Coping with ADHD is a lifetime process for many children and adults. While your teen's current plan might have worked throughout elementary and middle school, you may find that they suddenly start to struggle again once they hit the high school level. Your teen's difficulties may be biologically based such as their medication no longer working quite how it used to now that they are maturing into an adult. They could also be struggling to adjust to a new teaching strategy and an increased demand for them to complete multiple assignments independently. You can use these three tips to help your teen find a new plan that works with their current academic environment.
Identify Challenges They Face in the Classroom
When your teen's grades take a nosedive, it is time to start talking to them about what is happening at school. Ask your teen if they struggle with sitting still for longer class periods or if they have trouble completing essay exams. Your teen may need to seek ADD help from a professional who can help them identify their challenges if they are not able to describe them to you. You might also talk to your teen's teachers to see what they notice. For instance, they may be able to tell you that your teen starts to zone out about halfway through class.
Find Out If They Have a Co-Occurring Disorder
The high school years are also a time when your teen becomes susceptible to the development of mental health issues that could exacerbate their ADD symptoms. The pressures of high school may trigger your teen's anxiety or depression, and this might cause their symptoms to become more pronounced. For instance, depression can cause foggy thinking and fatigue, which could make it harder for your teen to focus on their academic responsibilities.
Implement New Forms of Support
Seeking professional ADHD help puts your teen in touch with someone who can help them navigate their way through high school. Your teen may participate in special forms of therapy that help them learn how to train their mind to focus on a task. They may also need help learning how to properly complete an essay question or stay focused during a lengthy final exam. Your teen can also learn study strategies to use at school such as taking notes in different pen colors to engage their need for sensory stimulation. Trying new strategies helps your teen figure out what works, and they can carry these new ideas with them to be successful in college.