ADHD / ADD – Attentional Disorders

(Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder/ attention deficit disorder) ADHD and ADD can make life for teens very hard.  These teens are the ones who have trouble making friends, can't finish a game, and are often in trouble at school.  These are the teens that spend agonizing hours each night struggling to keep their mind on their homework, and then forget to bring it to school.

Life continues to get more frustrating day after day for troubled teens with ADHD, and their families.  Family conflict can increase.  Teenagers with ADHD or ADD often have problems with social behavior.  In teenage years, these teens are at an increased risk for motor vehicle accidents, tobacco use, and lower educational attainment.  Other problems may also be seen, such as anxiety disorders, conduct disorder, or antisocial behavior, or drug abuse.

If your teen has been diagnosed with ADHD or ADD, parents should think carefully about treatment choices

Parents may want to look for school-based programs that have a team approach involving parents, teachers, school psychologists, other mental health specialists, and doctors.
 
The following forms of treatment, such as Residential Treatment Centers and Therapeutic Boarding Schools have shown incredible success in helping teens that suffer with ADHD or ADD. For lasting results, numerous clinicians recommend that medications should be used along with treatments that aid in these areas.
 
There are no quick cures. Many experts believe that the most significant, long-lasting gains appear when medication is combined with behavioral therapy, emotional counseling, and practical support that are provided in Residential Treatment Centers and Therapeutic Boarding Schools.
 
Imagine living in a fast-moving kaleidoscope, where sounds, images, and thoughts are constantly shifting. Feeling easily bored, yet helpless to keep your mind on tasks you need to complete. Distracted by unimportant sights and sounds, your mind drives you from one thought or activity to the next. Perhaps you are so wrapped up in a collage of thoughts and images that you don't notice when someone speaks to you.
 
For many people, this is what it's like to have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD. Is your teen unable to sit still, plan ahead, finish tasks, or be fully aware of what's going on around them? With family, classmates or coworkers, they seem to exist in a whirlwind of disorganized or frenzied activity.
 
Unexpectedly--on some days and in some situations--they seem fine, often leading others to think that as a person with ADHD they can actually control these behaviors. As a result, the disorder can mar the person's relationships with others in addition to disrupting their daily life, consuming energy, and diminishing self-esteem.

Here are a few coping strategies for parents of teens with ADHD.

  • When necessary, ask those that teach or supervise your teen to repeat instructions rather than guess that they understand if they look confused.
  • Break large assignments or job tasks into small, simple tasks. Set a deadline for each task and reward your teen as they complete each one.
  • Work in a quiet area. Do one thing at a time. Teens with ADHD or ADD should give themselves short breaks.
  • Teens with ADHD or ADD should write things down that they need to remember in a notebook with dividers. Write different kinds of information like assignments, appointments, and phone numbers in different sections.
  • An ADHD teen should get in the habit of posting notes to themselves to help remind themselves of things they need to do.
  • An ADHD teen need to create a routine. They should get themselves ready for school or work at the same time, in the same way, every day. Consistency is the key for making it habitual and building greater focus.
  • Teens with ADHD or ADD should consistently exercise, eat a balanced diet and get enough sleep.

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