Does my teen need an ADHD assessment? Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is a neurobehavioral condition that affects people of all ages and genders. Though not everyone is diagnosed in childhood, symptoms often show up at this time and continue into adulthood. While there is no cure for ADHD, there are treatments available, including therapy and medication that can help patients manage their symptoms more effectively.
There are several groups of symptoms associated with ADHD, and while the common group involves hyperactivity, impulsiveness, and impatience, another involves difficulty concentrating and paying attention. Yet another group combines both groups of symptoms. If you’re trying to determine if your teen needs an ADHD assessment, start by comparing his or her behavior with some of the most common symptoms of the disorder.
Understanding How ADHD Affects the Brain
Although its causes are not fully understood, it is believed that ADHD is a neurological disorder that is most likely inherited. Although ADHD is often perceived as a simple label that’s applied to rude and unruly kids who tend to misbehave because they haven’t been disciplined properly, it’s actually a complex disorder that affects the way your teen’s brain works. ADHD involves the areas of the brain that are in charge of important skills, including:
- Personality and social behavior
- Decision making
- Planning and organizing
As such, teens suffering from ADHD may have difficulty organizing simple activities and tasks into logical sequences. They may, therefore, shy away from activities that require concentration and planning. ADHD can also make it difficult for them to complete tasks, and this includes at school, home, and in the workplace.
How Does ADHD Affect School Performance and Behavior?
Many of the symptoms of ADHD are manifestations of the way the disorder affects the brain, and many of these involve how your teen processes information, and his or her ability to concentrate and focus. Unsurprisingly, many teens with ADHD are often prone to disruptive outbursts, and the symptoms can lead to behavioral problems at school and at home. Along with having difficulty with organization, planning, and task completion, your teen may also be suffering from ADHD if he or she is exhibiting symptoms such as:
- Inability to concentrate, pay attention, and sit still
- Having trouble listening, following directions, and controlling impulses
- Being impatient and easily distracted
- Being disruptive and interrupting
- Losing things, misplacing things, and being forgetful
- Always moving and needing to touch things
Treatment for ADHD can include therapy, medication, or a combination of the two. If your teen is suffering from any of these symptoms, consider an ADHD assessment. Proper diagnosis and treatment can help your teen regain direction by providing the resources and confidence needed to control behavior and manage symptoms effectively.