Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Helping parents understand ADD/ADHD in teens.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a disorder marked by an ongoing pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development.
-Inattention means a person wanders off task, lacks persistence, has difficulty sustaining focus, and is disorganized; and these problems are not due to defiance or lack of comprehension.
-Hyperactivity means a person seems to move about constantly, including in situations in which it is not appropriate; or excessively fidgets, taps, or talks. In adults, it may be extreme restlessness or wearing others out with constant activity.
-Impulsivity means a person makes hasty actions that occur in the moment without first thinking about them and that may have a high potential for harm, or a desire for immediate rewards or inability to delay gratification. An impulsive person may be socially intrusive and excessively interrupt others or make important decisions without considering the long-term consequences.
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in teens is a diagnosis that can frustrate parents and teachers since these students are typically very intelligent. Parents become very upset when their teen’s grades are dropping, the behavior is becoming belligerent (usually as ODD sets in) and the family conflict starts climbing.
In many situations when a teen is prescribed medication for their ADD/ADHD they will either stop taking it or start abusing it. This can cause more problems for your family and especially your teenager.
Parents that visit our site have already had their child diagnosed with ADD/ADHD. They are struggling with the behaviors through puberty that come with it usually associated with oppositional defiance disorder (ODD).
- Underachieving in school (typically not turning in homework, but can score well on tests)
- Defiant behavior and attitude
- Rage, anger – especially towards parents
- Sometimes even violence – especially towards parents
- Withdrawing from family functions
- Experimentation with substance abuse (possibly they believe will make them feel better)
These are all signs your teen is spiraling out of control and is crying for help.
Seeking local therapy should always be your first avenue and possible out-patient treatment. Sometimes this is not successful, so don’t be discouraged. As we know teenagers can be stubborn and will dig their heels in – completely shutdown and won’t open up.
This is why therapeutic boarding schools and residential therapy has been very successful for ADD/ADHD/ODD teens. These choices are only after you have exhausted your local resources.
It’s rare that the one hour once a week on a counselors couch will make significant changes if you are dealing with a teen that has been struggling for over six months with these problems.
Read more about the symptoms of ADHD.
For more information on residential therapy options that specialize with oppositional defiance disorder, ADD/ADHD please contact us.