The old adage of the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree is quite obvious in my work. It’s very important for a parent to see his or her own weaknesses as well as the child’s concerns. My work will often involve parent education as well as direct client services. When an individual with ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning concerns gets treatment, all factors that manifest the concerns must be addressed. In most cases, it’s not just the child’s conditions causing the issues. There’s a parent that has these concerns as well.
I just started working with Albert. He’s a middle school boy with ADHD. He’s a good kid but has many areas we need to address. He’s always late to our appointments. This is usually because his mother is late. The excuses from her are good, but Albert expresses to me on a regular basis how much this angers him. He feels that it’s unfair that his mother insists on Albert getting help but not recognizing or addressing her own issues. This is quite valid and something I’m working on with the family. In order for Albert to want to improve, there has to be a commitment from everyone involved.
Denial doesn’t help either…One of my first clients was a master at having his parents believe it was always someone else’s fault. He knew how to play his parents and this led to mayhem. I regularly use the term creating conflict to avoid conflict, and this kid was the master. Whether it was headaches, bad teachers or the weather, he found a way to make his issues someone else’s. Meanwhile, he knew darn well that his parents were so disorganized themselves that he could play the situation in his favor. The worst part of this family was their denial about this issue. When I tried to discuss it with the family, I was told that it wasn’t an issue and I was totally off-base. Shortly after my truth session, we stopped working together. If you hire me, I’m not going to sugarcoat things. The truth isn’t always pretty, but it’s helpful. Ironically enough, the family contacted me recently (I saw the kid like four year’s earlier) seeking help. Sometimes the truth takes a while to digest.
When seeking help for a child, it’s important to also take an inventory of the whole family situation. Don’t just seek help for your child, but the other issues impacting the situation. I will regularly meet with family members separate of my client. This is the most effective way to help everyone be a part of the process. You’d be surprised how much a conversation with a sibling can help a client. Educating a family member will help the client deal with concerns.
For more information on my ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning coaching, please visit www.adhdefcoach.com. In addition to working with clients in-person, I also work with clients all over the United States and World online, please visit www.onlineadhdcoach.com for more information. To learn more about my other services, please visit www.carrolleducationalgroup.com & www.iepexperts.com. I can be found on Twitter at ADHDGuru. You can also find me on Facebook, Google Plus and Tumblr. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 877.398.ADHD (2343) with any additional questions.