LEARNING MADE EASY
I’VE SPENT M Y CAREER AS A SPECIALIST and coach working with teens and young adults diagnosed with ADHD.
TIP 1:; ADHD is a real
A lot of my time is focused on helping
teens accept and successfully manage
ADHD medication. Why am I not writing
this article for parents? If a teen is the
one who has been prescribed medica-
tion, my goal is to help him fully under-
stand and own his treatment plan. Even
if he is still in high school, no one, in-
cluding his parents or doctors, can force
him to take medication if he doesn’t
want to. If he’s out of high school, he’s
already learned that taking ADHD meds
is up to him. Here are some pointers I
pass along to students I work with:
medical condition, and
medication is an important
part of managing it.
Many teens and young adults have a
hard time believing that they need medication. They feel they should be able to
manage without it. Some teens I meet
organize their lives successfully without
medication, and others wish they could
but can’t. What stops many teens from
taking medication is the feeling that
ADHD isn’t a real medical problem.
If this sounds like you, think about
this: If you wear glasses (or contacts) and
were asked to take them off (or out) and
try harder to see, what would your reaction be? You wouldn’t do it and you
would think it was a crazy idea. Given all
the research done on the biological basis
of ADHD, functioning without medication is similar to trying to see without
glasses. Without glasses you might have
fuzzy vision, take longer to do something, bump into things, and be fatigued
by trying to see.
When you are a student, attention is
key to learning and succeeding. Agreeing
to use medication now doesn’t mean
you’ll take it forever. Some students I’ve
MAKE THE GRADES
Listen Up, Teens:
5 Tips for Minding Your Meds
Heading off to college soon, or already on campus?
These medication to-dos will make your college time a
grade-A experience. BY THERESA E. LAURIE MAITLAND, PH.D.
An “ADHD club” would allow my child to
develop friendships with kids dealing with
the same challenges. —YOUR TURN, PAGE 61
61 TEACHERS WE LOVE 61 YOUR TURN
Parker talk about
how you know if
ADHD meds are
working for you in
the digital issue.