The term atypical teen refers to an adolescent whose path of development is a little more complex than others. – Sandra
Is your teen paralyzed by anxiety, hypersensitive to criticism, or refusing to go to school? Do they struggle in social settings due to ADHD, a learning disorder or high functioning form of autism?
Parents often notice small indications that their child may have a different style of expression and/or learning than some of their peers when their child enters elementary school. But if their child is also highly intelligent, they may be able to compensate for these differences by excelling in their classes and other areas of interest. And so it goes, until adolescence comes into the picture. Then everything changes …
I often meet families with atypical teens in high school. The increase in academic responsibility, together with the heightened expectations that they blend in socially, can tip these young people over. Parents may find their once cooperative child becoming highly reactive, isolating in their room, not turning in assignments, complaining about their friends, and in extreme cases, self-harming.
Clearly, as a parent, you want what is best for your child. At the same time, it is terrifying and painful to watch your child struggle. It may even kick up unresolved negative feelings about your own high school experience. This is where a consultation with a teen therapist can make all the difference. As a seasoned professional, I help parents uncover the problem underlying their teen’s symptoms. I also guide parents on effective next steps, as well as help them contain their own anxiety as they go through the process of healing their child’s pain.
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