Last updated:

January 19, 2024


 min read

Non- Medication Treatment for Teens with ADHD

Discover effective non-medication treatments for teens with ADHD in our comprehensive guide. Explore strategies, therapies, and lifestyle adjustments to help manage ADHD symptoms without relying solely on medication.


Does your teen keep forgetting to turn in their homework? Do they fail to finish projects as they wait until the very last moment to begin?  

Teenagers with ADHD may struggle to keep up with expectations and responsibilities during high school. However, there are things parents may do to support their teenagers with ADHD in handling their schoolwork and friendships.

In general, teens with ADHD show fewer of the hyperactive symptoms we associate with the condition in children. However, once students start high school, there are much higher expectations for them both academically and socially, which can be difficult for teenagers with ADHD.

If your child has ADHD, it's important to watch out for issues with more than just their academic performance. Additionally, you should be aware of issues with respect to social relationships, emotional stability and risky behaviour. 

Testing for ADHD

Talk with your teen's psychiatrist or  clinical psychologists about concerns if you think they may have ADHD. To understand your teen's symptoms better, they will question both you and your teen. You may also ask other adults to complete questionnaires, including your teen's teachers, coaches or guidance counsellors. 

The psychiatrist or  clinical psychologists may be able to make a diagnosis of ADHD for your teen based solely on the data collected from these interviews and questionnaires.Blood tests and brain scans cannot reveal whether your teen has ADHD. 

Gender differences in ADHD among teens

According to studies, girls are less likely to be given an ADHD diagnosis because the adults in their lives often understand their symptoms differently. There is evidence that teenage girls are more likely to find efficient coping mechanisms. Therefore, they can effectively control their ADHD symptoms, at times for years. Because they didn't exhibit overt ADHD symptoms when they were younger, their behaviours are more likely to be linked to other causes when they do start to experience difficulties in coping. 

According to studies, people with ADHD are more inclined to internalise their symptoms. This can result in depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. This may be because of the additional stress that having ADHD adds to daily life. 

Girls tend to not be tested for ADHD when these internalised symptoms are mostly linked to a mental health issue like anxiety or depression. 

A vicious cycle may begin because adults begin to believe that ADHD is a disorder that only affects males, so they don't look for symptoms in females. 

Non- Medication Treatments for Teens


Therapy can at times help teenagers with managing their ADHD symptoms. Therapy may be a good option if you'd like your teen to try a non-pharmacological approach. Teenagers who are taking medication can still take therapy. 

Teens and their parents can improve problem behaviours by changing the teen's social and physical environments with the aid of therapy. Therapy can be carried out in groups or one-on-one sessions with a therapist. Teens may gain knowledge in individual therapy about how to better organise their work and manage their time. Teenagers can learn how to enhance their relationships with friends and family members in individual and group therapy.


If your teen has been diagnosed with ADHD, their school might be able to help. If a teen has a disability that affects their capacity to learn, under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, changes may be made to the classroom environment. Your teen's learning environment can be changed as part of an individualised educational plan. This might involve having access to special education programmes in the classroom or other services not offered in the teenager's regular class environment. 

Support Groups

The parents of children and teenagers who have been diagnosed with ADHD form support groups. They come together to share knowledge, as well as to give and receive feedback and support from one another. These groups may be run by parents or by mental health professionals. For families with teens who have been diagnosed with ADHD, support groups can be a valuable source of knowledge and community. 

Teens with ADHD can benefit from peer-support groups that may help them in better understanding and managing their symptoms.

Having a routine

Help your teen in creating a consistent daily routine. A regular wake-up time as well as bedtime can be included in this. Additionally, your teenager should eat regular meals at the same time every day.  

Limiting screen time

Teens' focus and attention spans may decrease from exposure to digital media. One hour before bedtime, ask your teen to turn off their gadgets. Encourage them to engage in screen-free activities like reading, sports, and card or board games.

Parting words

Acknowledge that your child's concerns are due to developmental disorder. Although ADHD may not have visible external symptoms, it is a disability and needs to be handled as such. Keep in mind that your child can't "snap out of it" or "just be relaxed and normal" whenever you start to feel angry or agitated.

It looks easy, but keep things in perspective and take each day as it comes. Recognise that as the parent, you set rules for acceptable behaviour in the house. Be kind and patient at all times, but resist becoming intimidated or bullied by your child's actions when they fail to finish a task.