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ADHD: Rewarding teenagers positive behavior helps reinforce rules

ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is often diagnosed when someone shows abnormal energy levels, inability to focus or erratic, uncontrollable behavior. In a teenager, these symptoms can be crippling for relationships with family, teachers and even friends.

In high school, as people tend to mature, a teenager with this disorder might find they are being left behind in areas such as schoolwork and relationships. If left untreated, grades tend to slip. A teenager might exhibit constant forgetfulness, which makes the situation worse. They tend to leave behind books and forget about homework assignments. Sitting still in class is often a challenge for a teen with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. They might tune out everything that goes on in class, or they might be bored if the pace is too slow.

Outside of school, ADHD can affect family. Parents must seek treatment and help their teen stay on course. They might have to help their child with homework, and parents will have to change their ways of discipline. Rewarding positive behavior is the best way to reinforce rules. If they are too harshly disciplined, or if they see their parents becoming aggravated, they will become frustrated and often suffer setbacks in behavior.

Siblings, too, are affected by these behaviors. Younger children need to be reassured that their brother or sister loves them, and they need to know why their sibling is acting out. Older children can be taught to help younger siblings by reinforcing rules, organizational skills and schedules.

Schedules and organization are crucial to a teen with ADHD. Even when medication is implemented, a teenager with this disorder will become anxious if daily routines are dismissed. Also, they must get plenty of sleep. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder often causes frustration to build in teenagers, which is especially uncomfortable because of hormonal changes that take place at this age. If your teenager seems frustrated and withdrawn, and is having trouble in school, let his or her doctor know.

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