In recent years, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder has been sweeping the nation, and it is a common problem that affects teens and adolescents, especially in Idaho.
According to a study by the CDC, there is an”estimated number of children aged 3–17 years ever diagnosed with ADHD, according to a national survey of parents,1 is 6 million (9.8%) using data from 2016-2019″.
Madeline Titelbaum, the Youth Programs Coordinator from FYIdaho shares some insights into the challenges that individuals with ADHD face.
Titelbaum works with children and youths in Boise. The organization is part of the Idaho Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health. With its primary focus on providing assistance and education to parents and caregivers of children and youth with mental health challenges.
To learn more check out Scroll’s article, or alternatively check out FYIdaho’s website.
Titelbaum explained that medication use varies from person to person, and some teens might only use it on certain days or occasions. She highlighted that medication use should be a decision made with the support of a care provider. A network of support and therapy with medication is often a good option for some people, whereas others might only need therapy or practicing some other skills to manage their condition.
“I have some teens that do use medication,” Titelbaum said. “Some only use it if it’s an exam day, but on a normal day, they might not because there are lots of side effects that people experience with that medication. Therapy with medication is a good option rather than just relying on the medication alone.”
Titelbaum shared her experience with executive functioning skills, which are a set of cognitive abilities that enable people to plan, organize and complete tasks. She explained that many teens with ADHD struggle with executive functioning skills, and they might need support and help in areas such as short-term memory or getting clear steps to complete a task. She mentioned a workbook called the DBT handbook for neurodivergent individuals, which contains worksheets that teens with ADHD or autism might find useful.
Titelbaum touched on the challenges faced by teens with ADHD during the transition age, which is the period between adolescence and adulthood. During this time, teens with ADHD might face difficulties in areas such as school, relationships and employment. They might need support and guidance to navigate these challenges and develop their self-advocacy and awareness skills.
May is Children’s Mental Health Month, and Titelbaum mentioned a statewide project that aims to develop photos displaying youth experiences around mental health issues that they care about.
The project will showcase the photos on their website in May, and they encourage teens to contribute. She also mentioned a youth support group called Youth Move that teens in the community could join to receive support and connect with peers.
Titelbaum highlights the importance of raising awareness about mental health issues and encouraging teens to seek help and support when needed. With proper support and guidance, teens with ADHD can develop their self-advocacy and awareness skills and lead fulfilling lives.