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ADHD Info for Teens

ADHD is diagnosed in almost 1 in 10 school-aged kids. For teenagers, education about ADHD is an important part of treatment. Myths about ADHD are rampant, such as the idea that the diagnosis means “less intelligent”, or that ADHD is just an excuse for behavioral and academic problems.

The ADHD Info for Teens handout summarizes important info about ADHD, including a list of symptoms with brief examples, treatment options, and other facts that can help to normalize the experience of having ADHD. This worksheet was written with language and examples that are appropriate for teenagers.

We suggest using this handout at the start of treatment to help reinforce education about ADHD. Although this worksheet targets teens and uses several school-related examples, it may still be useful for many adults. If you are looking for ADHD education targeting adults, see our other ADHD info sheet:

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1. Alloway, T., Elliott, J., & Holmes, J. (2010). The prevalence of ADHD-like symptoms in a community sample. Journal of Attention Disorders, 14(1), 52-56.

2. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.

3. Brown, T. E., Reichel, P. C., & Quinlan, D. M. (2011). Executive function impairments in high IQ children and adolescents with ADHD. Open Journal of Psychiatry, 1(02), 56.

4. Chan, E., Fogler, J. M., & Hammerness, P. G. (2016). Treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in adolescents: a systematic review. JAMA, 315(18), 1997-2008.

5. Danielson, M. L., Bitsko, R. H., Ghandour, R. M., Holbrook, J. R., Kogan, M. D., & Blumberg, S. J. (2018). Prevalence of parent-reported ADHD diagnosis and associated treatment among US children and adolescents, 2016. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 47(2), 199-212.

6. Froehlich, T. E., Lanphear, B. P., Epstein, J. N., Barbaresi, W. J., Katusic, S. K., & Kahn, R. S. (2007). Prevalence, recognition, and treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in a national sample of US children. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 161(9), 857-864.

7. Gureasko-Moore, S., DuPaul, G. J., & White, G. P. (2006). The effects of self-management in general education classrooms on the organizational skills of adolescents with ADHD. Behavior Modification, 30(2), 159-183.

8. Jensen, P. S., Hinshaw, S. P., Swanson, J. M., Greenhill, L. L., Conners, C. K., Arnold, L. E., ... & March, J. S. (2001). Findings from the NIMH Multimodal Treatment Study of ADHD (MTA): implications and applications for primary care providers. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 22(1), 60-73.

9. Langberg, J. M., Epstein, J. N., Altaye, M., Molina, B. S., Arnold, L. E., & Vitiello, B. (2008). The transition to middle school is associated with changes in the developmental trajectory of ADHD symptomatology in young adolescents with ADHD. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 37(3), 651-663.

10. Parens, E., & Johnston, J. (2009). Facts, values, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): an update on the controversies. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, 3(1), 1.

11. Polanczyk, G. V., Willcutt, E. G., Salum, G. A., Kieling, C., & Rohde, L. A. (2014). ADHD prevalence estimates across three decades: an updated systematic review and meta-regression analysis. International Journal of Epidemiology, 43(2), 434-442.

12. Schachter, H. M., King, J., Langford, S., & Moher, D. (2001). How efficacious and safe is short-acting methylphenidate for the treatment of attention-deficit disorder in children and adolescents? A meta-analysis. CMAJ, 165(11), 1475-1488.

13. Shier, A. C., Reichenbacher, T., Ghuman, H. S., & Ghuman, J. K. (2013). Pharmacological treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents: clinical strategies. Journal of Central Nervous System Disease, 5, JCNSD-S6691.

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