Recently, I met the father of one of the boys I work with. During our meeting he disclosed to me that he was diagnosed with ADHD in adulthood. As we were speaking I was explaining my view regarding his son’s profile. Completely unbeknownst to him, the father insulted me by implying that my experience in the ADHD field did not mean much to him. After he made this comment he kept going with the conversation completely unaware of the fact that he insulted me. Did I feel offended by this? No. The reason I did not feel offended – this is happened to me COUNTLESS times.
There are many, many adults walking around who may or may not be formally diagnosed with ADHD or related challenges such as Asperger’s. These adults can be incredibly offensive to others because they lack the perspective-taking skills to understand how they’re coming across to others.
What happens with kids with social learning challenges when they become adults with social learning challenges that have not been adequately addressed?
-Difficulty maintaining employment because they offend their co-workers or superiors.
-Difficulty maintaining employment because of their inflexibility or propensity to argue.
-Difficulty sustaining romantic relationships or propensity to get involved with individuals who have significant mental health issues because that’s who will tolerate them.
-A propensity for men to get involved with women who think that if they love them enough they can “fix” them and often find themselves apologizing for their partners offendive behavior.
You may be wondering: Why haven’t I heard about this before? How come CNN or 60 minutes has never done a story about this.
Because the vast majority of adults walking around with social learning challenges are not diagnosed and because many adults with ADHD improve socially with maturity and real life experiences. However, many do not.
Take a proactive approach to helping your son improve his social skills. Let’s talk.