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Residential Treatment Center for Boys Ages 14-18

 > Adventure Therapy  > ADHD In Teen Boys: How Recreation Therapy Helps
adhd in teen boys

ADHD In Teen Boys: How Recreation Therapy Helps

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood. It is usually first diagnosed in childhood and often lasts into adulthood. While there are many treatments that address ADHD in teens, recreation therapy can be very beneficial for teen boys to teach life skills and help manage symptoms. 

What is Recreation Therapy?

Recreation therapy uses recreation and other activity-based interventions to address the individuals needs of teens who are struggling with their physical or mental health. Recreation therapy activities are designed to improve the participant’s independence in life activities as well as encourage their overall participation in life experiences. Recreation therapy can be used to reduce depression, stress, and anxiety while building confidence as teens learn how to better socialize in their community.

Recreation therapy offers a wide array of experiences designed as treatment interventions targeting specific needs as well as exposing teens to new experiences that support growth, insight, and a stronger sense of self.

Recreation Therapy and ADHD

Some teens may experience difficult emotions caused by their ADHD. For example, some kids who struggle with social interactions may lose confidence or feel anxious or depressed. Others who have trouble completing assignments or activities in school may feel rejected or like they are constantly failing the adults in their lives. Recreation therapy exposes teens to a variety of healthy activities that can assist them in the development of their identity, self-confidence, and social skills.

Many teens with ADHD struggle when interacting with their peers. They may have difficulty listening to a friend’s thoughts and find themselves interjecting with their own opinions, or trying to start a conversation on an entirely new topic. For these teens, recreation therapy can be a tool for learning to listen and communicate. Adventure activities like canoeing require all the people in the canoe to listen to one another to effectively communicate. The paddler in the front communicates to the rest of the canoe where obstacles may be in the water. The paddler in the back has to steer to keep them on course. Without listening, they will end up tipping over or caught in an obstruction. After a canoe trip, there is an opportunity for teens to talk about how the trip went. They can discuss where they felt challenged and what they enjoyed.

Teens with ADHD can also use recreation therapy to build life skills, such as self-control. It can be small things like blurting out an answer in class instead of raising their hands or acting out physically before thinking of the consequences. A recreational activity such as fishing teaches teens patience over impulsivity. If they’re constantly throwing out their line or moving around, they will scare away the fish. If they give up and can’t wait for the fish, they will never catch a fish. Fishing teaches patience and resilience. They may not catch a fish that day, or the next. But each time they come back to their fishing rod, it’s another chance to catch one. 

When teens learn skills to manage ADHD, they do better in all aspects of their life.  Recreation therapy can help teens feel happier and more confident.

Equinox RTC Can Help

We strive to support the creation of self-sustaining, lifelong change at Equinox through our remarkable people and programming. When change is generated through a relationship-based and principle-centered focus, in which a teenager has the choice to comply, lifelong, sustainable change is achievable.

At Equinox, we have created a culture and approach designed specifically to meet the needs of teenage boys. Check out our Neurology, Physical Fitness and Nutrition, and Adventure Therapy pages to learn more about how our program is intentionally designed to address the complex needs of boys. For more information please call (877) 279-8925.