Teenagers and ADHD

The dreaded teenage years! Teenagers by their very nature are tricky to deal with from staying out after their curfew, to alcohol, to cigarettes, to drugs. It’s a scary time for many care givers.

Then there are the tantrums, the endless piles of laundry (why do teenagers think they need to get changed 6 times in under an hour?!), the exams, the terrible tastes in music at full blast morning noon and night. Yes, having teenagers is hard having teenagers with ADHD is even harder.


Now although ADHD is an EBD condition, you have to remember that ADHD is only a part of them, it doesn’t define them. If someone’s black, or gay, that only a small part of them, and you should treat the ADHD in the same way. Granted there are medications to help with ADHD, but underneath it all they are still an individual and need to be treated as such, even if that does mean the aforementioned terrible music tastes!

When dealing with ADHD try and keep focus on their interests and channel their energies. If they want to play the piano, get the lessons, if they’re a gamer, look into conventions or even find a programming course, after all, some of the greatest selling games of all time are the brainchild of someone with a creative idea and a bit of coding skill.

People with ADHD also tend to be very bright, however not academic and getting pen to paper is a challenge, but there are loads of options available now, such as arranging it so they can use a laptop in school to type their work up as oppose to writing it, or even enlisting the help of the SENCO team.

Just because they refuse to write does not mean they aren’t learning. Take for example your own teenage years you probably remember more of what your teacher said than what you wrote down. I still remember the final lines of Romeo and Juliet and Of Mice and Men, neither of which I wrote down.

You’ll also find with ADHD that they become bored quickly, so are usually better suited to advanced Maths, English and Science. However, be sure not to push them too hard, or you could end up with a teenage rebellion on your hands (see they are still teenagers at the end of the day!)

It is also a good idea to restrict their phone access and internet at this age, due to the types of app they can download, and also the potential of extreme material on the web. Curious minds will find all sorts of things, and you want to ensure that there curious but wonderful minds aren’t corrupted.