You probably take some life skills for granted, like knowing when to wake up for work or take your medicines, and how to balance your checkbook. Yet to a teen with ADHD, those tasks can become huge hurdles.
Kids with ADHD tend to be much slower than their peers to learn how to organize, plan, and prioritize, says Cindy Goldrich, EdM, ACAC. She is a certified ADHD coach and parenting specialist with PTS Coaching in Long Island, N.Y.
Kids and teens with ADHD know what they need to do. They just have...
Because of problems with distractibility and poor concentration, many teens with ADHD have difficulty in school. Grades may fall, particularly if the teen is not receiving ADHD treatment.
It's not uncommon for teens with ADHD to forget assignments, misplace textbooks, and become bored with their daily class work. Teens may become inattentive, or excessively attentive -- not waiting for their turn before blurting out answers. They may interrupt their teacher and classmates, and rush through assignments. Teens with ADHD may also be fidgety and find it tough to sit still in class.
Often, teens with ADHD are so busy focusing on other things they forget about the task at hand. This can be seen especially with homework and athletic skills and in relationships with peers. This lack of attention to what they're doing often leads to poor performance on tests and being passed over from sports teams, after-school activities, and peer groups.
Does ADHD raise the risk of car accidents and problem drinking?
Yes. Driving poses special risks for teens with ADHD. Teens with ADHD are two to four times more likely to have a car accident than teens without ADHD.
Teens with ADHD may be impulsive, risk-taking, immature in judgment, and thrill seeking. All of these traits make accidents and serious injury more likely.
Still, studies show that teen drivers with ADHD who take the prescribed medication are less likely to have accidents.
Teens with ADHD are more likely to be heavy drinkers than teens without ADHD. They are also more likely to have problems from drinking.
In studies, teens with ADHD were twice as likely as other teens to have abused alcohol within the past 6 months and three times more likely to abuse drugs other than marijuana.
Getting proper treatment for ADHD in teens may cut the risk of later alcohol and drug abuse.