The importance of asking your kid's teacher(s) for honest feedback about how he works/gets along with classmates.

When I was based in the Philadelphia area I always worked with a good number of kids who had a parent (or parents) who were educators. 

After I moved to this area and set up shop, I slowly discovered there wasn't much interest (or understanding) about the work I do. This came as a surprise to me because I had a busy practice while I was in the Philadelphia area and I expected a stronger response here since there is no one in the area who specializes in ADHD. The longer I was here it started to make sense why there wasn't much interest.

There's a tremendous amount of resources for families in the Philadelphia area, parents can choose from a wide array of providers.  There is very little here outside of big agencies that provide services. The families in this area have little to no frame of reference for the quality of services they may be receiving. (A speech-language pathologist in private practice here explained it to me this way: "Parents don't know the difference between the quality of services we provide versus the quality of services they would receive from a big agency, it's all the same to them".  I think she was completely accurate in her assessment.

Almost every kid I've worked with here is the child of an educator.  The kids I've worked with whose parents are not educators have often been generously referred to me through their son's teacher (whose kids I've worked with.) Let me explain why this is the case. 

Teachers spend the most time observing the social interactions of their students.  The kids of teachers who I've worked with here are very tuned in to what their kids need as well as their students with ADHD. They fully "get it".

I believe that many teachers want to share information with their students' parents that might be difficult for parents to hear yet may be hesitant to do so because they are fearful of a negative reaction from the parents. 

Your son's teacher(s) is one of the few people who can provide you with really helpful information on your son's social learning needs.  

I think it's important to explain to your son's teacher(s) that you welcome honest feedback about what they observe in terms of his social relationships and ability to work in groups so you have a thorough understanding of what your son looks like socially when you're not with him.  

I believe that teachers appreciate when parents give them permission to be candid in their feedback without fear of backlash. I even suggest going as far as saying that you won't become defensive about their feedback because you know that they are sharing this information with the intention of helping your son. 

Your relationship with your son's teachers is of utmost importance. Treat that relationship with the respect it deserves and help his teachers understand you welcome their candid feedback.

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