The ADD Adolescent

ADD diagnosis teenagerWhat specific behaviors indicate that an adolescent might have ADD?

Efficient attention is required for success in all areas of life. As an ever-present filter between the individual’s external and internal worlds, it screens all incoming and outgoing information to and from the brain. In this way, attention has a profound influence on how an individual experiences events and behaves in all life spheres: school, job, home, and neighborhood. It interacts with other skills and abilities to shape the quality of social interactions, school/job performance, and independent functioning. Therefore, behaviors that suggest attentional difficulty can appear in any area of a person’s life. The following behaviors identify some of the more common red flags that might signal ADD in adolescent children ages 12 to 18 years old.

Adolescent (Twelve to Eighteen)

  • Not being able to organize free time
  • Failing to plan long-term assignments (e.g., reports, projects, and tests)
  • Failing to keep track of assignments
  • Writing disorganized compositions and reports
  • Demonstrating poor reading comprehension of higher level materials
  • Failing to pay attention to personal hygiene
  • Needing constant reminding/nagging to be responsible
  • Skipping school
  • Getting into trouble with the law; committing delinquent acts
  • Getting caught!
  • Getting off the topic in conversations
  • Interrupting and failing to take turns when talking
  • Flying off the handle and doing impulsive things
  • Behaving inappropriately in social situations without realizing it
  • Going beyond simple experimentation with drugs and/or alcohol

ADD Basics 101 | Dr. Craig LidenIf you just recognized someone you know in this list, go to ADDBasics.org and download Dr. Liden’s free guide, ADD Basics 101. In 10 clear steps, Dr. Liden will guide you to an accurate, trustworthy diagnosis and outline what you should look for in an effective treatment plan.


 

AFScovers2Maybe you already have a child identified with ADD/ADHD who is struggling in school.  Dr. Liden’s book, Accommodations for Success, is an amazing resource to help you understand your child better and get her the individualized help she needs to soar at school.

 


Check back tomorrow for red flags in adults’ behavior…

Catch up on previous posts in the Pay Attention series.

Our current blog series is excerpted from Dr. Liden’s best-selling book, Pay Attention!: Answers to Common Questions About the Diagnosis and Treatment of Attention Deficit Disorder.

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The ADD School Age Child

lifespan_schoolageWhat specific behaviors indicate that a school age child might have ADD?

Efficient attention is required for success in all areas of life. As an ever-present filter between the individual’s external and internal worlds, it screens all incoming and outgoing information to and from the brain. In this way, attention has a profound influence on how an individual experiences events and behaves in all life spheres: school, job, home, and neighborhood. It interacts with other skills and abilities to shape the quality of social interactions, school/job performance, and independent functioning. Therefore, behaviors that suggest attentional difficulty can appear in any area of a person’s life. The following behaviors identify some of the more common red flags that might signal ADD in school age children ages six to twelve years old.

The ADD School Age Child (Six to Twelve Years)

  •  Quitting activities before they are completed
  • Interrupting conversations; not taking turns when talking
  • Talking off topic
  • Failing to make eye contact
  • Jumping from one play activity to another
  • Requiring constant supervision to complete chores, routines, (e.g., dressing, bathing, etc.), and independent seatwork
  • Seeming to be sleepy, drowsy, or restless during learning situations
  • Rushing through things; doing sloppy work
  • Losing one’s place during reading; skipping, omitting, or reversing letters and words during reading and writing
  • Making careless errors on simple tasks; guessing at answers
  • Failing to check over schoolwork
  • Failing to finish work; being disorganized
  • Relying on parents for studying and organizing schoolwork
  • Forgetting and losing things; not remembering assignments
  • Talking out in class
  • Saying, doing, and writing things without thinking first
  • Failing to respond to discipline
  • Getting in fights
  • Having friends who are either much older or much younger
  • Looking disheveled: zipper down, shirt tail out
  • Seeming to be “spacey” or “out of it” at times
  • Walking into walls, doors, and furniture
  • Being accident-prone; spilling and dropping things

ADD Basics 101 | Dr. Craig LidenIf your response to this list is “Oh, boy.  I know a kid like that.  Now what?”,  go to ADDBasics.org and download Dr. Liden’s free guide, ADD Basics 101. In 10 clear steps, Dr. Liden will guide you to an accurate, trustworthy diagnosis and outline what you should look for in an effective treatment plan.


 

AFScovers2Maybe you already have a child identified with ADD/ADHD who is struggling in school.  Dr. Liden’s book, Accommodations for Success, is an amazing resource to help you understand your child better and get her the individualized help she needs to soar at school.


 

Check back tomorrow for red flags in adolescents’ behavior…

Catch up on previous posts in the Pay Attention series.

Our current blog series is excerpted from Dr. Liden’s best-selling book, Pay Attention!: Answers to Common Questions About the Diagnosis and Treatment of Attention Deficit Disorder.

Do you recognize these people?

Pay Attention! | Dr. Craig Liden | ADHD girlMelissa, age 8

Missy is a perfect angel.  She quietly sits in the second to the last seat of the fourth row of her third grade class.  The rowdy, disruptive kids sit in the front.  Missy never causes any trouble; she is shy, polite, and…flunking.

Mark, age 10

Mark qualified for the gifted classes at school when he was in second grade.  Even though he is creative, quick, and highly verbal, he rarely gets As on his report card.  His parents and teachers are frustrated that such a bright kid is so sloppy, careless, and irresponsible.  At times they wonder if he’s just bored with it all.

Pay Attention! | Dr. Craig Liden | ADHD womanBetty, age 46

Betty’s daughter was diagnosed with ADD when she was nine years old.  As Betty learned more about her daughter’s problem, she began to wonder if ADD could be the reason for her own long history of difficulties.  In school, Betty’s grades had consistently been pretty good, but she worked so much harder than everyone else.  Now, as an accountant, she is in high demand because the quality of her work.  Her clients have no idea she has to stay up until the wee hours of the morning double and triple checking her calculations.  The daily stress has left her with little energy for her family or household responsibilities.  Over the years, she has grown to feel inadequate and guilty.  She has tried to ease the pain within herself by doing for everyone else–her husband, her children, her parents, her aunt, the school, the church.  Now she has run out of gas.  She’s depressed.  She’s overweight.  Her joints ache.  She has just been diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

Do you recognize Justin, Karen, or Lisa?

These are my patients.

You may have recognized your son or daughter, niece or nephew, grandson or granddaughter. Maybe one of them is a child in your childcare center, a student you teach, or just a kid in your neighborhood. It could be that one of them is your brother, your sister, your mom or dad, or your husband or wife.

It’s quite possible that one of them is you!

The ages, sex, personalities and life circumstances are different but they have one thing in common—they all have Attention Deficit Disorder.

Millions of Americans suspect they may have ADD. Is it time for you to finally get answers?  As I tell my patients when they first come to terms with a diagnosis, it’s exciting to think where things could go!

Patients of all shapes, ages, and sizes come to The Being Well Center and Dr. Craig Liden for diagnoses and treatment plans they can trust. Can we help you too? Visit The Being Well Center for more information about Dr. Liden’s services.

Our current blog series is excerpted from Dr. Liden’s best-selling book, Pay Attention!: Answers to Common Questions About the Diagnosis and Treatment of Attention Deficit Disorder.

 

STRESSES – The Challenge of Taking Medication at College

When students arrive on campus, the demands for efficient attention and self management skills (that is executive functioning) immediately soar . . . challenging academics, consistent study habits, maintenance of healthy daily routines for sleep, eating and exercise, money management, and more complex social decision making.

c@c_whole_you_blog_stresses

Meeting college demands is particularly challenging for students with ADD/ADHD and for the overwhelming majority of them, this means having the aid of a medication regimen that provides benefits throughout the whole day.

We’ve learned from our experience in our Confidence@College program that college is a bad time to try to “fly on my own” and go without medication treatment.  In fact, in our C@C patient population, we have found that acceptance of the need for medication and compliance with an appropriate all-day medication regimen is near the top of the list of factors that contribute our 81% success rate.

For some ADD/ADHD individuals who have been able to get by without medication in the past, entrance into college with its increased demands means having to seriously consider the use of medication for the first time.  For others who have been able to get by with a medication regimen geared to get them through the school day, it means revising their regimen to provide coverage into the evening hours.  And for others, it means committing to taking the medication 7 days a week!

Don’t let an improper use or lack of medication keep you or your student from success at college!

At The Being Well Center, patients who enroll in our Confidence@College program always start with a Discovery Session where we identify the key problem areas and survey the whole person so we can pinpoint the barriers to success and uncover strengths we can mobilize to meet these new challenges.  We then develop an individualized Success Plan.  When medication is a part of the success plan we conduct systematic medication trial testing using objective testing procedures to find the right medication and a treatment regimen that provides efficient attention throughout the waking day.

Before students arrive on campus we brainstorm with them and their parents how they are going to get their medication and how to securely store it.  We go over the logistics of when they will take the medication based upon their weekly schedule.  In addition, we review the dangers of diversion of the medication and make sure we have a mechanism in place to closely track the quantity of medication we provide them.

Once students are on campus, we use innovative technologies and support from our staff through our GuideU video counseling sessions to ensure the student complies with the medication regimen and maintains healthy daily routines, the foundation for a successful medication experience.  We identify signs of sub-therapeutic treatment and possible side effects quickly and our medical staff fine tunes the treatment regimen as needed.

We’re there to ensure success during the whole college experience not just in the classroom, library or study carrel.  We make sure our patients are aware of the importance of taking the medication during evening hours and weekends where social activities provide high risk challenges for un-medicated ADD/ADHD students.  Impulsivity, poor self awareness, weak self monitoring and ineffective problem solving can lead to social decisions that can be disastrous . . . alcohol intoxication, substance abuse, unprotected sex leading to unplanned pregnancy or STD, or illegal activities.  One night of un-medicated “fun” can lead to expulsion from school and life-long consequences.

If you’re at the top of your game, college can be an exciting and enriching experience intellectually, developmentally, and socially, and can provide you with what it takes to independently fulfill your dreams and aspirations through life.  Compliance with the right medication regimen helps this become a reality for students with ADD/ADHD!

Be confident with your child’s success at college . . . call us at the BWC and set up an appointment to participate in our C@C program.  We’ll make sure your child has all the tools, including an optimal medication regimen if needed, to succeed at college.