The century we live in today is known to be a dynamic age for women. From receiving the opportunities, they were long deprived of the right to live free from violence, slavery, and discrimination; to be educated; to own property; to vote, and to earn a fair and equal wage – are all considered modern-day advances for women specifically. With impressive progress, women’s rights have gained tremendous awareness, and finally, the vision of seeing women achieving equality is in near sight. But is it so? Has earned the same wage and owning property given women the rights they deserve? Does the definition include equality in the number of attention girls with learning difficulties will receive? Have we triumphed on the surface with darkness still lurking beneath?
According to the statistics, the ratio of boys identified with ADHD compared to girls is twice. What is causing the difference is not because boys are more prone to have ADHD, their signs are more evident and hence noticed easily. Chances of those girls growing up – with the same attention issues, damaging their self-esteem, unable to cope with daily tasks – will still be unidentified even in the later years.
This usually happens because boys and girls usually have different ways of expression. One might express hurt by crying and one by disruption, but the root cause remains the same. Similarly, attention difficulties, reading or writing disabilities are also exhibited differently and hence often misunderstood in women. A silent but zoned-out girl is equally struggling as a naughty and distracting boy. However, his behavior is noticed and treated but her problems are labeled as ‘girl problems’. This blind eye towards gender limits opportunities for countless capable women in all domains of work and life.
Hiding a disability at work is especially tough, women forgetting deadlines or unable to focus on a meeting will automatically blame it on their physiology, never would it occur to them that the problem isn’t in their capability and that their situation can be treated as simply as a little training in the right direction. Not being able to put a finger on the problem can create even bigger problems for them.
Fact: One in six women with learning disabilities has attempted suicide, according to a University of Toronto study. What if women with learning disabilities stopped hiding their true selves?
More people would connect with them, they would fail less, rise faster, and not feel so utterly misunderstood. Think about it: their biggest successes come from the relationships they build. When those relationships are tested, – women in particular – start to feel dramatically less capable. Not seeing yourself as able is a vicious downward spiral that makes you feel utterly helpless. It’s depressing. And it has to change.
The first step is to identify it and bravely admit it. Not only are women likely to hide their dyslexia, ADHD, anxiety, or other learning difficulties at work, but they are also likely to hide it from their friends. We have to stop them from believing that they are not made to participate in the workforce or build a healthy family. They can be exceptional mothers and teachers, especially the ones who can relate to other struggling students and be the adult for those children – they never got!
A few ways by which we can identify girls (or boys with un-obvious signs) with ADHD or other learning difficulties:
Hyperactivity, or excessive movement that doesn’t fit the situation
Impulsivity, or a tendency to act hastily and without thinking through the consequences
Problems staying focused on tasks such as schoolwork and classroom lectures
Hyperactivity in girls tends to show up as constant chattiness. All these behaviors are typical of girls who don’t have ADHD as well, so a teacher isn’t as likely to flag a girl who has them as having ADHD or a learning problem.
Knowing the signs in both genders, together, you and the teacher should be able to recognize whether your child is struggling with an LD or ADHD so that you can move forward to have him or her tested.
Girls with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) suffer from a deficit of attention themselves – from both their parents and the media. Brainnovation aims to spread that awareness for all the struggling children and adults out there and offer hope that Brain Training can bring for them. Sometimes knowing the ‘why’ behind the issue makes you realize you are not alone, and such problems can be fixed by merely reaching out.