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Tips for Parenting a Teen With ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Teens Overview

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common conditions of childhood and adolescence. Research studies differ about how common this condition really is, but most experts agree that it affects 8%-10% of school-aged children. More than 40% of children with ADHD have ADHD as an adolescent. If you are not actively parenting a teen with ADHD, chances are that you know someone who is dealing with this challenge.

Symptoms of ADHD in Teens

ADHD in childhood becomes apparent when the child exhibits symptoms of hyperactivity, inability to sit still or pay attention, and impulsivity. In teens, this condition may have symptoms of less obvious hyperactivity and more of boredom, restlessness, and irritability. Adolescents with ADHD are also more likely to have conflicts with peers and trouble effectively managing their anger. The degree of severity of every symptom varies widely. Some adolescents with ADHD may need only mild interventions and guidance, while others require much greater support to achieve optimal levels of function. While doctors do not fully understand what causes ADHD, it is believed to be related to both environmental triggers and inherited or genetic factors. ADHD tends to run in families.

ADHD in Teenagers: Boys vs. Girls

ADHD is more common in boys than in girls. The predominantly hyperactive type of the condition is four times more common in boys, while the inattentive type is two times more common in boys than in girls. The diagnosis may be more difficult to make in girls because of the higher subtlety of symptoms in girls. Children of all ages can be affected, and the condition can persist into adulthood. Medications are available that can treat many of the symptoms of ADHD, although they do not "cure" the condition.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/29/2013

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