ADHD in Teens
What You Should Know About ADHD in Teens
While ADHD affects individuals of all ages, the implications are different for children than for teenagers or adults. For teens, the demands are greater, which means that the symptoms have more direct and serious consequences at school, at home, and at work.
Still, by raising awareness and bringing attention to the implications of ADHD in teenagers, we’re able to better cope with what it means for the teen's health, wellness, and long-term success.
Symptoms of ADHD in Teens
In addition to ADHD, teens deal with hormonal changes, so ADHD symptoms may present in a slightly different (sometimes more intense) way. But the symptoms are still very similar and consistent compared to what’s seen in children with ADHD. Here are some of the most common signs and symptoms of this condition:
• Distractibility/Lack of Focus
• Inability to Concentrate
Even with accommodations in the classroom, teens experience increasing demands that directly conflict with the challenges they face with ADHD. Disorganization, distractibility, and the inability to concentrate can make it seem nearly impossible to manage homework and standardized testing.
With the added expectations and demands of extracurricular activities, a teenager with ADHD faces potential boredom, disengagement with school, and increased restlessness.
How Does ADHD Affect a Teen's Life?
The symptoms of ADHD can cause failing grades, issues with impulsivity, and risky behavior, but that’s not a foregone conclusion. While some teens cope best with medication, others succeed with a carefully constructed support system, self-advocacy, and reminder tools that help them stay on task and on schedule.
What About ADHD and Teen Driving?
Just as school, home, and after-school jobs can add layers of responsibility, driving can present a particular challenge for teens with ADHD. While ADHD is always a consideration in any daily activity, a motor vehicle presents an additional danger. Accidents accounted for 2,500 teen deaths in 2018.
ADHD presents more complications for teen drivers, as it means there is a greater possibility that impulse control, distraction, and lack of focus will become problematic. Teens often lack the maturity to operate a motor vehicle safely, and ADHD further intensifies that. So, while it may be time to drive eventually, careful review, training, and supervised driving are smart limits for teens with ADHD.
What You Should Know About ADHD in Teenagers
The teen years are an exciting time of growth and increased independence, but for teens with ADHD, it is a time that presents a whole new set of challenges and struggles. These can be both frustrating and heartbreaking. ADHD in teenagers simply means that they need more understanding and support than ever before.
While the challenges experienced by a teen with ADHD can lead to real growth and increased self-advocacy skills, they can also cause issues with substance abuse and self-isolation. The success of teens with ADHD depends on careful monitoring with active support and interventions as needed. In addition, ongoing acceptance and encouragement of the teen’s strengths can make an important difference in long-term outcomes.