ADHD in Women & Girls

ADHD in women and girls is an issue that inexperienced clinicians often overlook. ADHD, short for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, often presents differently in women. This is because they tend to demonstrate ADHD-I (ADHD-inattentive) at higher rates, a type that predominantly affects their ability to sustain attention. (1) With this variation of the disorder, individuals may also be disorganized, more easily distracted, and exhibit forgetfulness. This, along with many other social factors and clinical errors all contribute to misdiagnosis and underdiagnosis for girls and women with ADHD.

As a woman with this disorder, getting diagnosed is just one step toward achieving a better quality of life and functioning. Medication may not be the most feasible or favorable form of treatment if you are seeking comprehensive care that properly addresses all of your needs.

At NeuroZone, we can help you better understand yourself and manage your symptoms with the insight provided by qEEG brain mapping. With the guidance of our experienced, licensed speech and language pathologist, Erin Badour, she can custom-tailor cognitive visual/auditory exercises with Cogmed and other programs to sharpen your focus and combat other burdensome ADHD-related symptoms.

If you are ready to take the first step in getting a better grasp on the challenges of ADHD, call the NeuroZone locations in Santa Monica or Culver City at (310) 821-3640 or our Redondo Beach location at (424) 247-8193. You can also reach us online, and our staff will be happy to help you schedule your free consultation.

What is ADHD?

People with ADHD tend to start having difficulties around 3 to 6 years of age. In childhood, it may begin as small deviations in behavior with difficulties staying still, impatience during playtime, acting impulsively, and showing compulsive, fidgety movements. As these children develop, they may continue to have problems in school, work, or within their relationships. One of the critical aspects of the disorder to understand is that these challenges are not a result of defiance or lack of intelligence, but rather issues with attention, hyperactivity, and decision-making. A proper diagnosis requires that the individual has a history of these issues beginning from childhood. There are three main subtypes of the disorder:

Impulsivity and Hyperactivity

Those with ADHD who are impulsive/hyperactive continue to have problems with staying still throughout adulthood and often display fidgeting behaviors such as tapping, squirming, or repetitive behaviors. These individuals may talk a lot and avoid waiting their turn before asking or answering a question. They may have discomfort with waiting in line and participating in quiet leisure activities. They may also have difficulty with self-control and have an inability to delay gratification.

Inattentive and Distractible

Those who predominantly have symptoms related to inattentiveness struggle to focus on tasks, conversations, instructions, and reading. They may have a disorganized work or living space and trouble managing time to accommodate their daily activities. They also may frequently make “careless” mistakes and may often lose or misplace important everyday items.


Combined ADHD is the least common form of the three, but those with those who have it experience both inattentiveness and hyperactivity. Usually, however, most will lean more toward one type over the other, which often helps clinicians find the appropriate type of treatment.

Why Are Clinicians Misdiagnosing ADHD in Women and Girls?

In general, ADHD often goes under the radar since many clinicians and parents believe that hyperactivity, impulsivity, and other symptoms related to the disorder are simply normal characteristics of childhood. While this can be true, these symptoms are much more severe and consistent in people with ADHD, and they can continue into adulthood. Research also finds that clinicians often overlook or misdiagnose women and girls with ADHD for a variety of reasons, including these common ones:

  • For women with conduct issues, diagnoses of depression or anxiety often preempt a diagnosis of ADHD. (1)
  • Clinicians often use diagnostic tools like the Conners’ 10-item screener to identify symptoms of hyperactivity, which is more common in men and boys with ADHD.
  • Girls with ADHD may develop better coping strategies to mask their symptoms, so their challenges may go undetected.

The Impact of ADHD on Women

Aside from the widespread problem of clinicians misdiagnosing ADHD in women and girls, the staff at NeuroZone recognizes this population faces a range of unique issues when compared to men and neurotypical individuals, including the following:

  • Girls with ADHD are more likely to engage in self-harm. (2)
  • Women may be more likely to have an adverse response to stimulant medications– a common treatment for ADHD- than males with the disorder. (3)
  • Due to the tendency to be hyperactive or disruptive in class, teachers may have a bias toward referring boys to treatment over girls.
  • Girls with ADHD are more likely to show perfectionistic behaviors, compounding their mental health struggles.

Personal Consultation

If you are a woman with ADHD or would like to get help for your child with this disorder, help is available. At NeuroZone, we will ensure that you receive comprehensive care with a protocol custom-tailored to your specific needs. ADHD presents itself in various ways, making the disorder challenging to treat with a one-size-fits-all medication approach. Speech-language pathologist and neurofeedback expert Erin Badour believes that qEEG brain maps can provide effective feedback to help guide personalized protocols. With neurofeedback that measures brainwaves, Erin accurately identifies areas of the brain that need treatment and attention.

If you are ready to see more happiness and success in your professional, school, and personal life, NeuroZone is here to address your concerns. Get in touch with us online, or call one of the practice locations nearest you. To find out more about cognitive health, disorders we help treat, and the science of brainwaves, visit our blog.

Protocols for ADHD


Neurofeedback gives insight into the brain’s baseline electrical activity and how certain areas of the brain respond to different stimuli in real time. For a simple qEEG brain map, Erin will place non-invasive electrodes onto the scalp, and ask you to sit still, or she will conduct various visual/auditory exercises for you to complete. With a qEEG brain map, Erin can interpret different types of brainwaves:

  • Alpha waves are the most neutral and common brainwave.
  • Beta waves are slightly higher frequency brain waves indicating that the mind is engaged in active thinking, such as worrying, planning, or ruminating.
  • Theta waves indicate that the brain is engaged in deep meditation or daydreaming.
  • Delta waves are most dominant during deep sleep and are not commonly noticed during a qEEG brain map unless an area is damaged.

In people with ADHD, qEEG maps often show an elevated amount of one or more of these brainwaves. (4)

Cogmed Program

The Cogmed program is a platform designed with various cognitive tasks to help optimize your brain’s functioning and ability to learn new skills. These visual/auditory exercises allow you to learn at your own pace, but they will progress fast enough so that you feel challenged. This computer-based program primarily improves working memory, a key component essential in optimizing selective attention. (5) Over the course of many sessions- and several qEEG maps that visually demonstrate your progress- you will notice significant improvements in your ability to focus and mitigate other ADHD symptoms.

Cost of ADHD Treatment in Los Angeles

ADHD in Women and Girls

The cost of your protocol will depend on the number of sessions you need to retrain your brain to fight against distractions and other bothersome symptoms of ADHD. At NeuroZone, we understand that every person with ADHD is different and requires individualized attention to reap the results they desire. During your consultation with Erin, you will have the opportunity to speak about your unique challenges and their severity, helping her design a plan specifically catered to you.

To get started discovering the vast benefits of neurofeedback and NeuroZone’s protocols, inquire with our contact form, or call one of our locations below. We can help you attain the outcome you need to change your life for the better.


How common is ADHD in girls and women?

Among teenagers, around 4.2% of girls receive a diagnosis of ADHD, which is three times less than boys (13%). Among adult women, the rate is about 3.2%, which is still considerably lower than men at 5.3%. Some reasons for the disparity are due to the fact that ADHD goes undetected in women and girls more often. Clinicians often look for symptoms related to impulsivity and hyperactivity, two symptoms that are less prevalent in women and girls with ADHD.

Are there different kinds of ADHD?

Yes, there are three forms of ADHD: impulsive/hyperactive, inattentive and distractible, and combined ADHD.

Are there non-medication treatments for ADHD?

Yes, various non-medication treatments include brain training with neurofeedback and dietary and lifestyle changes. Many patients consider this holistic method of treating their disorder due to their intolerance to certain medications. Some may consider it because ADHD medications are simply not effective for them.


  1. Attoe DE, Climie EA. Miss. Diagnosis: A Systematic Review of ADHD in Adult Women. Journal of Attention Disorders. 2023;27(7):108705472311615. doi:
  2. O’Grady SM, Hinshaw SP. Long-term outcomes of females with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: increased risk for self-harm. The British Journal of Psychiatry. 2020;218(1):4-6. doi:
  3. Kok FM, Groen Y, Fuermaier ABM, Tucha O. The female side of pharmacotherapy for ADHD—A systematic literature review. Hutchinson G, ed. PLOS ONE. 2020;15(9):e0239257. doi:
  4. Ji Y, Tae Young Choi, Jong Hun Lee, et al. Characteristics of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Subtypes in Children Classified Using Quantitative Electroencephalography. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment. 2022;Volume 18:2725-2736. doi:
  5. Oberauer K. Working Memory and Attention – A Conceptual Analysis and Review. Journal of Cognition. 2019;2(1). doi:
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