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Navigating ADHD in Teens: Insights from MFT, Kelsey Thompson

Navigating ADHD in Teens: Insights from MFT, Kelsey Thompson

In a recent interview with Kelsey Thompson, a seasoned Marriage and Family Therapist at The Davis Group, we gained valuable insights into the challenges faced by teens with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and their families. Thompson’s diverse background, which includes working with trauma survivors and substance abuse clients, provides a rich understanding of the complexities surrounding ADHD in teens.

ADHD is a multifaceted condition that affects a person’s ability to focus, regulate impulses, manage time, and control emotions. Thompson highlights that while hyperactivity is often associated with ADHD, there are many other symptoms, including difficulty with organization, procrastination, forgetfulness, and impulsivity in decision-making.

Teens with ADHD face significant challenges both in academic settings and personal relationships. In school, difficulties with homework, organization, and focus can lead to academic challenges. Moreover, impulsivity and interruptive behaviors can strain relationships with peers and teachers, while struggles with time management and meeting expectations can create tension with parents.

Thompson advocates for a patient, empathetic, and flexible parenting approach when raising a teen with ADHD. She emphasizes the importance of understanding that ADHD symptoms are not deliberate acts of defiance but manifestations of the condition. Parents are encouraged to adapt their communication and expectations while building a supportive relationship with their teen.

Fostering a positive relationship with an ADHD-affected teen involves showing genuine interest in their interests, spending quality time together, and acknowledging their strengths. By creating an environment of trust and understanding, parents can strengthen the bond with their teen and facilitate open communication. 

Instead of focusing on punishment, try to help your child see the connection between unhealthy behaviors and natural consequences that arise as a result. Thompson also suggests using rewards and incentives to motivate teens. 

Thompson underscores the importance of early diagnosis and intervention for ADHD. While some teens may excel academically despite ADHD symptoms, others struggle, leading to undiagnosed or misdiagnosed cases. Parents and professionals should remain vigilant for symptoms and seek proper assessment and support when needed.

Staying informed about ADHD through resources such as articles, books, podcasts, and professional training is essential for both parents and professionals. By staying up-to-date on research and best practices, individuals can better support teens with ADHD and their families.

In conclusion, navigating ADHD in teens requires a comprehensive approach that addresses academic, social, and emotional needs. Through understanding, patience, and proactive support, parents and professionals can empower teens with ADHD to thrive despite their challenges. Thompson’s insights offer valuable guidance for anyone involved in supporting teens with ADHD on their journey to success

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