ADHD Treatment for Teens in Redondo Beach

a therapist comforting a teen with a mental health problem

ADHD Treatment for Teens in Redondo Beach

ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) is more common than previously believed—up to 65% of patients with childhood ADHD have problems that continue into adulthood. Due to issues with being distracted and lack of concentration, many teens with ADHD have difficulties (such as failing grades) in school. It’s common for teens with ADHD to lose textbooks, forget assignments, and be bored with the daily classwork. However, they may also:

  • Become inattentive
  • Become excessively attentive
  • Not be able to wait their turn before answering
  • Rush to complete assignments
  • Have a hard time sitting still; fidgety

 

It doesn’t have to be that way, though. Treatment is available at Blume Behavioral Health in Redondo Beach, CA. Blume has experienced professionals who specialize in treating adolescents. Furthermore, we have gender-specific housing, which lessens the distractions that would occur in a mixed-gender group.

What Treatment Programs Are Offered?

Before an individualized treatment program is designed, Blume Behavioral Health will conduct a thorough evaluation before treatments are recommended. After the diagnosis is made, Blume offers evidence-based practices such as:

a teen holding a sign with ADHD written on it

Medications

There are a lot of opinions about treating ADHD in teens. Some believe that behavior therapy alone will work for teens. However, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), approximately 80% of teens who needed medication for ADHD in childhood still need medication during their teen years.

Typically, a combination of behavior therapy and medication is the best approach to treating adolescents with ADHD. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry all endorse behavior therapy to improve ADHD behavior issues.

Stimulants

The most commonly prescribed medications are stimulants. These drugs may make teens more alert and improve their ability to do better in school. Stimulants  that may be prescribed include:

  • Dexmethylphenidate (Focalin, Focalin XR)
  • Dextroamphetamine (Adderall, Adderall XR)
  • Lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse)
  • Methylphenidate (Concerta, Ritalin)

Non-stimulant medications are also used to treat ADHD in teens. Non-stimulant medications have different side effects than stimulants. They don’t usually lead to anxiety, irritability, and insomnia as the stimulants might. They are also not habit-forming and have a lower risk of being abused. This makes them more appropriate for teens with ADHD who also have drug or alcohol abuse problems.

There are alternative treatments that are sometimes used along with prescribed medications. These treatments include:

  • Elimination diets
  • Supplements
  • Parent training
  • Memory training
  • Neurofeedback therapy

What is ADHD?

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is a common neurodevelopment disorder. Children with ADHD may be overactive and have problems with impulsive behaviors. They also have difficulty paying attention, following instructions, and completing tasks.

When these symptoms happen during childhood, they often continue into adulthood. One research study found that ADHD symptoms continue into adulthood in 90% of cases. And some adults with ADHD have never been diagnosed.

What Causes ADHD?

While the exact cause of ADHD is unknown, there are environmental factors that have been identified as possible causes including:

  • Low birth weight
  • Complications during delivery
  • Exposure to toxins
  • Genetic–You have a 75-to-90 % chance of having ADHD if one of your family members has it

Signs Your Child Needs ADHD Treatment for Teens

ADHD in teens has similar symptoms to  ADHD in children. These symptoms must have been present before age 12 and interfere with their daily life to be diagnosed. These symptoms may worsen during the teen years because of hormonal changes and the increased demands of school and extracurricular activities. Symptoms of ADHD include:

Inattentiveness

  • Problems paying attention to details
  • Careless errors in schoolwork
  • Poor concentration
  • Forgetful during daily activities
  • Difficulty listening
  • Trouble following directions
  • Squirming and fidgeting
  • Standing up and moving around when supposed to stay seated
  • Running around or climbing when not appropriate
  • Restlessness
  • Excessive talking
  • Unable to play or take part in hobbies quietly
  • Disorganization
  • Lack of motivation
  • Irritability

ADHD, Car Accidents, and Problem Drinking

Driving presents special risks for teens with ADHD. Adolescents with ADHD are 2 to 4 times more likely to experience a car accident than those without ADHD. Because teens with ADHD are likely to be:

  • Risk takers
  • Immature in their judgment
  • Thrill-seekers

All of these traits make traffic accidents and serious injuries more likely. However, studies show that teen drivers with ADHD are less likely to have accidents if they take their medication.

Teens with ADHD were twice as likely to have abused alcohol within the past 6 months and three times as likely to abuse drugs (other than marijuana). Getting the right ADHD treatment for teens lowers the risk of alcohol and drug abuse later in life.

ADHD and Relationships

Not all kids with ADHD have problems getting along with others. But if your child does, you can help them improve their relationships and social skills. The sooner the problems with peers are addressed, the more successful these steps can be. It helps for parents to:

  • Acknowledge the importance of healthy peer relationships
  • Encourage your teen to participate in activities with their peers; something your child is good at or enjoys will help boost their confidence
  • Create social behavior goals and a reward program
  • Facilitate social interactions if your teen is excessively shy or withdrawn.
  • Before attending an event, discuss what your child should expect and what others might expect from them
  • Choose one or two habits to work on at a time–don’t try to do too much at once
  • Don’t get carried away–your kid doesn’t need to be part of the most popular group at school or even have a lot of friends
  • Talk to your teen’s teachers about how they’re doing. Collaborate with the guidance counselor and teachers to sort out any conflicts that might be barriers to friendships.
  • ADHD teens can be targets for bullying. Be prepared and talk to your child about what to do if they get picked on. Make it clear that it’s OK to tell you if they’re being bullied.

What Difference Does ADHD Treatment Make?

a teen with her first under her chin while looking awayDifferent ADHD medications work in different ways. Still, all ADHD medications work by increasing the levels of neurotransmitters. These important brain chemicals include dopamine and norepinephrine. By increasing the levels of these neurotransmitters, ADHD symptoms can be improved including:

  • Increasing attention span
  • Reducing hyperactivity
  • Controlling impulsive behavior

During therapy for ADHD, teens learn by doing. Your child’s therapist will share ideas and activities that concentrate on building the skills the teen needs such as:

  • Study skills
  • Emotion skills
  • Attention skills
  • Skills to cope with anxiety

In therapy, a positive relationship with the therapist helps the child feel supported and encouraged while they learn. Teens tend to practice the skills they learn.

What is ADHD Therapy Like?

At first, the therapist will ask questions and listen to find out how ADHD affects them. Then, they will set goals for what the teen wants to improve. In sessions, the teen and therapist will:

Talk

Therapists encourage teens to talk about their feelings to help them recognize feelings and express them in words instead of actions. Talking and listening promotes understanding, openness to learning, paying attention, and listening better.

The therapists might use worksheets and activities that teach lessons about emotions, schoolwork organization, studying, and understanding others.

The therapist might teach skills like breathing skills and mindfulness. Practicing these skills can train attention and calm the mind.

Therapists will inquire about ADHD problems at home and school. They will discuss the best ways to solve the problems.

How Can a Teen Help Themself After Treatment

There are things learned in therapy that help things get better. But there are also some ways they can build on the work they did in therapy:
  • Be ready to grow–You can improve your attention, emotions, and behaviors even with ADHD.
  • Ask for help–Reach out for help and support from your parents, teachers, therapist, and friends.
  • Take your medication–Take it at the recommended dose and time.
  • Work on your positives–Spend some time recognizing and engaging in things you’re good at.
  • Take care of yourself physically–Eat healthy food, exercise, and get enough relaxation and sleep. Continue to practice mindfulness and breathing.

ADHD Treatment for Teens at Blume Behavioral Health

Helping your child with many aspects of their life is something you’re used to. You may help them with money management and coping with difficult social situations. And just because they’re becoming adults doesn’t mean you should stop being supportive and loving. One way to help them step into adulthood is to encourage them to ask others for help. 

Blume Behavioral Health is the help your child needs. All you have to do is ask for it. Our therapists and life coaches, who specialize in ADHD treatment for teens, can help your child develop study skills and help them find positive ways to communicate when dealing with conflicts.

Age and Gender-Specific Treatment

Although there is no gender-specific treatment for ADHD, treatment recommendations may vary by age, stage of life, and the intensity of the symptoms. Studies have found differences in the usage, prescription, and effectiveness of ADHD medications for females and males. In addition, there is research that shows the interrelationship between fluctuating sex hormones and ADHD symptoms. That’s why Blume Behavioral Health offers age and gender-specific treatment for your teen. Adolescents are better able to express feelings around other teens and relate to them on another level. Similarly, boys and girls are more comfortable in a single-gender group. A gender-specific approach to mental health treatment allows each person to receive more personalized treatment to support their recovery.
  • Residential Treatment: We can offer your child a safe space to live while finding the stability and peace they need to grow.
  • Academic Progam: This program is designed to help give a smooth transition into an educational environment while improving their mental well-being.
  • Mentorship Program: We carefully pair adolescents with mentors who have had similar experiences and challenges but are now leading successful lives.
  • Parental Support Program: The journey to healing and growth also involves the family. The Parental Support Program was designed to empower parents with the understanding and skills needed to support their adolescents while building family ties.

Blume Behavioral Health offers ADHD Treatment for Teens

If you aren’t sure about your teenager’s symptoms, or even if you think you are, contact us at Blume Behavioral Health today. Ignoring symptoms won’t make them go away. This is your chance to make a real difference in your child’s life today and in the future.