In general, girls are much more likely to have ADD without the hyperactive component. This is in contrast to ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) that boys tend to have. Because a girl isn't disruptive in the classroom, her problem does not create the same need for an immediate solution. As a result, her inability to focus and complete work is likely to be overlooked as a symptom of a more complex issue - and instead is blamed more on lack of discipline or motivation on her part.
A girl with ADD has fewer learning problems in early grades than her male counterparts. Boys often get diagnosed through evaluation of learning problems. Girls with ADD, especially those with high intelligence, may actually be good students and/or well-behaved - and as a result raise absolutely no alarms that anything may be amiss.
When girls with ADD do not conform to social roles, it is often described in gender-specific terms, rather than as a medical problem. They are labeled tomboys or flighty as girls, and boy-crazy or party girls as teens. Again, girls are more likely to meet social pressure to conform, rather than recognition and treatment of a disease.
Often girls with ADD are misdiagnosed with depression. The symptoms of ADD and depression overlap: low energy levels, disorganization, social withdrawal, and trouble concentrating. Even more confusing, the unrecognized ADD can lead to major coping problems, which in turn lead to actual depression on top of the ADD.
Typical signs of ADD in girls include:
Difficulty maintaining focus
Disorganized and “messy”
Difficulty completing tasks
Slow to process information and directions (It may even appear that they aren’t hearing you)
Often late (poor time management)