A modern approach to counseling, designed for the male brain
Specializing in ADHD and learning disabilities
Offices in Bryn Mawr, PA & Linwood, NJ
Ages 7-22

Counseling | Groups | Social Skills/Executive Function Programs | Camp

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

Based in Lafayette Hill, PA
Ages 11-15

 

 

 

Panel 1

Meet Ryan

A licensed clinical social worker and NJ certified school social worker Ryan has dedicated himself to working with students and young adults for nearly 20 years.  Recognizing the need for a forward-thinking, skill building approach to treating ADHD, learning disabilities and Asperger’s Syndrome Ryan created Center for ADHD in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. 

Families from throughout the Philadelphia area came to Center for ADHD as Ryan’s outside the box approach to teaching social skills specifically to males and executive function coaching was unlike any other counseling practice/therapy provider in the area.  Parents of Center for ADHD clients encouraged Ryan to expand his practice to serve a broader population thus Ride the Wave Counseling & Coaching was brought to Atlantic County in 2017 (originally called Center for ADHD in Linwood). 

Ryan previously worked as a Clinician at Hill Top Preparatory School and Y.A.L.E. School Cherry Hill and Philadelphia campuses.   He also created and directed social learning programs including Hill Top Summer Camp, Camp Sequoia, and Sequoia Kids Program.  He is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work and Temple University. 

He’s also one of the few professionals in the Philadelphia and South Jersey areas to have earned a Social Thinking® Clinical Training Level 1 Certificate of Completion.  

Ryan has presented to parent groups throughout the Northeast including CHADD (Children and Adults with ADHD). His national speaking engagements include the International Conference on ADHD, the Social Thinking® Global Providers Conference, and the Autism Society National Conference. Ryan is known for his authentic, affable presentation style.  Please go to upcoming presentations for a list of Ryan’s upcoming speaking engagements or visit past presentations to see his speaking engagements from the past year. 

Originally from Lower Merion, Pennsylvania Ryan’s lifelong connection to the shore stems from his grandparent’s home in Ventnor.    He and his son, Austin, who attends vocational school for carpentry, live with their dog Sasha, a Bergamasco.

View Ryan’s C.V.

Conact Ryan here

 

 

 

Panel 2

Does this describe your son?

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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
  • Labels other kids with ADHD as “annoying” or “weird” despite the fact he acts like them
  • Trouble understanding social cues and non-verbal communication (facial expressions and body language)
  • Lacks understanding how he is perceived by others
  • Has difficulty understanding other’s thoughts and feelings
  • Difficulty asking for help or self-advocating
  • Tries to be part of a peer group who is not accepting of him
  • Has a tendency to “police” other kids and control situations
  • 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

Executive Function Skills

  • Has a hard time sensing the passage of time
  • 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
  • Prone to “meltdowns” when having to do non-preferred tasks
  • Does not understand how his tone of voice sounds to others
  • Has difficulty with competition
  • Low frustration tolerance
  • 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 does not teach these skills and strategies.

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 next steps

Panel 3

Is your son resistant to therapy?

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  • Have you tried therapy for your son and found it wasn’t productive?
  • Has your son been resistant to participating in counseling again because of his past experiences?
  • Was therapy not helpful in addressing your son’s ADHD?

As many parents have learned traditional therapy/counseling is often not “boy-friendly” in the sense that treatment often looks like attempting to find ways to get boys to verbalize his innermost thoughts and feelings.  In reality, most boys don’t operate this way thus therapy is often not a productive use of time or financial resources.   

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

Our approach is about teaching practical strategies and skills in a structured but informal environment. We offer both individual sessions as well as groups. Parents are always involved in learning with their children.  

When appropriate, we believe that group counseling can be very effective for boys as it provides them with the opportunity to learn with their similar-age peers, in an environment where they can be feel safe being authentic.

Areas we frequently work on during our sessions include:

  • Developing age-expected emotional regulation skills
  • Improving compliance at home
  • Developing resiliency to get through non-preferred tasks (homework, chores, etc.)
  • Understanding how you come across to others (perspective taking)
  • Learning how to differentiate between what’s a “small problem” or “big problem”
  • Reducing compulsive video gaming/internet usage
  • Managing social anxiety around similar-age peers
  • Improving self-advocacy skills
  • Developing independent problem solving skills
  • Improving perspective taking ability (understanding other’s thoughts and feelings & understanding how you come across to others)
  • Improving self-confidence
  • Cultivating and sustaining friendships

Topics frequently addressed with parents include:

  • Addressing executive functioning and behavior issues associated with ADHD and related challenges
  • Helping your child to develop resiliency
  • Moving your child from being “prompt-dependent” towards independent
  • Setting realistic expectations at home
  • Helping your child shift from a sense of entitlement towards a motivation to earn things
  • Creating parameters around “screen time” usage in the home
  • Managing your child’s emotions/behavior at home 

Therapy is provided by Ryan Wexelblatt, LCSW-Director. Please contact us for a free phone consultation or to set up an appointment.

 

Panel 4

Would group counseling benefit my son?

If you were your son would you rather:

Meet weekly with a group of similar-age boys who need help with the same things
Or
Sit across from someone (in an office that is not kid-friendly) who asks you to talk about your feelings every week?

Our  groups provide a way for boys to authentically connect and learn from a group of similar-age boys in safe environment. We learn strategies, solve problems, do activities and have fun in the process.

If your son has been in therapy for a long time and you’re not seeing the results that you’d like to see, our groups may be the solution.

Our groups for boys include:

Days and Times of Groups

Groups run on weekday afternoons/evenings  throughout the school year, with breaks during winter and spring break holiday from school.  Our How to Hang Out program occurs once per month and is only open to boys who participate in our groups.

Complete the form below to discuss the next best steps for your son.