Oh I know, when we hear the word ADHD we see in our minds-eye that little boy fidgeting and fussing and getting into everything. In some cases that is a very accurate picture, but you may not notice the same symptoms in girls. This is due in part to different gender expectations. We may be more tolerant for the girl who is a ‘social butterfly,’ chattering all the time with her friends. Whereas we may judge the boy who just can’t stay in his seat as a problem.
It is important that we see all kids as individuals and judge what is going on with them in fair and unbiased way. It is only in this way that we can help ALL children reach their full potential. In this interesting CNN piece, they talk about how damaging it can be to not see and seek help for the girls that struggle, offering tips on what to look for when assessing girls for ADHD.
Work with horses is a particularly powerful intervention for those struggling with ADHD. In order to build a safe and trusting relationship with their horse, clients must bring their energy down. They must manage impulsive tendencies. They must learn and practice the simple skills needed to groom and tack-up their horse and they must work on multi-tasking (legs long, hands low, turn and look where you are going) while still being focused when riding. Additionally, it is not uncommon for those dealing with ADHD to have low self-esteem/self-confidence. Work with horses can show our clients that they can do things they set their minds to. Through work with horses they can learn to be happy, healthy kids, teens and adults.
I know life can be chaotic and it may be hard to find time to question if that little girl who seems to be doing it all is really managing as well as she seems, but be sure to check in and let her know that ‘perfect’ is not expected!
If someone you know is living with ADHD, we are here to help. We work with children as young as 4 years of age, teens and even adults. Give us a call of send us an email and we will schedule a visit. We will show you around the ranch (including our covered arena!), introduce our incredible horses, learn more about what you are dealing with and share how we may be able to help.