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

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    • #68469

      Hello, it’s me again.
      As I have explained a few times, I am thirteen and in the eighth grade. I’m not exactly good at anything other than writing, and even then my LA grades are concerning. I have tried to find support groups to visit in person, but all of them are for either parents with ADHD children or ADHD adults. The same goes for Facebook, which I searched in a final effort. Why is this? Do they think we’re too immature? Too young to contribute to a conversation? I have an IQ of 120 points and, while it’s bad form to compliment yourself, am pretty mature. Everyone I know who’s my age and has ADHD are pretty smart, too, and I am sure that they’d also be able to sufficiently contribute to a group. I really have trouble with my ADHD, as much as everyone else (I’m thinking a lot more), and I share much of the same problems. So why don’t any of the groups allow it?

    • #68480

      I think your self-advocacy is amazing and something to be truly proud of. I think you find a lot of parent focused support groups out there because there are a lot of parents out there searching for ways to help their children. However, I think you’ve hit on a true need. Have you thought of speaking with your school counselor or principal about starting an ADHD group at your school? Perhaps a teacher or counselor could supervise the group but the group be student led and focused?

      All groups, even all those parent focused groups, had to start somewhere. I would develop a group mission and begin discussing it with school administration to see if you can get something going. Parent focused groups are usually began by parents. I would imagine that a truly child led group would need to be started (at least in part) by a child.

      Final thought: The lack of a child-led group has nothing to do with adults believing you are too immature to be productive members of the conversation. On the contrary, I applaud my son anytime he speaks up for himself in regards to his ADHD or any other matter. Don’t let the title of the group stifle your contribution to it.

    • #68522

      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.

    • #68524

      StillPlays –

      I’m a 50 yo high school teacher who was diagnosed with ADD 15 years ago. I think the school idea would be awesome for you! The self-advocacy would be empowering for you, and the rewards of possibly helping your peers would be immeasurable (leadership opportunities, recognition from faculty, creating better awareness among peers, etc.). Also, you may find a faculty member like me who would jump at the privilege of moderating a group like that. And you’re right – there needs to be more places where kids can go to share their experiences, feelings, suggestions, etc. See if that works – I’m pulling for you!

      • This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by hayes.
    • #68642
      Penny Williams

      I think it’s because many teens with ADHD want to deny their challenges and their diagnosis — so they’re not out there looking to connect and get information.

      There is a website developed by a teen with ADHD for teens with ADHD: http://ADDyteen.com. Check it out.

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

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