin implemeting advice I have not only read in the book but from parents here in this forum to help me with my parenting skills and really embrace my role as a parent of a child with ADHD. I really appreciate all those for opening up and sharing your experience with ADHD.

Posted by ad-mom-hd on Nov 14, 2011 at 4:13pm

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