Talking to Your Teen About the ADHD Diagnosis

Q:

"My 14-year-old has been diagnosed with ADHD and LD. He seems to believe that, if he doesn’t acknowledge them, his problems will just go away, but he’s nearly failing out of school. How can I get through to him?"

Dr. Larry Silver M.D. is the author of two books about parenting ADHD/LD children.
A:

Many ADHD teens find being different so painful and so unacceptable to their friends that they deny any problems, even at the price of causing themselves greater difficulty. And because teens are asserting independence from parents, many are more willing to open up to a third party. If you’ve already tried talking and your son won’t listen, I’d suggest finding a therapist who specializes in adolescents with attention deficit. With good counseling, your son should come to see what his problems are in time. Until he does, make sure he knows you’re going to stand by him as a support.

Larry Silver, M.D., is clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and director of training in child and adolescent psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine. He is a former acting director and deputy director of the National Institute of Mental Health, as well as the author of Dr. Larry Silver's Advice to Parents on AD/HD and The Misunderstood Child: Understanding and Coping with Your Child's Learning Disabilities.
 
 
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