Last week, I spoke with two families who lived in (different) major metropolitan areas where there are many resources for families of kids with ADHD. Both of these families were very proactive and had done their “homework” in regards to seeking out help.
Here’s what they found:
-A psychologist who addressed the boy’s “blow ups” by asking questions like “How do you feel when you scream at your mother?”
-An executive function coach who didn’t know how to teach how to feel the passage of time. (How is it helpful to teach somebody academic organizational skills if they can’t manage their time effectively?)
-Social skills groups offered at two major universities, neither of which were helpful.
-An executive function coach who focused on academic skills but didn’t teach strategies to help with building independence around daily tasks (this is the majority of executive function/ADHD coaches).
-A therapist who told the that the boy’s parents that his (ADHD-related) challenges must be a result of his anger about his parent’s divorce thus her work would focus on helping him to verbalize his feelings about his parent’s divorce that occured years earlier.
-A social skills group where kids sat around a table and role played scripted “social skills”. (Never has a parent told me that this type of group has helped their son improve his social thinking skills).
So why is it so difficult for families to find practical help? I wish I had a definitive answer.
All I can say is that even highly intelligent, well meaning professionals sometimes have difficulty “thinking outside the box”. Evidenced based treatments, academia, etc don’t always seem to be able to provide families with practical help. If they did this group wouldn’t need to exist.
If you feel like you’ve had similar experiences to these families you haven’t done anything wrong, rather you’ve learned through experience that there’s not a lot of outside the box thinking in this field.
Parents ask me every week: What type of professionals should I seek out? Do you know anybody in my area who does what you do?
I wish I could tell families to do “A, B and C” but as my examples here point out that’s just not realistic, even for families who live near major cities.
I’m not from academia, I’m certainly not an intellectual 😉, I’m just someone who likes to think outside the box and share my experiences with families who I know are doing their best because they’re also willing to think outside the box.
I greatly appreciate you being here and please join me for my Facebook live Sunday night at 9:00 P.M. eastern time. Look forward to connecting with you there.