When most parents receive an ADHD diagnosis for their son they are recommended (by a pediatrician, in a psychological or neuropsychological evaluation, by School Counselors, by parents, in online parent groups, etc.) to take their son to a mental health professional, only to find that mental health services were not helpful. I want to explain why.
⚬ never told what questions to ask a specific therapist to help them understand if they truly "get" boys or understand how to address ADHD-related challenges.
⚬are not informed that most mental health professionals (like myself) receive almost no education in ADHD during their graduate programs.
⚬not educated by professional to help them understand why traditional therapy is typically incompatible with the way most, 𝘣𝘶𝘵 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘢𝘭𝘭 males express themselves and connect on an emotional level.
⚬not informed that there is no type of therapy specifically designed for males or to address ADHD-related challenges.
No one is at fault for this lack of information, rather it is the result of an outdated approach that devalues an understanding of the male brain and how to most effectively work with boys and men. Additionally, it is the result of an antiquated approach to treating ADHD, based in the belief that ADHD can be treated through talking about it.
𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗜 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗱𝗲𝘀𝗰𝗿𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗱 𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝗶𝘀 𝗮 𝗱𝗶𝗳𝗳𝗶𝗰𝘂𝗹𝘁 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗰𝗲𝗽𝘁 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗺𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝗽𝗮𝗿𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀, (𝗺𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿𝘀 𝗮𝘀 𝘄𝗲𝗹𝗹 𝗮𝘀 𝗳𝗮𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿𝘀) 𝘁𝗼 𝘄𝗿𝗮𝗽 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗶𝗿 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗱𝘀 𝗮𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱 𝗯𝗲𝗰𝗮𝘂𝘀𝗲:
⚬Parents understandably put their trust in the recommendations made by mental health & education professionals.
⚬Facebook parent-parent support groups are comprised primarily of mothers seeking advice from other mothers. There is almost never any input in these groups from people who have a comprehensive understanding of boys or gender-based brain differences.
⚬An abundance of information is online, and continues to come out that supports this traditional thinking and antiquated approach.
𝙒𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙄 𝙝𝙤𝙥𝙚 𝙮𝙤𝙪'𝙡𝙡 𝙩𝙖𝙠𝙚 𝙖𝙬𝙖𝙮 𝙛𝙧𝙤𝙢 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙥𝙤𝙨𝙩:
⚬Receiving an ADHD diagnosis 𝘥𝘰𝘦𝘴 𝘯𝘰𝘵 mean that your son needs therapy, despite what recommendations you received from professionals, educators or other parents.
⚬If your son had an adverse reaction to therapy regardless if the therapist was female or male this is the norm, not the exception in my experience of speaking to thousands of parents. This is compounded by the fact that the mental health field continues to treat ADHD as a psychological disorder, rather than a developmental learning issue.
⚬Most boys do not verbally express their feelings or inner thoughts on-demand, or while sitting across from someone, expected to make eye contact.
⚬𝗘𝘅𝗽𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗺𝗼𝘀𝘁 𝗯𝗼𝘆𝘀 (𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗺𝗲𝗻) 𝘁𝗼 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗺𝘂𝗻𝗶𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗻𝗲𝗿 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗹𝗶𝗸𝗲𝗹𝘆 𝗱𝗲𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗺 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝗮𝗰𝗰𝗲𝗽𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘀𝗲𝗲𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗵𝗲𝗹𝗽. 𝗧𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗰𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘂𝗹𝘁 𝗶𝗻 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝘀𝗼𝗻 𝘀𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗹𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗯𝗲𝗰𝗮𝘂𝘀𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂'𝗿𝗲 𝗲𝘅𝗽𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗯𝗿𝗮𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗼 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗸 𝗹𝗶𝗸𝗲 𝗮 𝗳𝗲𝗺𝗮𝗹𝗲 𝗯𝗿𝗮𝗶𝗻, 𝘄𝗵𝗶𝗰𝗵 𝗺𝗼𝘀𝘁 𝗯𝗼𝘆𝘀 𝙖𝙧𝙚 𝙣𝙤𝙩 𝗰𝗮𝗽𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗱𝗼𝗶𝗻𝗴.
What I've shared here goes against conventionality. Conventionality doesn't facilitate innovation. I've learned through my experience being in this field that innovation often does not come from inside the walls of academic research institutions, rather it comes from applying critical thinking skills to finding solutions to everyday problems.
𝗜𝗳 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗳𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗶𝗻𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗺𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗵𝗲𝗹𝗽𝗳𝘂𝗹 𝗜 𝘄𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝗴𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗹𝘆 𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗿𝗲𝗰𝗶𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗶𝗳 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗰𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝘀𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗽𝗼𝘀𝘁 𝗶𝗻 𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝗽𝗮𝗿𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗴𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗽𝘀 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗺𝗮𝘆 𝗯𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝗮𝘀 𝘄𝗲𝗹𝗹 𝗮𝘀 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝗽𝗲𝗼𝗽𝗹𝗲 𝘄𝗵𝗼𝗺 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗳𝗲𝗲𝗹 𝗺𝗮𝘆 𝗯𝗲 𝗼𝗽𝗲𝗻 𝘁𝗼 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗶𝘁.