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By Shashank V. Joshi, M.D.,FAAP
Girls are more often diagnosed with the "Inattentive" subtype of AD/HD than other types. Even though boys are diagnosed with all types of AD/HD more often than girls, having the inattentive type often allows girls to get through their elementary school years relatively "normally," though they may have been struggling all along. Perhaps due in part to societal expectations, a girl with AD/HD may not be the "squeaky wheel" that gets the teacher's attention and is regularly sent to the Vice Principal due to disruptive behaviors. Contrast this to the inattentive, noisy, impulsive, fidgety boy, who is the prototypical child with AD/HD. A girl with AD/HD may begin to show the most difficulty as the school work gets harder, and when sustained attention, organization, and concentration become crucial to success (as in middle school).
Before discussing AD/HD with your teenager, you'll want to understand the cause and effects of the condition. Keep the following facts in mind:
Many authors have written thoughtfully on this topic.2, 4, 5 Here are some suggestions for what to tell your teenager:
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