I have a new pre-teen with ADHD. Over time, I have come to realize that older children (teens) with ADHD seem to have a particularly hard time. Many people go years without even knowing their child has it. Frequently, the symptoms of this condition are so minimal that you can't even tell it's there.
Fortunately, we found out about Samuel's when he was seven years old. Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) is a learning and behavior disability that can cause more problems than just bad tempters when they're young. In fact, although bipolar disorder and ADHD normally go hand in hand, some instances occur where the child has no anger at all.
So, when it comes to teenagers, what should be done to assist with ADHD?
Here are just a few things that you, as a parent, can do for your teens or pre-teens with ADHD.
Get them tested: There is no better way to confirm that your child has the condition than having them medically tested. If you find that your young one seems to have difficulties staying focused, is intelligent but is failing classes or is struggling with simple connections with others; he or she may have the disorder. Reach out to your child's doctor and voice your suspicions. They will point you in the right direction to get answers.
Therapy: Many children struggling with ADHD are also struggling with making friends. This can put children in a dark place. Feeling like there is something wrong with them or always assuming they are different. Without connections, children can become withdrawn and distant. Reach out to your local therapy locations and make your child an appointment. You'll see that giving them someone to talk to and connect with may present a positive change in your child.
Medications: This is a topic that has very different views. Many consider medication to be the best option when dealing with a diagnosis of ADHD. Before making any decisions, take the time to research the medications available for the disorder. See if anything that the medications offer would benefit your child. Some children can gain self-control, a bit of self-worth and can assist with focus. However, other medication can put your child in a zombie-like state. For example: Samuel took Adderall when he was first diagnosed with the disorder. This made him moody, tired and removed his appetite. So much so, that when he started taking Intuniv - he thought he was sick when he was feeling hungry.
Let him/her have space: Providing your young one with more time to finish tasks they are given. They are going to get distracted; they are going to have trouble focusing and they are going to trail off with thought. Because of this, it is crucial that you inform your child's teaching staff of his/her disorder and that this is a key helper with their learning process. You children's teachers SHOULD be able to help and encourage them through the learning process. However, if you feel like the school is not equipped to handle your child enough to fully assist in their academic career, you can do as I did and move your child into online learning. This gives you more of a hands-on option to help them academically.
Rather than always attempting damage control, do your best to try to understand what your child with ADHD is going through. Unless you yourself also have this condition, you will need to familiarize yourself with the hurdles your child may come to face. They are not willingly losing focus; they're not purposely disregarding what their teachers are saying and it's not their fault that everything seems to frustrate them more than it would your other children. They are struggling every day and need you to take the time to understand them and what they're going through.
Your child with ADHD needs extra help with school and learning, but mostly they will need your help with emotional support. Growing up is already hard without a speed bump in your way!
🧡Shine Bright, Kayla