A modern approach to counseling, designed for the male brain.

Specializing in the treatment of ADHD and related challenges. 
Offices in Bryn Mawr, PA & Linwood, NJ
Ages 7-22
Counseling | Groups | Social & Executive Function Skills Programs | Camp

New Program starting in early September:
Middle School Crash Course 

Starting in September:
Social & Executive Functioning Skill Building Groups for Boys

ryan-wexelblatt-camp-director-adhd

A day & overnight travel camp for boys who need help improving their executive functioning, social skills and  age-expected independence.

Ages 11-14

 

 

 

Panel 1

Meet Ryan Wexelblatt

Welcome! My name is Ryan, I’m a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has spent nearly 20 years working with kids and young adults as a School Social Worker, Camp Director and Clinician. I’m also the father to a son and an overly friendly dog with dreadlocks.

While I have worked in special education since graduating from Bryn Mawr College School of Social Work I became interested in social learning (social skills) because my son (whom I adopted as an older child in 2006) needed help with his social, executive functioning and emotional regulation skills. When I searched for social skills programs to help him I found that the programs in the area were designed for children with more significant challenges than my sons. As a result, I began learning all I could about these areas which eventually led me to opening Center for ADHD in 2014. 

I created Ride the Wave Counseling (formerly Center for ADHD) to teach practical skills and strategies in a manner designed for how the male brain learns best.  

Summer Trip Camp opened in 2017 as the first summer camp in the country designed for boys with an ADHD profile who need to improve their executive functioning, social and independent skills.

While I specialize in ADHD and Asperger’s/higher-verbal autism I also work with individuals who have no formal diagnosis but may struggle with managing their emotions, social anxiety, excessive video gaming, low self-confidence and those who struggle with life after high school.

Please go to upcoming presentations for a list of my upcoming speaking engagements or visit past presentations to see my speaking engagements from the past year. 

I look forward to connecting with you.

Ryan Wexelblatt, LCSW – Ride the Wave Counseling & Summer Trip Camp Director

  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker
  • Certified NJ School Social Worker
  • Certified Autism Specialist
  • Received Social Thinking® Clinical Training Level 1 Certificate of Completion
  • Certificate in Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Youth from the Beck Institute
  • Extensive training in executive functioning support strategies
  • Training in Cognitive Behavior interventions from Temple University Children & Teen Anxiety Clinic

Ryan Wexelblatt C.V. (PDF format)

Please contact me below:

 

Panel 2

Does this describe your son with ADHD?

Ryan Wexelblatt Adhd Therapy || Ride the Wave

Social Skills

  • May be able to initially make friends but has trouble keeping them
  • Appears awkward and has difficulty initiating conversations with similar-age peers
  • Feels more comfortable communicating with younger children or adults than similar-age peers
  • Spends most of his free time alone, playing video games or watching videos of people playing video games
  • Tends to have one-sided conversations, talks at people about his interests
  • Frequently interrupts others or says things impulsively, lacks a “filter”
  • Can be inflexible, often says “No” to anything new
  • Says his “friends” are kids he plays online video games with
  • Labels other kids with ADHD as “annoying” or “weird” despite the fact he acts like them
  • Trouble understanding social cues 
  • Lacks understanding how he is perceived by others
  • Has difficulty understanding other’s thoughts and feelings
  • Tries to be part of a peer group who is not accepting of him
  • Has a tendency to “police” other kids and tries to control them
  • Uses humor inappropriately in order to gain attention from peers
  • Had friends in elementary school but became more socially isolated when he got to middle school
  • Struggles in unstructured or semi-structured social situations

Executive Function Skills

  • Has a hard time sensing the passage of time
  • Difficulty tolerating boredom and non-preferred tasks
  • Needs constant prompting and supervision to get through any type of non-preferred tasks.
  • Believes homework will take much longer than it actually will
  • Struggles during unstructured times
  • Can be impulsive, does things without thinking about outcome or consequences
  • Chronically disorganized, forgets or looses materials
  • Under or over-estimates how long it will take to complete assignments
  • Has a hard time recalling how he performed a task in the past
  • Difficulty with future planning
  • Has a hard time self-monitoring himself and his schedule
  • Becomes easily distracted and/or wastes time with trivial matters
  • Focuses on small details and has a hard time getting the “bigger picture”
  • Has a messy school backpack or carries around too much
  • Completes homework but forgets to turn it in
  • Struggles with reading comprehension (remembers details but has a hard time summarizing)
  • Has a hard time with writing

Emotional Regulation Skills

  • Appears to be several years behind in his social/emotional maturity compared to same-age peers
  • Difficulty differentiating between “small problems” and “big problems”
  • Perseverates on the negative and has trouble letting go of things that bother him
  • Has difficulty when there are changes in routine or during transitions
  • Becomes argumentative or explosive when told to get off video games/computer
  • Has a hard time solving problems, wants you to solve problems for him
  • Tries to avoid non-preferred tasks
  • Lashes out at family when upset/angry and then is remorseful
  • Makes self-defeating comments
  • Does not understand how his tone of voice sounds to others
  • Has difficulty with competition
  • Low frustration tolerance
  • Holds it together during school and becomes irritable or more difficult to deal with after school

Your son needs to learn learn practical skills and strategies in a manner designed for how he learns best.   Traditional therapy/counseling is not designed for individuals with ADHD or related challenges.

Areas we frequently work on during our sessions/groups include:

  • Developing age-expected emotional regulation skills
  • Improving compliance at home
  • Developing resiliency to get through non-preferred tasks
  • Understanding how to be relatable to your similar-age peers
  • Improving cognitive flexibility (being less “black and white” in thought process)
  • Learning how to differentiate between what’s a “small problem” or “big problem”
  • Reducing compulsive video gaming/internet usage
  • Managing morning routine, homework, etc. more independently
  • Developing independent problem solving skills
  • Improving perspective taking ability (understanding other’s thoughts/feelings & understanding how you come across to others)
  • Improving self-confidence
  • Cultivating and sustaining friendships

Topics frequently addressed with parents include:

  • Improving compliance and avoiding power struggles
  • Transitioning off of screen time
  • Helping your child develop resiliency to complete non-preferred tasks
  • Improving executive function skills (going from being prompt-dependent to independent)
  • Setting realistic expectations at home
  • Helping your child shift from a sense of entitlement towards a motivation to earn things
  • Understanding how to move your child away from being over-dependent to feeling empowered
  • Managing your child’s emotional/behavioral dysregulation at home so family life is not revolving around your child’s moods and behaviors
  • Communicating with your child about difficult/uncomfortable topics

Please contact us to discuss how we can help your family.

Panel 3

Would Group Counseling Benefit My Son?

Social & Executive Function Skill-Building Groups for Boys in Elementary School through High School

Our groups provide a way for boys to authentically connect and learn among a group of similar-age boys in safe environment. The boys who participated in our small groups during last school year reported that they enjoyed the camaraderie of being in a group with other boys who shared similar profiles.

Groups are designed to teach social and executive functioning skills. Strategies to manage social anxiety around peers and build self-confidence are also taught in groups.

All prospective group participants who are new to Ride the Wave Counseling are required to have an intake interview. Groups are designed for boys diagnosed with ADHD or learning differences.  All group participants (as well as those who participate in individual sessions are eligible to participate in our monthly How to Hang Out program.

Some topics covered in our groups include:

(Social Thinking® Skills)

  • Understanding other’s thoughts and feelings and how you come across to others
  • Managing social anxiety around similar-age peers
  • Improving situational awareness (reading a room)
  • Developing cognitive flexibility for the sake of being part of a group
  • Being able to take directions from peers and give directions without being bossy
  • Learning how to move friendships beyond “lunch table friends” 
  • Understanding what other boys need from you in friendships
  • Self-advocacy skills
  • Putting problems in a relevant context and engaging in collaborative problem solving
  • Learning how to spend time with other boys, without the use of electronics
  • Managing online communication (Dischord, social media, etc..)
  • Understanding the increased social expectations around hygiene/puberty
  • Learning the “hidden rules” of male-male social communication (aka not sounding like you walked out of a social skills group)
  • (Elementary School) Engaging in unstructured, reciprocal play
(Executive Functioning Skills)
  • Engaging in independent problem solving skills
  • Learning how to be proactive rather than reactive so things are not left until the last minute
  • Doing homework and completing assignments in a manner designed for your attention span
  • Planning ahead and complete tasks with a clear goal in mind
  • Conceptualizing time and figuring out how long assignments will take
  • Learning how to have more time to yourself
  • Understanding “the bigger picture” instead of just focusing on small details

Groups in Bryn Mawr meet Mondays and Tuesdays.
Groups in Linwood meet on Thursdays.

Click on the links below to learn more:

Help your son learn skills and strategies to be successful while learning how to connect with other boys his age.   Please fill out the contact form below to learn more:

Panel 4

Why Families Choose Us

The boys and young adults we work with have many strengths, great qualities, and tremendous potential.  As reported by their parents, the vast majority have not benefited from traditional therapy or social skills groups.

Traditional talk therapy/counseling is often counter-intuitive to how the male brain works. Treatment often looks like attempting to get the individual to verbalize his innermost thoughts and feelings.   In reality, most boys and young men don’t operate this way.  Furthermore, traditional counseling is not designed to address lagging social, executive functioning and emotional regulation skills associated with ADHD and related challenges.

Families choose Ride the Wave Counseling because our approach is about teaching practical strategies and skills in a structured but informal environment. Parents are always involved in learning with their children.  

We understand from a male perspective how to make therapy a positive and productive experience for boys and young men who may have any aversion to participating in therapy based on their past experiences.

Please contact us to discuss next steps, we look forward to meeting your family.