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Adolescent ADHD - What Parents Should Know

Updated on May 19, 2015
Photo credit: Carl_C / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND
Photo credit: Carl_C / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

What is ADHD?

ADHD is a neuropsychiatric condition characterized by a number of behaviors demonstrating problems with executive function. These behaviors include hyperactivity, difficulty with concentration, becoming easily distracted, and exhibiting impulsivity.

Often, children with ADHD seem disorganized and have trouble mentally processing verbal instructions, as well as remembering details. Kids with ADHD may have trouble sitting still, talk more than others, have problems finishing tasks, make more careless mistakes than their peers, and take action without regard to possible consequences of their actions.

ADHD Statistics

  • 6.4 million children 4-17 years old in the U.S. have been diagnosed with ADHD. (1)
  • 6.1% of children in the U.S. with ADHD are taking medication to treat this disorder.
  • Over the past 8 years, diagnoses of kids with ADHD have increased 42%. (1)
  • In a typical U.S. classroom, based on the numbers of kids being diagnosed, at least 1 child will have ADHD. (2)
  • Almost 50% of those preschoolers diagnosed with ADHD take medication for this disorder.
  • Boys are more likely than girls to receive a diagnosis of ADHD.
  • 40% of kids that are diagnosed with ADHD have a mother or father with ADHD. (2)
  • 50% of kids with ADHD also have problems with listening comprehension.(4)
  • Teenagers with ADHD generally have 4 times the amount of traffic tickets than their peers without ADHD. (4)

Some Good News for Those Who Have Children with ADHD

According to ADHD Centers, many of those who have ADHD have been determined to be very creative and inventive. Examples they give of those who are believed to have had ADHD are Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, Henry Ford and Babe Ruth. (5)

Treatment for ADHD

The current options for treating an adolescent with ADHD are to treat with medications and/or behavioral therapy. Additionally, training for parents and school authorities, as well as looking at dietary changes can be part of an intervention plan. The American Academy of Pediatrics has provided a protocol for treatment for children based on age.

What To Do If You Suspect Your Child Has ADHD

The first step for parents who suspect their child may have ADHD is to have your child assessed by a medical professional experienced in diagnosing this disorder. If the child receives a diagnosis of ADHD, discuss treatment options with the medical care provider and, together, determine a plan that will work best. Be patient; know that finding the optimal protocol for your child may take some time, observation, and discussions about your observations with the medical professional.


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      Saori 2 years ago

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      Angelo Sambunaris MD 2 years ago from Alpharetta, GA

      Say Yes To Life:

      Thank you for your comment.

      Every patient is different, but for many, exercise can be an important part of an overall treatment plan. Studies have shown that regular physical activity can increase levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, boosting attention and warding off feelings of frustration and depression. It will also help your overall health and physical functioning, so everyone should be making exercise a regular part of their day.

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      Yoleen Lucas 2 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

      I wonder if regular heavy exercise would help ADHD???

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      Cynthia 2 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

      Good article with a presentation of many options, through research, and through working with professionals with successful diagnosis and treatment experience. There is certainly controversy in all aspects of ADHD. Thank you.