Inside the Mind of the Teenage Boy with ADHD

Four ways parents can keep their attention deficit sons on track in high school -- and ready for college admissions -- even when they refuse help.

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3. Be patient about his progress

In the early teen years, students are given a greater workload, but some of them lack the organizational skills to handle it. Boys with ADD tend to lag behind others in executive function skills — the ability to plan, prioritize, and organize their work.

“The culture pushes boys to be more independent than girls, but if they have problems with executive functions, they’re not ready to be,” says St. Clair. “So they may become hard to reach.”

Experts recommend that parents be patient. “Boys often make breakthroughs at age 15 or 16,” St. Clair says. “By that time, they are getting accustomed to handling independent work.”

In their teens, many boys with ADD start mastering techniques that help high school students get work done, such as breaking down their tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks.

“Parents should remember that a boy doesn’t need to master everything by the end of high school,” says Riera.

Tip 4: Let Him Make His Own Decisions...

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