What is Teen Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?

A list of ADHD symptoms sounds like typical teenage or childish behavior. A lack of focus, hyperactivity, and a lack of self control are pretty normal for children and teenagers. But kids with ADHD have problems that are outside the normal range. If your child has had these problems to the extent that they disrupt their lives and it goes on for six months or more, your child may have ADHD. If your teenager was diagnosed with childhood ADHD, the chances are higher that they will be diagnosed with ADHD as a teen. This is not a problem that one outgrows. There is hope, however. The symptoms can be controlled with treatment.

What causes Teen ADHD?

The causes of ADHD are not known. There are some suspects and research is ongoing. While there may be a genetic component, the condition tends to run in families, it does not come from bad parenting or bad family or school situations. There may be some environmental causes like lead in old pipes or smoking or drinking during pregnancy. Some food additives are also suspect but there is no conclusive evidence.

How do you recognize Teen ADHD?

Teen ADHD is not easily diagnosed. There is no simple test for ADHD. Diagnoses is based on the observations of parents and teachers and then confirmed by a medical exam from a trained practitioner.

ADHD comes in three different forms. One kind is called ADHD, Predominantly Inattentive Type. Children with this type are inattentive but don't show as many of the hyperactive symptoms. Here is a list of the hyperactive symptoms:

  • Does your child have a hard time paying attention to detail.
  • Do they make careless mistakes.
  • Do they have a hard time paying attention or following through on tasks.
  • Does your child not listen?
  • Do they have a hard time following or understanding instructions?
  • Do they avoid doing difficult tasks?
  • Are they easily distracted?
  • Do they often loses things?

Then there is the ADHD, Predominantly Hyperactive Type. With this kind of ADHD, children show more hyperactive symptoms but not as many of the inattentive symptoms. Here is a list of the Hyperactive symptoms:

  • Does your child fidget?
  • Do they squirm?
  • Are they unable to stay seated?
  • Do they run or climb when they shouldn't be?
  • Do they hae a hard time playing quietly?
  • Do they tend to talk excessively and not wait their turn?
  • Do they Interrupt a lot?

Then there is the Combined Type of ADHD where the child shows both kinds of symptoms.

What can you do to treat Teen ADHD?

Many patients respond well to stimulant medication. Behavioral therapy can help as well. Parental education also helps. The most effective treatments combine all of the above.

Last Updated: April 18, 2018