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If you suspect that your teen may have ADHD


All teenagers tend to be impulsive, disorganized or immature at times - that's part of adolescence. But when your teen seems more forgetful, more disorganized, more impulsive, more prone to procrastinate, less mature, and less able to manage than his or her peers - these may be signs of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD or ADD).

Hyperactive or Inattentive

Not all children with ADHD are hyperactive. Some are inattentive and show no signs of hyperactivity.

ADHD in High IQ Teens

Bright children with inattentive type ADHD may do well in school until increasing demands overwhelm their ability to cope and keep up. Many bright teens with ADHD may simply be seen as underachievers. Others become anxious and try to overcompensate for their ADHD tendencies by staying up late into the night or even all night, desperately trying to cram for an exam or to complete a paper they've put off until the last minute.

Changes in ADHD during Adolescence

ADHD looks different in the teen years. Children who were hyperactive often become less so. Impulsivity may still be present, but to a lesser degree. In fact, many of the traits of ADHD in teens are simply exaggerated traits shared by many teenagers.

Differences in Girls with ADHD

Girls with ADHD can often be moody, especially during their PMS week. Emotional overreactions, hypersensitivity to stress, argumentativeness, disorganization, and a general difficulty keeping up with the demands of daily life that their peers seem to manage better - all of these can be signs of ADHD.

What to do if you suspect that your teenage son or daughter has ADHD

If you see these patterns in your son or daughter, a professional evaluation may be in order. ADHD is a highly treatable disorder and learning life management skills as a teen with ADHD is best done while they still enjoy the structure and support of the home environment.

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