Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder—Teens
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, is among the most common childhood disorders, affecting 3-5% of school-age children. Once considered a childhood disorder, we now know that ADHD frequently persists into adolescence and adulthood. Its most common symptoms include poor self-control, variable attention, hyperactivity or restlessness, and poor organizational and planning abilities. These symptoms can change with age, and ADHD presents different challenges at different developmental stages.
ADHD can be especially challenging to adolescents and their parents. While teens naturally seek more independence and want to have more control over their lives, ADHD can interfere with their ability to successfully assume greater responsibility and effectively regulate their behavior and emotions. In the educational realm, adolescents with ADHD often need more help keeping track of assignments, planning their time, and following through with responsibilities. In the social realm, teens with ADHD often have more difficulty controlling impulsive behavior, considering the consequences of their actions, and making safe and responsible decisions. While most parents of teens struggle to figure out the right balance of independence and limits, negotiating this balance can be considerably more difficult when a teen has ADHD.
Adolescents with ADHD are often identified as “lazy” or “uncooperative.” When teens and their parents and teachers do not understand ADHD and its neurological basis, it puts teens at significant risk of believing these labels. In my work with these adolescents, I begin by educating them and their parents about ADHD so they can accurately understand its causes and impact. I help teens identify and develop their strengths, as this is key to building self-confidence. In addition, I help teens and their parents formulate practical behavioral strategies to increase success and independence. Finally, I help parents establish a balance that provides structure and support where needed while allowing teens appropriate independence.
More ADHD Services: adults / children / couples