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Supporting a Teen with ADHD

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If you know a teen with ADHD, you know how challenging life can be. Use these three simple methods to help reduce ADHD symptoms in teenagers.

If you think about someone with ADHD, you probably think of a young child, right? For many people, ADHD is a young child’s issue. In some cases, you would be right. According to Psych Central, about 60 percent of children with ADHD grow out of it before the teen years.

But what about the other 40 percent? The other 40 percent of children with ADHD grow up to have the same issues in teenhood and adulthood. Authority figures expect a certain level of concentration problems in children, but the older a person gets, the less tolerance others have for differences.

In some cases, ADHD only starts to be a problem in adolescence. For example, starting high school, or even college could make the symptoms a challenge to life for the first time. Some children may not even notice they are different until they hit the teen years. The problem of ADHD in the teen years can make the struggle of changing into an adult and growing up even more challenging as more is expected from teens and young adults.

Difficulties of Teen and Adult ADHD

ADHD carries many side effects, ranging from concentration issues to the inability to sit still, to forgetfulness. All of these traits can make life as a teen challenging. For example, a teen with ADHD may have greater difficulty in school, because he or she talks in class, walks around the room, or forgets to turn in homework assignments. A teen with ADHD may have failing grades or do poorly on written tests.

Teens with ADHD often forget assignments, lose books, get bored in class, interrupt in class, or fidget. Other teens with ADHD may concentrate solely on one task, making it difficult for them to interact with classmates or do well in sports and other social situations. Things that were excused when they were younger because of age are now expected to change- but that may be nearly impossible for the teen with ADHD.

According to some studies cited by Web MD, teens with ADHD are more likely to drink, use drugs, and wind up as heavy drinkers later in life.

ADHD and Driving

Driving is particularly a risk for teens with ADHD. According to Web MD, teens with ADHD are up to four times likely to have a car accident. ADHD teens take unnecessary risks, have immature judgment, are impulsive, and thrill-seeking. These same traits are present in almost every other teen, but the teen with ADHD may not be able to distinguish the right action to take while driving to avoid unnecessary risks.

However, teens who take steps to manage ADHD symptoms are safer on the road. If your child is a teen with ADHD, addressing the issue through nutrition, supplements, and medication is a necessity to allow them to function normally throughout life.

Studies on Teen ADHD

The outlook for teens who have unaddressed ADHD is not good. One study conducted by the New York University School of Medicine over 20 years from 1975 to 1995 showed that teens with unaddressed ADHD had many problems later in life. The study examined over 500 teens with ADHD until they reached the age of 37. According to the study, these teens and young adults were twice as likely to have mental health issues, twice as likely to have physical health issues, five times as likely to have social disorders, three times as likely to have financial stress, and twice as likely to have trouble at work.

The researchers theorized that perhaps a difficulty bonding with parents at a young age was responsible for some of the difficulties that teens with ADHD face. Some teens with ADHD in the study had an attitude of “why bother” due to the lack of support from authority figures and their parents throughout the years. Researchers speculated that with proper support, teens may see better results despite a diagnosis of ADHD.

Supporting Teens With ADHD

Teens with ADHD face hardships that other teens do not. It is harder for a teen with ADHD to function normally in school and society. When a teen’s brain works differently than the rest of his or her peers, it can be a challenge to fit in and do well. In addition to providing the right diet and supplements, parents can also take emotional steps to support a teen with ADHD. Celebrate the victories of an ADHD teen and provide positive emotional support through the teen years.

According to the Psychology Today study, parents who can provide emotional support help teens with ADHD function more easily in everyday life. Supported teens are teens who grow up into healthy, happy, emotionally-stable adults.

Ways to Support an ADHD Teen
  • Celebrate accomplishments 
  • Stay positive 
  • Provide emotional support 
  • Always stay on their side 
  • Avoid excessive criticism 
  • Offer love 
  • Provide the right brain foods

Helping Teens Cope with ADHD

A teen facing the problem of ADHD has a long struggle ahead of him or her. Although scientists are not quite sure of all of the reasons, a teen with ADHD has a brain that works differently from someone who does not have ADHD. It can be a challenge to have an invisible disability because society expects a teen with ADHD to function like other teens, even though it can be extremely difficult for a teen with ADHD. Studies have indicated that nutritional and supplemental differences are one key issue that can make ADHD symptoms worse.

One of the best ways to support a teen with ADHD is to provide the missing minerals and nutrients through diet and supplements. It may not make the issue go away completely, but anything that lessens ADHD symptoms will help a teen have a normal life. In addition to nutrition, support, love, and a reign on criticism are the best tools that a parent or caretaker can use to support a teen with ADHD. Implementing these steps will make the process a lot easier for you and your teen with ADHD.

Sources


http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/childhood-adhd/adhd-teens

http://psychcentral.com/news/2012/12/31/many-adhd-teens-carry-problems-into-adulthood/49865.html

http://psychcentral.com/lib/childhood-teenager-adhd-symptoms

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