Ep. 177: How Understanding the Adolescent Brain Helps Us Better Support Teens

Mar 19, 2024 | 0 comments

Adolescence is a pivotal time in a young person’s life. The adolescent brain, while it has developed in size, is not done growing and changing. In this episode, I explore the complexities of neurodiversity between biology and experience in shaping the developmental journey of neurodivergent youth.

It's time to challenge conventional narratives surrounding developmental conditions and embrace a more inclusive approach rooted in developmental diversity. Throughout this episode, we'll uncover strategies to empower young people who learn and think differently, shedding light on the unique challenges and vulnerabilities they face during adolescence.

We can support teens through these years of big emotions, impulsiveness, and vulnerability on top of the increasing academic and societal pressures they face as they navigate their development into adulthood.

 

Show Notes:

[1:40] – The adolescent brain is not the same as an adult brain.

[3:35] – What is pruning and why is it an important component of brain development?

[4:43] – Many parents struggle to understand the emotions and impulsiveness of their teenagers.

[6:05] – The developmental process is not uniform.

[7:09] – Adolescence is also a time of vulnerabilities, particularly for neurodivergent youth.

[8:06] – Due to brain development, teens will also respond to stress differently from adults.

[9:11] – There are things that can help support brain development like exercise and prioritizing sleep.

[11:02] – Everyone’s brain works in different ways. Teens need to understand this as their own brain is developing.

[12:27] – Continued support, particularly in areas such as executive functioning, is essential as teens transition into adulthood.

 

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The Diverse Thinking Different Learning podcast is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical or legal advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Additionally, the views and opinions expressed by the host and guests are not considered treatment and do not necessarily reflect those of ChildNEXUS, Inc or the host, Dr. Karen Wilson.