Q: Could you recommend someone in my area who does similar work to you?
A: No, because this is my own creation & more importantly, because ADHD isn't taken seriously in our culture.
I had an "a-ha" moment yesterday I wanted to tell you about. I'm doing a presentation on Friday and was scrolling through YouTube looking for some new videos to put in my presentation. I realized that I am pretty much the only person on YouTube who is talking about social skills/social learning specifically for kids with ADHD and their parents.
That's crazy considering how common social learning challenges are in kids with ADHD.
So why are there almost no videos (besides what I put out) on this topic?
Still to this day there is really nothing specifically for kids with ADHD who struggle socially thus kids with ADHD are regularly placed into social skills groups with kids who most likely have more significant social learning challenges. A search for social skills groups in your area or on YouTube will most show results that state they are for kids with ADHD, Asperger's, autism, etc. I have a lot of experience working with kids with Asperger's & autism which is why I don't subscribe to this "one size fits all" approach to teaching social. Someone's learning needs are not being met in these groups, and most of the time it's the kids with ADHD.
It should be no surprise that one of the most common things I hear from parents is: "My son was in a social skills group. The group facilitator said he was the role model for the rest of the group." That's nice to be a role model but it comes at the expense of these kids not getting what they need in terms of learning, while their parents are paying for it.
ADHD isn't taken seriously in our culture and social learning challenges are very poorly understood in the mental health field.
I call ADHD the "joke of the mental health field" because most mental health professionals get little to no education about ADHD in their graduate programs and they get even less education about social learning. Mental health professionals who run social skills groups are often creating the group agenda or using a curriculum that focuses on teaching a new skill each week, without any specific training or education about teaching these critical life skills. As I've spoken about many times, you cannot improve your social skills by learning a new social skill each week, that is not the way that we learn social information organically.
The point of this post is to say that our culture has an extremely long way to go in understanding ADHD and even further to go in understanding social learning challenges in kids with ADHD.
I'm grateful to the people on YouTube who create content for adults with ADHD, Many of them do a really nice job talking about social skills/social relationships.
Why I seem to be the only one specifically addressing this topic for kids with ADHD and their parents is genuinely beyond my comprehension.
I know a handful of people across the country who I think do really good work in this field. I am always happy to refer to them when possible. If I could refer you to someone in your area who does similar work I would be happy to help, it just doesn't exist, even in major cities.
Frustrating to say the least...
[Photo: Playing Wheel of Fortune with a very smart 3rd grader as a reward for him working hard during our meeting.]