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The ADHD Book of Lists: A Practical Guide for Helping Children and Teens with Attention Deficit Disorders, 2nd Edition by Sandra F. Rief

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7.5 ADHD in Middle School and High School

  • For most children with ADHD the symptoms continue into adolescence to varying degrees. Some symptoms may diminish, but other problems may emerge or intensify during middle school and high school. Many preteens and teens find these years to be the most difficult and stressful for them and their families.
  • Hyperactivity in adolescence generally manifests more as restlessness rather than the overt hyperactivity seen in younger children.
  • Impulsivity can be more problematic during the teen years. Poor self-control and lack of inhibition in adolescence is associated with many risk factors, including significantly more than average traffic violations, accidents, teen pregnancies, as well as conduct that results in conflict with school authorities, parents, and law enforcement (List 1.6).
  • Many children with ADHD who were able to cope and stay afloat academically in elementary school find themselves overwhelmed and unable to do so with the heavy workload of middle and secondary school.
  • Many students with ADHD are not diagnosed until the middle or high school years. This is particularly common for those who have the predominantly inattentive presentation of the disorder.
  • Adolescents with ADHD may appear mature physically and grown up, but looks are deceiving. They are typically far less mature behaviorally and emotionally than their same-age peers. They do not act their age because they have a developmental delay of approximately 30 percent in their ...

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