ADHD Treatment Center For Teens

ADHD Treatment for Teens

As symptoms of ADHD shift throughout adolescence, accommodations that may have helped your child when they were younger typically change over time. In high school, the class curriculum shifts from memorization to critical thinking skills, which requires a different approach. Many high schoolers with ADHD who have gotten by in elementary and middle school begin to struggle academically without taking a different approach to ADHD treatment.

At Elevations RTC, we believe that ADHD treatment for teens should go beyond accommodations in a classroom setting. Many teens with ADHD struggle with problems that extend beyond the classroom and affect their confidence about their future goals. Residential treatment centers for teens offer a supportive, structured community for teens to focus on themselves, their personal goals, and developing positive relationships with peers.

If you are interested in how we provide a unique approach to ADHD treatment, click on the links in the table of contents to jump to the sections that most interest you. The guide is meant to be comprehensive, but as such, not every section will be applicable to everyone.

Table of Contents

Why choose a treatment center for teens with ADHD?

While almost 75% of teens with ADHD take medication, less than half receive therapy to help them practice self-monitoring, impulse control, and emotion regulation. Instead of teaching them skills to manage symptoms of ADHD independently, many teens rely on this medication to make a difference. This attitude can put them more at risk of developing substance use issues.

Residential treatment centers for teens with ADHD, like Elevations RTC, take a bigger picture perspective. Our goal is not only to help teens manage their impulsivity and improve their attention span, but also to motivate them to be engaged in other areas of their lives. We also work closely with families to teach them strategies to encourage positive behavior, discourage negative behaviors, improve communication, and strengthen their relationship with their child. When applied, these skills can help your teen at school, at home, and in relationships by improving their behavior, self-control, and self-esteem.

Elevations RTC offers an accredited academic program that focuses on integrating these “soft skills” learned in therapy through hands-on learning activities. This experiential approach helps students understand why the lessons they learn in class are useful outside of the classroom.

What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?

ADHD, or attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder, is a condition that is usually diagnosed in childhood and is often most noticeable in classroom settings, although its underlying symptoms continue to show up through adulthood. Many teachers may identify ADHD in students who have visible problems with conduct and impulse control, but psychologists believe that executive functioning issues are at the root of these behavior problems, not defiance.

As problems with executive functioning are closely related to one’s ability to self-regulate, teens with ADHD are more likely to experience co-occurring mental health struggles that may lead to seeking treatment before symptoms of ADHD are addressed.

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What are signs of ADHD in teens?

Contrary to popular belief, hyperactivity is not necessarily the most common symptom of ADHD, although it may be the most easily identifiable in a classroom setting. The myth that hyperactivity is the most prevalent symptom leads to higher rates of boys being diagnosed at an early age, while it takes longer to identify ADHD in girls, who are often socialized to control “hyperactive behavior.” As a result, girls are more likely to display symptoms of inattentiveness. Types of treatment for ADHD depend on the most prevalent symptoms.

Do Teens Who Self Harm Struggle with Suicidal Thoughts?

Most teens who have self-harmed in the past claim that they don’t self-harm with the aim to commit suicide. Self-harm may be related to feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness that accompany suicidal ideation, but they are not mutually exclusive. For some teens, self-harming is a way to cope with overwhelming feelings of suicidal ideation instead of following through with a plan. While self-harm is not the same as a suicide attempt, as a risk factor for later suicidal ideation, it can be life-threatening–whether it is accidental or intentional. For this reason, it is important to take signs of self-harm seriously.

Primarily hyperactive-impulsive type

  • Fidgety and restless
  • Has trouble sitting down for an extended period of times
  • Impulsive
  • Talks excessively and struggles to stay quiet
  • Frequently interrupts others and has trouble waiting for their turn

Primarily inattentive type

  • Difficulty staying focused during class, reading, or play activities
  • Struggles to finish tasks they’ve started
  • Makes careless mistakes around attention to details
  • Difficulty staying organized
  • Easily distracted
  • Often forgetful and misplaces things

Primarily combined type

It is more common for teens to display a combination of hyperactivity and inattention, rather than exclusively falling into one category. As strategies for inattention and hyperactivity can be very different from each other, teens who struggle with both groups of symptoms benefit from a more holistic treatment approach. By focusing less on individual symptoms and more on helping teens build confidence and develop healthier coping skills that can be applied to a variety of situations, Elevations RTC helps teens with ADHD make lasting changes

We can help your child heal. Get in touch today.

Is ADHD a Learning Disorder?

ADHD is considered a neurodevelopmental disorder, not a mental illness or learning disability. However, problems with executive functioning skills can make learning more difficult. For example, they are more likely to have trouble with organization, time management, and prioritizing tasks and information. This can lead to problems with procrastinating assignments, finishing things they’ve started or missing the “main idea” of an assignment.

While many students with ADHD struggle in a large classroom environment, they are better able to advocate for their needs in a smaller classroom. When teachers have the time and resources to accommodate your child’s learning style, they often excel academically. This suggests that ADHD may be a learning difference, but it is not a “disability.”

How does academic programming at Elevations accommodate students with ADHD and other learning differences? 

Residential treatment centers, like Elevations RTC, are dedicated to helping students reach their highest academic potential by offering consistent support and engagement. Their academic programming is designed to empower students to identify their personal strengths and learning styles.

Ways teachers at Elevations RTC support teens with ADHD:

  • Small classroom sizes
  • Daily study hall after traditional school hours
  • Team teachers work closely with the clinical team and offer advising for students
  • Weekly Academic Intervention to help teens stay on track with assignments
  • Positive reinforcement for earning class credit, with Activity Days at the end of every term
  • Breaking down large assignments into smaller steps
  • Encouraging small group discussions
  • Opportunities for experiential learning, like playing games, having class outside, or using videos to help teens stay engaged
  • SAT prep and testing, as a certified SAT test center
  • Option for 1:1 tutoring or special education classes with a certified teacher

How does academic programming at Elevations accommodate students with ADHD and other learning differences?

Residential treatment centers, like Elevations RTC, are dedicated to helping students reach their highest academic potential by offering consistent support and engagement. Their academic programming is designed to empower students to identify their personal strengths and learning styles.

Ways teachers at Elevations RTC support teens with ADHD:

  • Small classroom sizes
  • Daily study hall after traditional school hours
  • Team teachers work closely with the clinical team and offer advising for students
  • Weekly Academic Intervention to help teens stay on track with assignments
  • Positive reinforcement for earning class credit, with Activity Days at the end of every term
  • Breaking down large assignments into smaller steps
  • Encouraging small group discussions
  • Opportunities for experiential learning, like playing games, having class outside, or using videos to help teens stay engaged
  • SAT prep and testing, as a certified SAT test center
  • Option for 1:1 tutoring or special education classes with a certified teacher

What types of therapy are recommended for teens with ADHD?

In addition to working with an academic adviser about how ADHD affects one’s school performance, Elevations RTC offers a variety of therapeutic approaches for teens with ADHD. Our therapists are trained in a wide range of modalities and work closely with each student and their treatment team to come up with an individualized treatment plan. Some of the types of therapy we offer include:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. This technique encourages teens to become more aware of their negative thoughts and how this can get in the way of staying present and feeling confident.
  • Mindfulness. One of the core components of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, mindfulness, is particularly effective in helping teens with ADHD build self-awareness and improve emotion regulation.
  • Recreation Therapy. Teens with ADHD often benefit from a more active therapeutic approach. Students at Elevations participate in weekly off-campus outings, where they can explore new hobbies and skills.
  • Genote Lab. Elevations RTC uses therapeutic music technology to help teens improve their sleep health, concentration skills, and stress management.

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