Reply To: Why is a majority of ADHD help aimed towards adults and parents?

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Thank you so much for your post. I have often wondered the same thing! I am 50, diagnosed two years ago and looking into careers helping people with ADHD. I believe there is a true need. I have found tremendous help in support groups (for my addictions and my father’s alcoholism), and I believe I would have greatly benefited by starting them much earlier than college. The first reply above is brilliant: You could ask your school to allow you to start the group that you desire and possibly help a lot of other people, too. There might be a teacher who would step up and volunteer because it would be helpful or educational for them, also.

When I was about six or seven, I was put into therapy for traumatic events occurring in my family. I remember I was desperate to talk about my feelings and the therapist was committed to the “play therapy” therapeutic modality which was extremely indirect. I had a hard time cooperating with trivial play with a stranger because I was too traumatized. I just wanted to talk about the situation and my feelings, but the psychological professional standards at that time assumed that children my age would be unable to participate in talk therapy. The therapist decided I wasn’t getting anything out of therapy so it was discontinued after one session. Your post reminds me of how I felt: I couldn’t get the help I really wanted because my intelligence as a child was discounted. I was angry and recognized the weakness in the prevalent professional beliefs of the therapeutic community of the time (the 1970s) as a young child.

Since you are intelligent and have great writing skills, you could be the perfect person to help start a group. You could write a brief mission/purpose for the group to present to your school, church or other organization. If you need help with the mission statement, you can run it by an adult or by us. In general, mission statements should be short and address the outcome that you hope to achieve. After you receive approval, your group will need a simple format and some ground rules so that members will feel comfortable and safe to speak freely. The adult volunteer or counselor may provide these or work with you on them.

I hope you find the support that you are looking for. I must say, we didn’t have online forums when I was young, and they are fantastic! We’ll be here if you try to start a group and hit roadblocks. I just thought of something else: Have you contacted your local chapter of CHADD? (Children and Adults with ADHD) Our local CHADD group in Orange County, CA has monthly educational groups and I think they are open to teens.