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Teenagers with ADD

A summary of the common behaviors, plus possible interventions, discussed in this chapter is provided, Most teenagers with ADD will have some but not all of these behaviors. More information on particular behaviors and interventions can be found on the pages noted below. As you become more familiar with using these strategies, you will find that you can often use them to handle more than one problem situation.


Seek independence and freedom Encourage independence
Trust until proven not trustworthy
Be observant of activities & friends
Consider compromise
Set up win – win situations
Offer an attractive alternative
Disobey/Conflict with Adults State rules clearly
Involve in developing rules
Write down rules/post them
Act younger Adjust expectations
Ask his help in solving problems
Teach desired behavior
Impose consequence if necessary
Act impulsive Anticipate problems
Avoid tempting teenager
Consider medication
Difficulty paying attention/don’t see to listen Make eye contact/use touch
Keep instructions brief and simple
Avoid preaching
Write instructions down
Accept his listening style
Forgetful/Don’t do chores make a written list
Use post-it notes
Help get started/show how to do
Ask his help
Disorganized/loses things/messy room Put name on possessions
Purchase less expensive things
Assist in being organized
Serve as a coach
List steps for clean room
Help clean room/garage
Close door to messy room
Lack of awareness of time/they’re late Use wrist watch alarm
Rent or buy a beeper
Teach awareness of time
Difficulty planning ahead Teach planning
Teach time management
Difficult to discipline Use positive reinforcement
Use logical consequences
Reward or punish immediately
Be consistent
Create new consequences/rewards
Use behavioral charts
Use rewards/may include money
Try “Grandma’s Rule”
Avoid power struggles
Redirect interest
Give second and third chances
Low frustration tolerance/irritable/emotional Listen/be supportive
Use active listening
Teach problems solving skills
Teach anger control
Argue/talk back Ignore minor infractions
Walk away for conflict
Give space and time to cool off
Impose a consequence
Adjust medication
Don’t accept responsibility for actions Deal with problem behavior
Dishonest if you know answer, don’t ask
Eliminate some punishment
Develop plan to deal with problem
Impose consequence
Difficulty with family events Keep outings simple/reduce demands
Keep outing brief
Look for creative solutions
Medication may help
Difficulty participating in sports plays large muscles sports
Play an active position
Consider medication
Restless/easily bored get involved in activities and sports
Plan interesting family outings
Encourage hobbies & interests
Make special plans for Holiday
Seek material possessions Allow to earn money
Plan for Holidays or birthdays
Purchase fewer, less expensive gifts
Express gratitude
Self-centered Remind of special occasions
Invite to shop with you
Encourage doing things for others
Break things or have accidents Handle accidents philosophically
Treat, as would an adult
Discuss physical strength
Put expensive possessions away
Daring/have accidents/climb the unclimbable
Do harrowing stunts/breaks bones Encourage safe stimulating activities
Monitor level of danger
Provide supervision
Negotiate compromise
Ask others for help
Sleep disturbances/can’t fall asleep Establish reasonable bedtime
Prompt to get ready for bed
Establish bedtime routine
Don’t start projects after set time
Consider compromise during crisis
Encourage exercise
Consider medication/conference with Doctor
Can’t wake up Buy alarm Clock
Connect lights and TV to timer
Try positive incentives
Consider compromise during crisis
Encourage exercise
Consider medication as last resort
Look for other causes
Difficult morning routine Allow enough time
Get things ready the night before
Give meds immediately
Use logical consequences;
Walk to school
Leave on time or dress in car
Give a 10-minute warning
Take away driving privilege
Birds of a feather, flock together Refer friends for treatment
Approach other parents with tact
Tell of treatment benefits
Encourage other friendships
Attention Deficit Disorder/Impulsive/Without Hyperactivity
Lethargy/apathy Encourage physical activity
Consult physical
Get physical exam
Check for depression/meds if needed
Absent-minded / spacey See suggestions re: organization
Anticipate problems/make adjustments
Medication may help
Slow Processing Make adaptations
Have suggestions for schools
Attention Deficit Disorder/Hyperactivity
Attention seeker Give opportunities to be center stage
Participate in activities allowing recognition
Discuss inappropriate attention
Ignore some behaviors
Intrusive Set boundaries
Identify parent’s & siblings space
Impose consequences
Teach to wait
Difficulty relating to others invites his friends on outings
Provide tips on relating to friends
Wait for teachable moment
Coach his team
Medication may help
Encourage having friends in addition to girlfriends

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