Historically, ADHD has been associated with hyperactive, impulsive boys. Years ago few girls were diagnosed because their symptoms were more easily masked because they tend to be less stereotypically hyperactive. However, a new study shows that from 2003 to 2011 there has been a 55% increase in ADHD diagnoses in girls. A prevalence rate increase from 4.7% to 73%. There are a lot of folks who believe that ADHD is over diagnosed. However, this 7.3% prevalence rate in girls probably more accurately represents reality. It’s a relief that more girls are being assessed and treated for this condition because they struggle with the same academic, social and emotional issues as boys even if they can more easily mask their symptoms.
My best friend who happens to be a family therapist in East Texas is fond of telling everyone that “rules without relationship equals rebellion.” He’s found that principle applies to most every family he’s met and I agree. That also could be applied to our schools. At Medrano Middle School in the Dallas I.S.D. they have initiated “restorative discipline.” The great part is that it works! I cannot think of a better approach because this allows students and faculty to get to the underlying issues rather than just punishing behavior.