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Teenagers & ADD/ADHD 2

Common Behaviours Teenagers with ADD/ADHD and Ideas How to Help


Challenging Behaviour

Seeking independence and freedom

Possible Ways to Help

o Encourage independence
o Trust until proven not trustworthy
o Be observant of activities & friends
o Consider compromise
o Set up win-win situations
o Offer an attractive alternative

Challenging Behaviour

Disobey/conflict with adults

Possible Ways to Help

o State rules clearly
o Involve in developing rules
o Write down rules/post them

Challenging Behaviour

Acting younger

Possible Ways to Help

o Adjust expectations
o Ask his help in solving problems
o Teach desired behaviour
o Impose consequence if necessary

Challenging Behaviour

Are impulsive

Possible Ways to Help

o Anticipate problems
o Avoid tempting teenager
o Consider medication

Challenging Behaviour

Difficulty paying attention/don't seem to listen

Possible Ways to Help

o Make eye contact/use touch
o Keep instructions brief and simple
o Avoid preaching
o Write instructions down
o Accept their listening style

Challenging Behaviour

Forgetful/doesn't do chores

Possible Ways to Help

o Make a written list
o Use "post-it" notes
o Help get started/show how to do
o Ask how you can help

Challenging Behaviour

Disorganised/lose things/have messy rooms

Possible Ways to Help

o Put name on possessions
o Purchase less expensive things
o Assist in being organized
o Serve as a coach
o List steps for clean room
o Help clean room/garage
o Close door to messy room

Challenging Behaviour

Lack awareness of time/they're late

Possible Ways to Help

o Use wrist watch alarm - Check out Watchminder on our Books & Resources pages
o Rent or buy a beeper
o Teach awareness of time

Challenging Behaviour

Difficulty planning ahead

Possible Ways to Help

o Teach planning
o Teach time management
An ADD/ADHD Coach or friend my be able to help here

Challenging Behaviour

Difficult to discipline

Possible Ways to Help

o Use positive reinforcement
o Use logical consequences
o Reward or punish immediately
o Be consistent
o Create new consequences/rewards
o Use behavioural charts
o Use rewards/may include money
o Avoid power struggles
o Redirect interests
o Give second chance
o Be humane

Challenging Behaviour

Low frustration tolerance/irritable/emotional

Possible Ways to Help

o Listen/be supportive
o Use active listening
o Teach problems solving skills
o Teach anger control

Challenging Behaviour

Argues/talk back

Possible Ways to Help

o Ignore minor infractions
o Walk away from conflict
o Give space and time to cool off
o Impose a consequence
o Adjust medication

Challenging Behaviour

Don't accept responsibility for actions

Possible Ways to Help

o Deal with problem behaviour
o Let them know that whatever they have done you still love them it is the behaviour you don't like

Challenging Behaviour

Dishonest

Possible Ways to Help

o If you know answer, don't ask
o Eliminate some punishment
o Develop plan to deal with problem
o Impose a consequence

Challenging Behaviour

Difficulty with extended family events

Possible Ways to Help

o Keep outings simple/reduce demands
o Keep outings brief
o Look for creative solutions
o Allow to drop in for brief visit and leave
o Medication may help

Challenging Behaviour

Difficulty participating in sports

Possible Ways to Help

o Play large muscle sports
o Play an active position
o Consider medication

Challenging Behaviour

Restless/easily bored

Possible Ways to Help

o Get involved in activities and sports
o Plan interesting family outings
o Encourage hobbies & interests
o Make special plans for Holidays

Challenging Behaviour

Seek material possessions

Possible Ways to Help

o Allow to earn money
o Plan for Holidays or birthdays
o Purchase fewer, less expensive gifts
o Teach to express gratitude

Challenging Behaviour

Self-centred

Possible Ways to Help

o Remind of special occasions
o Invite to shop with you
o Encourage to do things for others

Challenging Behaviour

Break things or have accidents

Possible Ways to Help

o Handle accidents philosophically
o Treat as would an adult
o Discuss physical strength
o Put expensive possessions away

Challenging Behaviour

Daring/have accidents/ break bones/climb the unclimbable/do harrowing stunts/

Possible Ways to Help

o Encourage safe, stimulating activities
o Monitor level of danger
o Provide supervision
o Negotiate compromise
o Ask others for help

Challenging Behaviour

Sleep disturbances/can't fall asleep

Possible Ways to Help

o Establish reasonable bedtime
o Prompt to get ready for bed
o Establish bedtime routine
o Don't start projects after set time
o Consider compromise during crisis
o Encourage exercise
o Consider medication/confer with Dr.

Challenging Behaviour

Can't wake up

Possible Ways to Help

o Buy alarm clock and place out of arms reach so they have to get out of bed to turn it off
o Connect lights and TV to timer
o Try positive incentives
o Consider medication as last resort
o Look for other causes

Challenging Behaviour

Difficult morning routine

Possible Ways to Help

o Allow enough time
o Ask help in problem solving
o Use logical consequences; walk to school; leave on time/dress in car; give 10 minute warning
o Get things ready night before
o Give meds immediately upon waking

Challenging Behaviour

Difficult morning routine

Possible Ways to Help

o Allow enough time
o Ask help in problem solving
o Use logical consequences; walk to school; leave on time/dress in car; give 10 minute warning
o Get things ready night before
o Make them phone school to say why they are going to be late
o Give meds immediately upon waking

Challenging Behaviour

Birds of a feather, flock together

Possible Ways to Help

o Refer friends for treatment
o Approach other parents with tact
o Tell of treatment benefits
o Encourage other friendships

Behaviours Unique to Teenagers with ADD Without Hyperactivity:

Challenging Behaviour

Low energy

Possible Ways to Help

o Encourage physical activity
o Consult doctor
o Get physical exam
o Check for depression/meds if needed

Challenging Behaviour

Absent-minded/spacey

Possible Ways to Help

o See suggestions re: organisation
o Anticipate problems/make adjustments
o Medication may help

Challenging Behaviour

Slow processing

Possible Ways to Help

o Make adaptations at home and school
o Speak to school and see if they can help with some suggestions for maintaining focus in school also share any ideas which have already been successful at home

Behaviours Unique to Teenagers with AD/HD With Hyperactivity:

Challenging Behaviour

Attention seekers

Possible Ways to Help

o Give opportunities to be centre stage
o Participate in activities allowing recognition
o Discuss inappropriate attention
o Ignore some behaviour

Challenging Behaviour

Intrusive

Possible Ways to Help

o Set boundaries
o Identify parent's & sibling's space
o Impose consequences
o Try to explain and teach the arms length rule for how far to stand away from a person when speaking to them
o Teach to wait

Challenging Behaviour

Difficulty relating to others

Possible Ways to Help

o Invite their friends on outings
o Invite their friends to house and organise things to do which you can oversee or take part in so that you can encourage them to participate with others
o Provide tips on relating to friends
o Wait for teachable moment
o Coach his team
o Medication may help
o For boys, encourage having friends in addition to girlfriends

Try to enjoy your teenager and allow them to try to express themselves to you without getting annoyed with them. Remember to let them know that you love them but it is often the behaviours you don't like!

Part of this is from the books by Chris A. Zeigler Dendy Teenagers with ADD and Teaching Teens with ADD and ADHD click here to visit his site

adders.org 2004

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Attention Deficit Disorder Online Information




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