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Teen ADHD Guide – A Self Help Guide to ADHD for Teenagers

March 12, 2017

Teen ADHD Guide

Complete guide and resources on teenage Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) – easy sections for teens and youths and more comprehensive resources for parents and educators. This guide is suitable for everyone, with checklists, tools, and advice on teen ADHD and related teen ADHD treatment.

Introduction

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a behavioral disorder. ADHD is not a mental illness or a sign of low intelligence. ADHD manifests itself in two main ways (1):

  • Inattention – difficulty in focusing or concentrating on a particular task; and/or
  • Impulsivity or hyperactivity – acting on something without forethought, usually inappropriately and constant restlessness or fidgeting, not being able to sit still

Presentation of ADHD

Under the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5) published by the American Psychiatric Association 5th Edition (2), ADHD is classified under the group of Neurodevelopmental Disorders which consist of a variety of disorders ranging from language or speech sound disorders to specific learning disorders.

A diagnosis of ADHD requires the following:

  • the inattentive and/or hyperactive-impulsive behavior interferes with the functioning or development of the individual
  • some of the behavioral symptoms were present before age 12
  • the behavior is present in two or more settings (e.g. school and home or school and during summer camp)
  • the behavior negatively impacts social, academic or occupational functioning
  • the behavior does not occur only during a psychotic disorder and cannot be explained by any other mental disorder

Who can diagnose ADHD?

A formal diagnosis of ADHD may only be made by a doctor or a psychologist. In some jurisdictions, a diagnosis of ADHD by a nurse practitioner, counselor, or social worker may be acceptable for school and insurance purposes. The diagnosis is made through the use of a variety of tools including checklists, assessment sheets, and medical examinations.

Choosing the correct professional

Your choice of an ADHD professional should be based on the following factors:

  1. Recommendations or referrals – from your family doctor, friends and school
  2. Certifications and experience – the experience of the professional, articles, publications made
  3. Cost – charge out rate of the professional
  4. Insurance cover – some insurers may require a diagnosis of ADHD to be from a specified type of professional or specialist
  5. Familiarity – if you already know and trust someone e.g. your doctor, you may be able to ask the specialist to make the diagnosis

⇒ Next: Teen ADHD Guide Chapter 1: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD in Teenagers


  1. State of Victoria, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Better Health Channel, <https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd>
  2. American Psychiatric Association, Depressive Disorders, DSM Library, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, <https://dsm.psychiatryonline.org/doi/abs/10.1176/appi.books.9780890425596.dsm04>