Treatment for ADHD & ADD in Teens
Symptoms of ADHD in Teens
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are commonly treated at Elk River Treatment Program through daily behavior therapies and physician-directed medication management. ADD and ADHD often coexist with other mental health conditions such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), anxiety, depression or learning differences, oppositional defiance disorder (ODD) and conduct disorder. It is not uncommon for parents to admit their children after discovering alcohol and substance abuse - often used to self-medicate when one suffers with untreated ADD or ADHD.
Unlike the hyper child who interrupts adults and is easily irritated, children with ADD are less likely to be diagnosed at an early age. Diagnosing ADD is more difficult during the years of elementary school because the child may appear to do well academically. Elementary school is generally when parents and teachers are providing students the most support. These children are often shy and withdrawn, and may be considered underachievers because they appear inattentive. As these children enter middle school and high school, it becomes more difficult for them to go unnoticed as they have more responsibilities of increased homework, independent study and changing classes.
Also during the teen years, hormonal changes of adolescence compounds preexisting issues followed by bouts of anxiety and depression. Parents begin to worry when their child's risky behavior results in failing grades, poor peer choices and/or depression. They generally become frantic when alcohol and substance abuse are involved. Drug abuse can cause behavioral aberrations that mimic ADD or ADHD.
Although an accurate diagnosis is extremely important in developing an effective treatment plan, it is often difficult to effectively evaluate and assess a teenager in an outpatient setting. Sometimes it is imperative to remove a child from his or her comfort zone where well-meaning family members may enable or friends may prompt maladaptive behaviors. This is when residential placement is necessary for the safety of the child.
Residential ADHD Treatment for Teens
Upon admission to Elk River, patients are evaluated based on their physical, emotional and mental health needs. A Master Treatment Plan is developed by our multidisciplinary treatment team and implementation of that plan begins immediately. Initial assessment tools administered and interpreted at Elk River determining the course of treatment include, but are not limited to, the following empirically based assessments:
- Online intake application performed by resident’s guardian
- Multi-Axial Diagnostic Inventory (Revised Edition)
- Adolescent Clinical Scale
- The Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment (ASEBA)
- Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventories
As needed, supplementary diagnostic tools are administered:
- Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory for Adolescents (MMPI-A)
- Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnostic Scale
- Conner’s Scale
- The Beck Depression Inventory second edition
- Juvenile Probation Officers Risk Assessment
Data collected is then evaluated and compiled and an individualized treatment plan is developed. An initial diagnostic impression is then formulated within the guidelines of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-V).
ERTP’s residential treatment setting allows the teen to work on his or her issues without the distractions of home. If medication is required, our 24/7 supervision provides a safe environment for your child should adjustments be necessary. ERTP provides physician-directed medication management and registered nurses who monitor your child on a daily basis. All residents benefit from daily oversight by medical staff.
Academic Program for Teens with ADHD
Many teens with ADD or ADHD have difficulty staying on task in school. Elk River provides an AdvancED accredited, college prep academic program that is individualized for each of our residents. The small, intimate class setting at Elk River minimizes distractions while state certified and highly qualified teachers in each classroom assist students with problem areas.