A Talk with a Teen: ADHD Advocacy for ADHD Struggles

ADHD Advocacy

I think that ADHD advocacy skills include not only the need for you to understand ADHD, but also your individual need to see how ADHD struggles really are affecting you in the classroom.  I hear from so many worried parents about how their teen is struggling, hating school, not progressing, getting failing grades, developing bad attitudes, sustaining low self-esteem, and just seeming to not care as he/she just falls through cracks.  Their teen is so impacted with this invisible medical diagnosis called ADHD that he may not even graduate from high school.

Is it hard to really see and feel your passion and desires for the future as you struggle every day?  Sometimes I bet days are so frustrating that you see no strengths in yourself… And you know what?  Those strengths are there inside you.  Somehow you the teen must try to push away that negativity that comes your way in order to find areas of passion.

So maybe you are thinking:  So what if I figure out my passion?  It’s not here in this school.  Everything I am expected to do is boring, difficult, and too hard to focus on.  My passion is out of reach in this building.

So how does this passion come to you?  How can you avoid that statement, “why bother?”.  How would it be if you took some time to write down all of the symptoms and areas of executive functioning that are impacting you and creating frustration.  Then, as you realize that each need a strategy to overcome… think about what those might include?  Let me list a few executive functioning deficits that occur a lot and pair each with a strategy.

  • Time Management: Use of a planner to actually “see” what is in your day.
  • Organization: Use of phone alarms, chunking assignments so that a long-term project for example would have parts assigned to each day before being due.
  • Taking notes in class: Use of technology like a Livescribe pen that records the lecture.
  • Initiating homework: Pick the easiest assignment first to get started, use a timer so you know there is an end before a break.
  • Boredom, ADHD in class: Movement breaks, fidget toys, doodling.

 

These are a few of the struggles I have seen.  You may have some of these or additional ones as well.  But you have to realize that these areas that you struggle with do not have to limit your success.  Important to you is the ability to realize and admit areas that do hold you back, find strategies that will alleviate the difficulties you are experiencing, and put them in place.

Here is what I know about you.  You are smart, intuitive, and creative.  You do not see your strengths many times because you are in a system that only recognizes your weaknesses.  Why?  Because many of those weaknesses are so evident because those areas are needed to fulfill the academic expectations.  You the teen must hold on to your passion.  Use that passion as something that can propel you to overcome those weaknesses with strategies.  And remember that you have a voice!  Use that voice for ADHD advocacy, as you advocate for your very important needs to successfully move through the journey of school and reach your passion!

A little about the author and founder of ADD Advocate, Karen Lowry: I am a certified ADHD Coach. ADHD advocacy is my passion. There are so many school support challenges facing our children, that knowing your rights as a parent have never been more crucial. Effective ADHD coaching depends on effective advocacy for our kids. Remember, if you should ever have any questions about anything regarding school support, or just understanding about ADHD, IEP programs, 504 plans, etc…. Please feel free to contact me directly for a free consultancy session. You can contact me directly by clicking here!

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