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ADHD: Tips to Try

ADHD, short for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is a medical condition. It affects how well people can sit still, focus, and pay attention.

If you have ADHD, you know it can make you feel misunderstood and frustrated at times. But it doesn't have to hold you back. Instead, learn as much as you can about it.

There's no quick fix for ADHD. But working with doctors and therapists can help you figure out how to be and do your best, both in school and socially. It's important to treat ADHD. That might mean taking medicine or working with a therapist — most people with ADHD do both.

You can also try these tips to help with school and relationships:

  • Sit in the front of class to limit distractions.
  • Turn off your phone when doing homework. This will keep you from being distracted.
  • Talk with your teacher about your ADHD. Some schools give students with ADHD extra time to take tests. Some students benefit from smaller class sizes. Others need tutoring help. Your teacher can help you plan what's right for you.
  • Let friends know what's going on. Sometimes we blurt things out and regret it later on. Or we do silly, impulsive things. If this happens to you, let your friends know that sometimes you say things without thinking them through. Apologize if you have hurt someone's feelings and try to be extra careful in new situations.
  • Use tools that help you stay organized. Keep track of assignments in a homework notebook or on a phone organization app. List the books and assigned readings you'll need to bring home. Set phone reminders for classes and other appointments, or write them down in a planner.
  • Get plenty of exercise. Exercise can help people who have ADHD. If you feel hyper during school, talk to a teacher about taking activity breaks so you can stay focused and concentrate better when in class. Take activity breaks often while studying or doing homework.
  • Practice relaxation and meditation. Following a regular meditation and mindfulness practice helps people train their attention and focus better. Meditation can lower stress reactions too.
  • Take pride in the things you do well. Having ADHD is just one part of you. Make time to do things you enjoy, and develop your interests and talents.
Reviewed by: D'Arcy Lyness, PhD
Date reviewed: November 2017

Note: All information on TeensHealth® is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

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