Behavioral indicators of ADD in preteens are often difficult to distinguish from misbehavior, and many adolescents with ADD are subject to disciplinary action at school because their actions are perceived as disrespectful or naughty. This can be confusing because the kids don’t often realize that they’re showing signs of ADD. They often feel that the adults in their life are picking on them, or being unfair. If left unchecked, it can lead to resentments toward authority figures, and further deviant behavior. Constant motion, a wandering mind, a short attention span, and forgetfulness are all signs of adolescent ADD.
ADD and ADHD in preteens also have telltale emotional patterns and signs. The fore-mentioned resentment of authority can manifest itself as a blatant disregard for rules, both in the classroom and at home. Emotional outburst stemming from an inability to communicate well enough to respond to unpleasant stimuli is common. Where an adult, or a non ADD person would be able to ignore something or tune out distracting noises, or resist the urge to lash out in anger right away, an ADHD or ADD adolescent seems to be unable to control the emotion and becomes overtaken within an instant.
Academically, these adolescents have a hard time staying on task. They often leave assignments and projects halfway finished. They have a hard time getting started with an assignment and find it troublesome to focus on each question or task long enough to reach completion. They often “zone out” during tests, even when they know the material, and end up getting bad results. Since their mind wanders easily, they often miss out on important verbal directions, and really don’t know when the teacher said it was due.
Counselors and behavioral therapists and // that focus on helping families deal with the issues surrounding ADD and ADHD are often very helpful, with checklists and guidelines for evaluating the signs and symptoms, in order to help families who are struggling with attention disorders. Being aware of the signs of adolescent ADD can help a parent decide whether their child’s energetic tendencies have developed into something that needs professional attention. Being aware of the inner struggles that your child is facing can help make you more sympathetic, and better able to help them respond to their needs. Watching your child closely for signs and symptoms will allow you to track events and issues that affect their attentions and help create treatment plans that your child is likely to respond to, if necessary. Researching the nature of ADD and ADHD, and learning about all of the different treatment options can be the first step toward success.
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