Avery’s House specializes in treating children and teens diagnosed with ADHD. Left untreated, the symptoms of ADHD can impact your child’s ability to interact socially and achieve in the classroom.
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most commonly diagnosed childhood mental health disorders. It is estimated that 8.4% of children and up to 2.5% of adults have ADHD.
If your son or daughter is struggling with ADHD symptoms, contact us to discuss ADHD teen therapy options.
What is ADHD?
ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is usually diagnosed during childhood. Sometimes children will outgrow the disorder, but it can also persist into adulthood.
Most children have some degree of inattentiveness or hyperactivity from time to time.
ADHD is characterized by persistent symptoms that interfere with a person’s ability to function at school, home, or with friends.
Symptoms may emerge in children as young as 3.
Types of ADHD
There are three types of ADHD: inattentive presentation, hyperactive presentation, and combination, which is a hybrid of the other two types.
The most commonly diagnosed type is the combination type.
Symptoms of Inattentive Type
Children and teens with inattentive type ADHD present with multiple symptoms. These may include:
- Having difficulty concentrating
- Making careless mistakes in schoolwork
- Losing or misplacing items
- Not being able to follow instructions
- Not being able to listen carefully to a speaker
These symptoms can lead to poor achievement in school, difficulty interacting with peers, or discipline issues at home or school.
Symptoms of Hyperactive Type
In the hyperactive form of ADHD, certain behaviors are common. Some symptoms include:
- Constant movement or fidgeting
- Excessive talking or interrupting others
- Not being able to stay quiet
- Being impulsive and not thinking before acting
- Not being able to wait for a turn
Typically, hyperactivity decreases as a child ages, but some symptoms may persist into adulthood.
Symptoms of Combination Type
In this form of ADHD, symptoms from both the attentive and hyperactive types are present. Most children fall into this category.
A trained mental health professional will be able to make an ADHD diagnosis. They will use a combination of interviews and review previous medical history. Other mental health disorders should also be ruled out.
Caregivers, teachers, and the child may be involved in the process.
According to the DSM-5, to be diagnosed with ADHD, symptoms need to be present for more than 6 months and also need to negatively impact the person’s social, academic, and/or occupational function.
If the patient is younger than 17, 6 or more symptoms must be present for a diagnosis. Patients older than 17 only require 5 or more symptoms to be diagnosed with ADHD.
Children diagnosed with ADHD often have other disorders or issues contributing to their difficulty functioning at home or school.
Children diagnosed with ADHD should be screened for several other mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and learning disorders. Addressing all issues simultaneously will lead to the most successful outcomes.
Due to the nature of the condition, children and teens may suffer from some secondary consequences of ADHD.
Children with ADHD may have more difficulty making or sustaining friends. Children with ADHD may be rejected by peers because of their behaviors, or sometimes they may not engage as other children do.
Due to inattentiveness and impulsiveness, a child with ADHD may be more prone to injuries than other children. This puts them at higher risk for injuries that could have otherwise been avoided if they were to follow the rules or pay attention.
What are the Causes of ADHD?
The exact cause of ADHD has not yet been determined. However, there is a great deal of research around the disorder, and several risk factors have been identified.
There is an increased risk of being diagnosed with ADHD if the child was exposed to pesticides or other environmental toxins during childhood.
There is also evidence to suggest that having a low birth weight leads to higher rates of ADHD.
Another risk factor is having a history of ADHD in the family. More than 20 studies have shown that ADHD is an inherited disease. The exact genes responsible are still unknown.
It is important to note that there are many inaccurate causes of ADHD. Previously, people believed that if a child watched too much TV or ingested too much sugar, they would develop ADHD. Research has not found a link between these behaviors and the disorder.
Another misconception is that having a stressful home life or a traumatic experience would make a child more likely to develop ADHD. Research does not support any relationship between these factors and developing ADHD.
It is acknowledged, however, that having a stressful home life or experiencing a traumatic event may worsen the symptoms of ADHD.
What’s the Difference Between ADD and ADHD?
ADD and ADHD are often used interchangeably. In 1994, the name of the disorder was officially changed in medical circles from Attention Deficit Disorder to Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder to more accurately include all types of the disorder. ADD would specifically refer to the Inattentive Type.
Although the official label has changed, many people still use ADD to refer to any form of the disorder.
ADHD Treatments and Therapies
The symptoms of ADHD can be managed with medications as well as therapy. A combination of methods is often used in children and teens struggling with ADHD
FDA-approved medications used to treat ADHD can be divided into stimulants and non-stimulants.
Stimulant drugs are the most commonly used drug in treating the disorder. It may seem counterintuitive. However, the drugs have a calming effect on people with ADHD.
They work by increasing the amounts of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain.
Some of the most common stimulant class medications include Adderall, Ritalin, and Concerta.
These drugs help to improve concentration.
Non-stimulants are used in patients that don’t respond well to stimulant-type medications.
These drugs have different mechanisms in the brain. For example, Strattera is a drug that blocks norepinephrine uptake in the brain. This allows there to be more available in the brain.
Non-stimulant drugs take longer to see a positive effect than stimulant drugs.
Medication in the treatment of ADHD should be monitored by a healthcare practitioner. Patients should be monitored when starting the medication to watch for any side effects. Dosing may also be adjusted as needed.
Treating ADHD effectively involves using multiple types of therapies. Several types of therapies are commonly used for children and teens with symptoms of ADHD.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is one of the most popular types of psychotherapy. It involves looking at the relationship between negative thoughts and behaviors.
By changing these negative patterns into positive ones, a child can learn to become self-aware and modify their behaviors.
This type of therapy can be done one-on-one with a therapist, in a peer group setting, or family therapy session. Each has its benefits.
Having a one-on-one session allows a person to address their unique challenges while being in a group setting provides peer support and makes a patient feel less alone in their struggle.
Family therapy provides an opportunity to repair any relationships that may have suffered due to the symptoms of ADHD as well as give family members tools and strategies to help support their child.
Behavior management is a therapy that uses strategies to modify a child’s behavior. Parents, teachers, and therapists can use behavior management strategies to support a child with ADHD.
Behavior management techniques should be used in conjunction with other methods and ongoing.
Some examples of behavior management include:
- Setting small goals for the child
- Providing consistent consequences for negative behaviors
- Using techniques for an extended time and not just temporarily
Behavior management can be used on children of all ages but is especially important for very young children.
Experiential therapies are another popular method of treatment used when treating children and teens with ADHD.
Art therapy is one type that allows children to create art to express themselves. Research has shown that art therapy provides adolescents with a non-threatening way to communicate their feelings and process emotions.
Yoga therapy is another non-traditional therapy that is very effective at helping children and teens with ADHD. It helps adolescents with focus and concentration.
Music therapy can treat restlessness and hyperactivity associated with some forms of ADHD. In music therapy, creating or listening to music can have positive effects.
Avery’s House offers all of these types of experiential therapies to patients.
Supplemental Health Approaches
More recently, the NIH has advised that those diagnosed with ADHD follow certain best practices to support overall wellness.
They include taking certain supplements like omega-3s and melatonin. Some research shows these as being beneficial to those with ADHD.
Meditation and acupuncture have been suggested as other treatment methods, but the research is inconclusive as to the benefits of these practices on patients with ADHD.
The NIH also recommends getting plenty of physical activity and adequate sleep. Supporting a healthy lifestyle overall can reduce the symptoms of ADHD.
Research is ongoing surrounding treatments for ADHD. If a supplemental approach has no adverse effects, it is generally considered safe to try. However, discussing all treatments with a doctor before beginning is recommended.
Having a child or teen with ADHD can be challenging. Avery’s House is experienced in helping families get the treatment they need for children and adolescents struggling with ADHD.
Avery’s House provides a comprehensive treatment program that includes a variety of treatment methods as well as access to medication if necessary. Each treatment plan is customized to the patient’s needs. It will be modified as the patient makes progress.
We take a family-centered approach and involve families throughout the treatment process. We offer a weekly family support group to help connect families to others facing similar challenges.
We encourage families to be involved in the program. We have a weekly visitation where families can come into our facility.
Our commitment is to support all our patients’ physical, social, and emotional needs. By providing a combination of traditional, experiential, and alternative therapies, we can successfully evaluate, diagnose, and stabilize a range of adolescent mental health conditions.
An important part of every young person’s life is attending school. At Avery’s House, we understand the importance of maintaining continuity of education while in our program.
We work closely with local area school districts to ensure the continuation of education. If the school cannot cooperate, we provide an online program so that learning may continue.
Our experienced admissions staff will help to verify your insurance coverage. We accept most major insurances.
Most insurance carriers cover at least a portion of treatment costs, reducing your out-of-pocket expenses. We can help connect you with other financial resources that are available as well.
ADHD Therapy for Teens & Free and Confidential Support
Parents of children with ADHD can feel overwhelmed by their challenges. Avery’s House understands your struggle.
The first step is seeking help. Whether you are just beginning your search or have already sought help, Avery’s House can answer your questions and help guide you.
We offer free, no-obligation support to families. Call today to speak with a caring staff member who will guide you at no cost.
Don’t suffer alone any longer. ADHD therapy for teens can change everything for your family. Call Avery’s House and get your child the care needed to start feeling better.