Defining ADHD in Teens

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Lettered cubes arranged to spell the abbreviation ADHD

Teens with ADHD face many challenges on a daily basis. These individuals tend to struggle both socially and in school due to difficulties relating to focus, hyperactivity, impulsiveness, and other executive function deficits. These difficulties often become incredibly frustrating for both the teen and their parent, resulting in increased tension within the home. While ADHD is not considered a learning disability, ADHD is a brain-based medical disorder and is becoming increasingly common in teens today.

In 2011, approximately 11% of children 4-17 years of age were diagnosed with ADHD, totaling 6.4 million. Even though ADHD is common among teens, every teen with ADHD displays their symptoms differently. Some teens with ADHD are impulsive and disruptive while others are quietly distracted in their own thoughts.

To help accommodate these differences, the DSM-V recently changed the diagnostic criteria for ADHD. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is now classified under either predominantly hyperactive-impulsive ADHD or predominantly inattentive ADHD. Next week on the Vantage Point blog, we will provide an overview of these two types of ADHD to help you differentiate what type of ADHD your son or daughter may have.