10 Tips for Teens With ADD and ADHD

Many of my friends in High School and college had ADD.  Recently, two of my clients were diagnosed with ADD, so when I saw the book: The Survival Guide for Kids with ADD or ADHD by John F. Taylor, I decided I should write a post for some of my readers who are experiencing ADD in their family.

I gathered a few pointers from the book and also talked to the kids I work with about what they would like parents to know about their symptoms, trigger points and weaknesses.

We put together a Top 10 List…because, well, why not…and we hope it will be helpful for readers.

1. Different Smarts

ADD teens and kids need to be reminded that they have lots of other special talents and skills.  Kids with ADD and ADHD (thank you Dr Taylor) can often have special muscial artisitc, mechanical, dramatic and computer smarts!

2. Being Labeled Sucks

Once a parent or adult says, ‘he has ADD,’ teens often feel they might be labelled that way for good.  If parents tell our teachers, please make sure we are not constantly labeled as an outsider or segregated from the rest of the class.

3. Organization is a Problem

ADD kids often have problems with organization, so if you are a parent or teacher, please realize this is a weakness and take special care to help with this.

4. Falling Behind Is Scary

Kids with ADD and ADHD, especially teens can often fall behind in classes because they have trouble focusing.  It is not only bad for self-esteem to feel behind, but it is also embarrassing in group work situations when they cannot keep up with the rest of the class members.

5. Medicine Can Be A Drag

Remembering to take pills are particular times, especially sleeping over at friend’s houses can be a drag and make teens and kids feel weird, different and left out.

6. Medicine Can Be Appealing

Unfortunately, many non-ADD kids are very aware of the kids who have ADD to get a hold of some of their upper medication.  I know many kids who had ADD prescription in High School and college who would get approached to sell some of their medication..this usually meant that they had to skip a few days so their parents/doctor wouldn’t notice.

7. Managing Big Projects is Hard

Helping ADD kids figure out how to break down small tasks is really important because projects, problems and large assignments can be incredibly daunting.

8. Letting Off Steam

Many of my friends with ADD would take runs during finals, study outside of the library as much as inside and moved around a lot.  This helped them focus when they had to sit and study or take an exam.

9. Taking Breaks

I teach a lot of the kids I mentor how to take the right breaks.  If you are writing an essay on the computer an inefficient break is to go play a video game.  Teach and help kids take breaks that really will refresh and replenish their energy, if they are outside bring them in, if they are inside get them out, if they are writing get them talking etc.

10. Minimizing Outside Distractions

Clear desk, clear room, less noise.  All of these things help when studying and trying to keep concentration and focus.

Overall, please be open-minded and get as informed as you can if you know someone or are affected yourself with ADD or ADHD this is the best way to feel in control.

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5 Responses to “10 Tips for Teens With ADD and ADHD”

  1. Bob Collier
    June 29, 2008 at 7:51 pm #

    Hi, Vanessa

    Here’s something about ‘ADHD’ you might be interested in:


  2. Vanessa
    June 30, 2008 at 9:35 am #

    great thanks Bob!

    June 29, 2009 at 2:33 am #

    Great post, thanks for sharing. This information is beneficial to know.

  4. Sherlin
    September 13, 2010 at 2:29 am #

    Parental support is key in the treatment of ADHD. Communication of clear and specific expectations, and consistency are very important. Avoid long, flowery explanations. Use clear, concise speech when asking a child to complete tasks.

  5. Sherlin
    September 13, 2010 at 2:44 am #

    A way of meeting the need for additional brain chemical stimulation for a child is through intense daily exercise. The intense exercise helps an child with ADHD burn some energy, helps raise the level of serotonin and dopamine in the brain.

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