ADHD in Adolescents

There is no one-size-fits-all profile for teenagers with ADHD. The severity of the symptoms and functional limitations varies depending on the gender, type of ADHD, environment, personal strengths, and any co-occurring disorders. All about ADHD in Adolescents just below.

In general, teens with ADHD show fewer of the hyperactive symptoms we associate with the disorder in kids. That’s the marvelous news.

However, once students reach high school, there are much higher expectations for them both academically and socially, which can be difficult for teenagers with ADHD.

Teenagers are supposed to be able to handle increasing autonomy as they mature, which includes less structure in their homes and schools as well as less teacher and parental supervision.

Imagine a chart where the line for demands and expectations is rising up and the line for structure and supervision is going down. The obstacles for children with ADHD increase as the gap grows as they enter adolescence.

Additionally, when children gradually distance themselves from their parents and other authoritative people during their teenage years, adolescents are more vulnerable to peer group influence.

For parents of teenagers with ADHD, it’s crucial to watch out for difficulties in more than just their academic performance. Additionally, you should be alert for issues with friendships, emotional stability, driving, and risky behavior. We’ll focus on each of these categories separately.


Teenagers with ADHD may struggle academically without appropriate support. They often have lower grade point averages, worse scores on standardized achievement tests, higher rates of school failure, and higher rates of suspension for misbehavior when they lack support.

Even if your teen doesn’t have major issues with hyperactivity or impulsivity, signs of inattention and trouble organizing themselves can be very detrimental once scholastic demands are raised.

How you may help: Ensure that your adolescent has access to accommodations in class and during exams if necessary. If kids need assistance with a particular academic subject or simply developing the self-discipline to complete their homework, tutors or homework assistants can be of assistance. 

Whether you do it by giving them structure for working from home or by hiring an organizing coach whose goal is to assist them in learning to organize themselves, helping them get (and stay) organized might be crucial.

Above all, parents should be involved and let their children with ADHD know what has to be done and when rather than thinking they will handle the work on their own.

Peer Interactions

Adolescents with ADHD typically struggle with peer relationships in about half of cases. According to research, teenagers with ADHD have fewer friendships that are mutually beneficial and are more likely to be shunned or rejected by their peers.

Additionally, they are more inclined to engage in bullying themselves or to bully others. They might not listen to peers, miss critical social cues, act impulsively, or be invasive as a result of weak social and communication skills.

How you may be of assistance: The most crucial thing you can do is keep track of the people your teenager or adolescent is hanging out with and attempt to encourage them to talk to you or another reliable adult about friendship and relationship issues.

Encouragement of extracurricular activities is also crucial since they provide social opportunities in a structured setting. If you see that they are having a real problem making and maintaining friends, you might wish to find a therapist who specializes in social skills.

Emotional intelligence

All children experience an emotional rollercoaster during the teenage years, but those with ADHD are more likely to have issues with emotion management, which could lead to more extreme highs and lows. They may find it particularly challenging to manage their frustration because of their emotional impulsivity. Both they and the people around them may find it difficult.

How you can help: One thing you can do is encourage your adolescent to try calming techniques and acquire coping mechanisms.

You might also advise them on the need to express regret after losing your temper. Cognitive behavioral treatment can be useful for children with ADHD who are experiencing severe issues with volatility.

ADHD in Adolescents

Erratic conduct

According to research, teenagers with ADHD typically start using alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs earlier than typical youth. Later, they frequently have greater rates of substance abuse, smoking, and difficulties related to alcohol. Additionally, they have a propensity to start having sex sooner, are more prone to engage in risky sex, and have a greater incidence of STDs.

To mitigate these risks, stay informed about your teen’s whereabouts and their social connections. Encourage involvement in extracurricular activities to reduce leisure time that is unstructured and unattended. Inform your adolescent of the dangers of substance abuse and sexual engagement, and encourage them to talk openly with you about these matters.

While you want them to be aware of your expectations and guidelines, you also want them to feel at ease approaching you with inquiries or giving you a call if they encounter difficulties.


Teenagers with ADHD may experience difficulties when driving due to their impulsivity or inattentiveness. According to research, they experience more traffic violations and accidents than the national average, and these accidents are typically more serious.

How you may help: When teaching teenagers with ADHD to drive, extreme caution must be used. In some circumstances, it may be good to think about delaying the age at which your teen starts driving and restricting how, when, and with whom they can drive until you are certain that their competence and judgment are adequately mature.

It may be crucial to make sure your child is taking their ADHD medication while operating a vehicle if they take it for ADHD. Make sure they understand the challenges that come with driving and ADHD and the value of keeping an eye on their own actions to ensure that they are a safe driver.