It's common for a parent to say of their attention stricken teen, "Shouldn't my teen have outgrown this by now?" You watch your child act with little regard for the consequences, become easily distracted from a task, and be seemingly unable to organize their time and activities. Meanwhile, you barrage your child with insidious comments like, "you're acting like a five-year-old," or "When will you ever grow up and act your age?"
Getting a diagnosis for your struggling teen is very important. The main symptoms required for an official diagnosis of ADHD are, "Inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.. Although in adolescence, some symptoms of ADHD, particularly those related to hyperactivity, can become more subtle," according to Help4adhd.org. It is also important to understand that the challenges that teens experience as a result of ADHD symptoms, such as poor school performance, may intensify with increased demands and expectations as they get older.
You or your child's teachers may correctly suspect that ADHD symptoms are contributing to these struggles. For teens not diagnosed in childhood, obtaining a diagnosis of ADHD in adolescence can be complicated for several reasons. First, symptoms must be present in some way before the age seven. Recalling symptoms that were present in the past is often difficult. Second, many of the symptoms listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, are primarily written for younger children and may not be applicable to teenagers. Third, obtaining reliable reports of teens - symptoms from external observers, such as parents or teachers, is more difficult.
It's Not Your Fault
Research has clearly shown that ADHD is primarily genetic, and the majority of cases of ADHD have a genetic component. ADHD is a brain-based disorder, and the symptoms shown in ADHD are linked to many specific brain areas. You may be happy to know that although patterns of parenting and family interaction may help reduce the impact of the symptoms of ADHD, parenting styles do not cause ADHD. Even once your teen has been diagnosed, it is imperative to get the proper help. If medication is the choice, it must be monitored, and therapy is always beneficial for resisting impulses and recognizing newly-focused abilities.