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Relationships & dating

At a Glance: Dating Hurdles for Teens With Learning and Attention Issues

By Peg Rosen

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All teens face challenges as they begin to date. But kids with learning and attention issues may face extra hurdles. Here are some potential issues to keep in mind—and ways you might be able to help.

38Found this helpful
At a Glance: Dating Hurdles for Teens With Learning and Attention Issues

Dating can be dicey for every teen. But kids with learning and attention issues may have a more dicult time making smart choices and staying safe. Here are hurdles your child may face:

Impulsive Behavior
Your teen tends to act before thinking things through. He may be more likely than his peers to make poor choices about sex, drugs and alcohol use. He may also say or do things that are hurtful without foreseeing the damage it may do to his relationship.

Poor Social Skills
Your teen may misread signals. He may think a friendly chat with a girl in math class is reason to send her a dozen roses the next day. If he does become involved with someone, he may have trouble relating to her on an emotional level.

Low Self-Esteem
A teen who doesn’t feel good about himself may engage in risky behaviors. He may also make inappropriate sexual comments because it makes him feel like he’s “cool.” He may put up with poor treatment because he doesn’t believe he deserves to be treated well.

Emotional Control
He may have emotional outbursts or be irritable. Parents may understand that those behaviors are symptoms of their child’s learning and attention issues. But a date may not tolerate this kind of behavior.

Distraction
A teen with focus issues may be enthusiastic at the start of a relationship but become distracted fairly easily. A date might misread his inattentiveness as a lack of interest in her. Showing up late and forgetting plans can also be mistaken for a lack of interest.
Graphic of At a Glance: Dating Hurdles for Teens with Learning and Attention Issues
Graphic of At a Glance: Dating Hurdles for Teens with Learning and Attention Issues

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About the Author

Portrait of Peg Rosen

Peg Rosen

Peg Rosen has written for numerous digital and print outlets, including ParentCenter, WebMD, Parents, Good Housekeeping, More, Fitness and Martha Stewart.

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Reviewed by Jenn Osen-Foss, M.A.T. Jun 02, 2014 Jun 02, 2014

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