What do you think of when someone says “ADHD”? When our quiet daughter was in elementary school, ADHD was not a word that we thought characterized her behavior.
Our daughter, now 17, has always been shy and introverted. She was so quiet that when we had our first parent conference with her kindergarten teacher, the teacher asked if our daughter spoke. We immediately knew that the large classroom setting offered at public school was not in her best interest.
For first grade, we moved her to a small Christian school. There she seemed to do a little better, but she struggled with reading. She was constantly switching the order of letters and numbers. She also had a hard time processing instructions. We determined that it was in her best interest to repeat first grade. However, that only made a small difference. Reading was still very difficult and she was still not on grade level.
Not knowing why she was performing so poorly, we had her tested. She was diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD. While the dyslexia diagnosis made perfect sense, we were confused that our quiet, soft-spoken daughter had ADHD. To help us understand, we were given a book, Understanding Girls with ADHD, which described that girls with ADHD may not have typical symptoms. There was one section in that book that described our daughter perfectly – girls with ADHD could very well be quiet and introverted.
Supplied with good information, we found different tutors and specialists to work with her. We were making some progress. When the small Christian school closed down, we knew she could not go back to public school. That’s when we came to Fairhill – what a life saver!! She started at Fairhill in 6th grade and is entering her final year of high school. She is now reading pretty much at grade level, and without the use of outside tutors and specialists. Reading is still her biggest struggle but she is learning how to deal with this struggle and make the best of her other abilities. She is on the Exceptional Honor Roll and is becoming an independent learner. She is still shy and on the quiet side, but every year she is making strides in that area also. Her plans are to attend college and become a large animal veterinarian or a marine biologist. Her future is looking very bright!
For more information about how ADHD can look different in girls, click the following link: http://childmind.org/article/how-girls-with-adhd-are-different/.
Contributed by Fairhill Parents