I want to call attention to a couple other things here as well:
1) I am currently working on an article on ADHD and puberty for ADDitude. I am learning just how much impact this stage of growth, development, and change has on functioning when the child has ADHD. Puberty is the physiological changes, which are awkward and take time to adjust to. Adolescence is the period between childhood and adulthood where our kids have to completely transition in the areas of social and emotional rules and skills. This is all while juggling an ever-increasing school demand and higher and higher expectations, that are often out of reach. It’s no wonder I kids often fall into learned helplessness at the age. So much has been facilitated and managed for them to account for their weaknesses, and suddenly that pile grows exponentially and the expectation becomes that they should be able to manage it all well and on their own.
2) Individuals with ADHD are notorious late bloomers. By definition, they’re as much as 20-30% behind their neurotypical peers developmentally. At 18, that’s a cavernous gap between expectation and capability. This TED talk is with a filmmaker who was making a documentary about an MLB player with ADHD, Andres Torres. He talks about what he learned in his time and conversations with Andres and that he saw his struggle and eventual success as being a late bloomer. Very insightful and powerful. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRnZKxSFTic
I’m in much the same boat as all of you. The struggle can’t be eliminated, but it can certainly be softened and diminished. Hang in there!
ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism