ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning Coaching…Family ADD

Image courtesy of Photo Stock/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Photo Stock/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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 [email protected] or call 877.398.ADHD (2343) with any additional questions.

7 Comments. Leave new

  • This is so true. Our 2nd kid is the ‘easy’ one and it’s a good thing because ADHD daughter requires lots of attention and training and therapy and worry, not to mention advocacy at school.

    Reply
  • ” While we love our son, it can become very draining having to devote every ounce of our strength to him on the weekends after a long work week.”
    …who cares for him during the week? Support is not just needed on the weekends.
    It is sad to hear your parents look at your child as “Payback” instead of a child who needs help and support to be successful…this must be great for your child’s self esteem.
    I have a son with issues as well as an older NT child. It is never easy, but as a parent it is necessary to do everything you can to provide both children with love and support, whatever that may be. It is often difficult to find what works…keep looking…it’s worth it.

    Reply
    • Thank you for your comments. You’ve taken this out of context. If you read some of my earlier work, I say that my parents are the two most influential people in my life. They helped make me the person I am today. But I was a difficult child and didn’t make the process easy. My parents showed me unconditional love my whole life, so when they make a “payback” comment, it is their was of telling me they understand and will help if needed.

      My son’s needs are not severe. But he’s very VERY smart and high maintenance. He’s in preschool and we have an amazing nanny. But, there’s times when he’s overly demanding. These moments can last a long time, and it’s draining. This doesn’t mean we don’t love him or care for him, it means he requires most of our attention.

      Thanks again for reading. I hope this helps your understanding.

      Reply
  • I am glad to hear you have a good relationship with and support from your parents but your choice of words still leaves me uneasy. “But I was a difficult child and didn’t make the process easy”. What process? Life? Is it supposed to be easy? It sounds like you blame yourself for having difficulties and making your parent’s life harder than most. Unfortunately, I sense that you have the same attitude toward your son. Preschoolers…high maintenance and overly demanding? That’s like saying “my teenager is overly emotional”…it goes with the territory. And the territory will change, often.

    “…it’s draining. …he requires most of our attention”.
    Children DO require MOST of your attention and it IS draining, especially at such a young age and especially when they are bright. I am curious what your expectations are of raising children?

    Attitude is everything. I can empathize. Life is so much harder when you experience the world differently than everyone else especially when you are VERY smart. But, being smart academically is different than being emotionally and socially smart…it is not uncommon for those skills to develop at different rates. At 11, my son had the emotinal maturity and social awareness of a 7 year old. Not easy for a child who can talk circles around adults about nano beads and cancer treatment but doesn’t grasp the subtlities of body language or figurative language. I find that most adults expect children who are bright to be bright in ALL areas and that is RARELY the case.

    Best of luck to you and your family.

    Reply
    • I appreciate your comments, but you are WAY OFF-BASE.

      I was diagnosed with ADHD long before there were so many treatment options. My parents were my guardian angels and did the best they could under some difficult circumstances. They were told that I would not graduate high school, and they told the school district to “Go to Hell” in those exact words. Now I sit here today with a Master’s Degree and am a HUGE source of pride for my family. But if you think it was a cake walk you are mistaken. But they would happily do it again.

      As far as my parenting and feelings towards my children, I never judge others and do not like being judged. However, if you must know. I have pulled my son from three preschools because he wasn’t getting the services he needed (I also had very heated meetings with the administration). I brought him home and worked with him extensively. It wasn’t a burden, it was a pleasure. And I would do it again and again. I would gladly live in cardboard box and eat out of a garbage can if it meant getting more for my children.

      You raise a valid point on cognitive vs. social development. I worked with talented kids, but there’s no doubt that one area usually lags behind other areas. Schools have a difficult time recognizing this and addressing it. It sounds like you’ve done a great job with your son.

      Reply
  • Having a twice exceptional child with ADHD, SPD and Dyslexia, I can say that with my kid, nothing about her ‘goes with the territory’. From birth, she has been a billion-gazillion times more difficult, challenging, time-consuming and frustrating than our 2nd child. Of course, she’s also amazingly creative, has a great sense of humor and has many other gifts that make her delightful to be around. Her strengths and weaknesses definitely make life with her an emotional rollercoaster, but I wouldn’t trade this ride for anything!

    Reply

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