Symptom Tests for Children

[Self-Test] The ADHD Test for Girls

ADHD looks different in girls. It is, at times, easy to mistake for hormones, anxiety, or a learning disability. And for this reason, too many girls grow up feeling misunderstood. This ADD self-test was designed for girls themselves to take and may help clarify symptoms.

Girls with attention deficit disorder (ADHD or ADD) are more likely than their male counterparts to demonstrate inattentive symptoms. These inattentive girls are the ones staring out the window or picking their split ends or doodling incessantly when they should be listening in class. They may be called daydreamers or ditzy or worse. Early detection and effective treatment is essential to prevent real psychological damage.

Which is why psychologist Kathleen Nadeau, Ph.D., has devised the following ADHD symptoms checklist specifically for girls. The following questions should be answered by girls themselves, not by parents and teachers, because girls experience ADHD more internally than do boys, who are more likely to exhibit externally hyperactive/impulsive symptoms.

Many of Nadeau’s questions apply to boys, since they pertain to problems with productivity, general distractibility, impulsivity, hyperactivity, and sleep. The statements below, however, are particularly oriented toward girls.

NOTE: The more questions you answer in the affirmative, the more likely you are to have symptoms that resemble those of girls with ADHD. This self-test is not intended to diagnose or to replace the care of a healthcare professional. Be sure to share your completed self-test with a healthcare professional. An accurate diagnosis can only be made through clinical evaluation. This self-test is for personal use only.


Can’t see the self-test questions above? Click here to open this test in a new window.


What To Do Next:

1. Take This Test: Oppositional Defiant Disorder in Children
2. Take This Test: Sensory Processing Disorder in Children
3. Understand How ADHD is Diagnosed in Children
4. Find an ADHD specialist nearby in our ADDitude Directory
5. Download A Checklist of ADHD Symptoms Common in Women
6. Learn Why ADHD in Girls is Often Overlooked
7. Research ADHD in Girls
8. Sign Up to Receive ADDitude’s Free “For Women with ADHD” Newsletter

Updated on June 7, 2019

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  1. Having grown up in the 1970s and 1980s as an undiagnosed girl with ADHD and Anxiety (finally diagnosed at age 40 in 2010) I think the “self test” for girls should have a few more questions about school. I was a social butterfly in school and had many friends – a few life long – I also listened as best I could in school. I TRIED as hard as I could even though my father (a middle school teacher for over 50 years now) and my teachers said I was “capable but didn’t try”. I was called a “polite but a daydreamer”. This really bothered me from about 1st grade because I never daydreamed – I listened to my teachers. I wanted to do well. I respected school and teachers but nothing I learned seemed to “stick” in my memory. I thought I was just stupid for 35 years. Until I read Dr Hallowell’s book Delivered from Distraction at age 39. I cried because the whole book nearly described my childhood and young adult years. I urge parents of all children – especially girls to seek advice from a doctor and/or therapist. Help your child to succeed in school and life by understanding that they are not lazy or stupid or they are not trying. Trust me. THEY ARE. Don’t wait for the pediatrician or a teacher to tell you your child needs help. It will be too late. Advocate for your own child – and look at yourself – your history – no one grows out of ADHD – it is how you were born. We don’t grow out of it or cure it but we learn to live with it in many ways-medications, reminder alarms, calendars, timers, too many to list here. Life can be good but only if you know about ADHD, talk about and love your children instead of blaming them for how their brain works. Girls with ADHD will be Women with ADHD – Strong, Creative, Fun, Intelligent, Amazing Girls and Women!

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