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Managing ADHD in High School Students

Updated: Jan 18

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD is a medical condition that affects brain development and brain activity. The condition mostly affects attention and self-control. ADHD most commonly affects younger children and fewer teenagers and adults. Especially as a teenager the change from elementary school to high school can be overwhelming. In order to have a successful learning journey, it is important to understand the disorder and how to manage it.


Students with ADHD may have trouble focusing, listening to directions, and finishing tasks. Another sign of ADHD in students is hyperactivity. This means that they are restless and easily bored. As a result, they may have trouble sitting still or remaining quiet during class time. They may also have the tendency to rush through things and make careless mistakes. Lastly, impulsiveness is another sign of ADHD among high school students. This means that they may act before sufficiently processing their thoughts. They might interrupt, push, grab or find it difficult to wait. As there are many symptoms this can take a toll on many high school students’ ability to learn. Some of the struggles they might come across is keeping track of time, disputing with teachers/authorities, procrastinating on certain tasks, becoming unreliable, not being an attentive listener.


Some effective methods of treating ADHD include behavioral therapy, parent support, teacher support, or medication. Behavioral therapy is provided by therapists that guide students with ADHD to develop social, emotional, and planning skills. Parents and teachers reward students with ADHD when manifesting good behavior. Teachers can also use this method to encourage students when they make small progress with their learning experience. Parents can guide their teenagers by doing more research on ADHD and identifying specifically what they will need to succeed in school along with their other peers. Communicating with the students’ teachers can help them feel at ease when it comes to their education. Medication is another way to ameliorate their attention span and self-control skills.


The transition from elementary to high school is difficult for many students as they are forced to adopt greater independence. To make this transition a success for students with ADHD, it is important to understand their diagnosis and reach out for help when necessary.


References

  1. “ADHD (for Parents) - Nemours Kidshealth.” Edited by Shirin Hasan, KidsHealth, The Nemours Foundation, June 2020, https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/adhd.html.

  2. uk, nhs. “Treatment -Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).” NHS Choices, NHS, 30 May 2018, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/treatment/.

  3. Editors, ADDitude. “How to Succeed in High School with ADHD: A Teen's Guide.” ADDitude, ADDitude, 14 Dec. 2021, https://www.additudemag.com/high-school-success-adhd-students-homework-studying/.

  4. Rooney, Mary. “ADHD in Teenagers.” Child Mind Institute, Child Mind Institute , 12 Sept. 2021, https://childmind.org/article/adhd-in-teenagers/.

  5. Morin, Amanda. “What Teachers See: How ADHD Impacts Learning in High School.” Understood, Understood, 28 Jan. 2021, https://www.understood.org/articles/en/what-teachers-see-how-adhd-impacts-learning-in-high-school.

  6. Hurley, Katie. “ADHD Struggles in Teens - Psycom.net.” ADHD Struggles in Teens, Psycom, 19 Mar. 2021, https://www.psycom.net/adhd-teens.

  7. Bhandari, Smitha. “ADHD in Teens: Symptoms, Treatment, Medication, Driving.” WebMD, WebMD, 14 June 2021, https://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/childhood-adhd/adhd-teens.



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