top of page

"You need more specialist support when you have a teenager who struggles with communication and gets bullied."

Donna, mum Dunfermline


Teenagers with SLCN or neurodivergence may exhibit behaviours that are associated with their neurodivergence. These behaviours may include difficulty communicating, difficulty socialising, or repetitive behaviours.

This can be a daunting time for parents, as they worry about how their child will cope without the same level of support. However, there are still a number of things that parents can do to support vulnerable over 18s.

Here are a few things to look out for  

Teenagers with neurodivergence may exhibit repetitive behaviours or have difficulty with transitions. For example, they may get very upset if their routine is changed or they may have to do something they don't want to do. 

Teenagers with neurodivergence may have difficulty communicating their needs, thoughts or feelings. They may also have difficulty understanding social cues. 

Teenagers with neurodivergence may be more sensitive to sensory input. For example, they may be bothered by loud noises or bright lights. 

If you are concerned that your teenager's behaviour is associated with neurodivergence, and it hasn’t been picked up earlier, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional. They can help you assess your teenager's behaviour and determine if there is a need for further evaluation or treatment. 


It is important to remember that what you see in your teenager is not necessarily a sign of bad behaviour. They are simply a way for your teenager to cope with the challenges they face. If your teenager is exhibiting in a way that is causing problems or concerns, talk to them about it. Try to understand why they are behaving that way and what you can do to help. 

Our local parent networks run coaching sessions and groupwork training to help parents understand the science of the teenage brain and learn new approaches to use at home. 


Sharing experiences with others who understand what we go through as parents is a great way to alleviate stress and build a network of support. Find out more about What's On in your area.

Celebrating the Unique Strengths of a Neurodivergent Teenager

​Gareth's is a volunteer befriender in our GAB (Get a Buddy) befriending programme. Read his story here

What parents can do to help 

Educate yourself about SLCN and neurodivergence. The more you know about your teenager's condition, the better equipped you will be to help them. Contact us to register your interest in parent workshops near you.

Be patient and understanding. Teenagers with SLCN or neurodivergence may need more time and patience than other teenagers. 

Set clear expectations and boundaries. Teenagers with SLCN or neurodivergence need clear expectations and boundaries in order to feel safe and secure. 

Find support for yourself. Raising a teenager with support needs can be challenging. Find support for yourself through online forums and support groups. Contact us for more information about our local parent support groups.

Encourage your teenager to express themselves. Teenagers may have difficulty expressing themselves verbally. Encourage them to find other ways to express themselves, such as through art, music, or writing. Take a look at our range of Clubs for children and young people.

Raising a teenager with SLC or neurodivergence can be a rewarding experience. By providing your teenager with love, support, and understanding, you can help them reach their full potential. 

bottom of page