Skip to main content

The ADHD Struggle...The Courage to Develop a Career

By Stephen C. Schultz


I had the opportunity to speak with a mom (Kathy) whose son was 21 years old. He currently has some cognitive learning concerns and a history of being involved in residential as well as day treatment programs. He has struggled in various educational settings, is working part time with his father, but is becoming more and more discouraged. He sees himself as eventually being an independent and responsible member of society but is burdened by his deficits and the impact they have on his path to independence.



My brothers (ScottJared) and I work with families whose sons and daughters are young adults, struggling to transition into the adult world. The reasons for their “Failure to Launch” are as varied as the families that come to us for assistance. Since my brothers and I each have “Day Jobs”, we only consult with families “upon request” from Educational Consultants and allied professionals. One of the main aspects of what we do is to provide an Integrated Career Evaluation.

I mentioned to Kathy, that as she presents this opportunity to her son, that she does not use the term "Test". Our hope is to develop an alliance with each young adult to explore their strengths, interests and values. When this process is approached right, every student we have worked with becomes excited about his/her capabilities and competencies. This doesn't mean they won't have struggles or setbacks, but the goal is to help them feel hopeful about the process of becoming an independent, responsible young adult. Most of these young adults we work with have been "tested" a lot in their lives. We simply want to differentiate this process from psychological or academic testing.

Kathy discussed with us that her son was researching potential interests at a local technical college where they live. I always encourage this type of activity. This is a great opportunity for him to see what is available and the many different avenues for study and career. However, as you know, these schools are great for some of the students, but many students just don't fit.
 
I shared with Kathy that one of the "principles" associated with the Integrated Career Evaluations that we do is the concept of "Job Carving". I related an example of a young man who participated in this career evaluation process with us. He scored very high on two different subscales of the evaluation. He scored high on Art/Artistic and high on Law Enforcement/Security. We thought wow! What do we do with that! After exploring many different options, this young adult was able to get an internship at an art museum working in the security department. Within two weeks he was working half time in security and giving public tours half time. Those types of "outside the box" opportunities are out there, but without an Integrated Career Evaluation process, parents and young adults are often left trying to put a "square peg in a round hole".

My brother Jared mentioned to me after the call with Kathy that this particular case brings up another somewhat complicated issue. Jared said that it is common for people to not want to accept the fact there may be some cognitive deficits. (Kathy mentioned this about her son) This is good on one hand because it fosters the sense of independence and the desire to live a "normal" life. However, it also precludes them from seeking and utilizing appropriate accommodations in school or the workplace. Thus, actually increasing the failure rate and creating the very problems in life they hope to avoid by being independent. So, developing a sense of resilience around any deficits is the key to success.  

I have scheduled a time for Jared and I to meet with Kathy’s son. I am hopeful and excited to interact and get to know this young man who has struggled in this life through no fault of his own.

If you would like to see an example of a Career Evaluation or have questions about associated fees, please contact me at SchultzAndAssociatesLLC@gmail.com

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Young Boy and the Rattlesnake

By Stephen C. Schultz (Editors note: This is a story used in a Wilderness Treatment Program for Young Adults . Many come to this program having struggled with substance abuse and interacting with unsavory friends.)   Many years ago there was a young Native American who lived in the very land you are residing in. He decided to seek wisdom by journeying to the top of Indian Peak. As he approached the base of the mountain he came across a rattlesnake that slithered beside him. The snake coiled as if to strike and the young boy moved back quickly in fear of being struck by the snake’s deadly venom. At that instant the snake spoke to the boy saying, “Don’t be afraid of me, I mean you no harm. I come to you to ask a favor. I see that you are about to traverse to the top of Indian Peak and was hoping that you may be willing to place me in your satchel so that I don’t have to make the long journey alone.” The young boy surprised by the snake’s request quickly responded b

An Open Letter to Parents Researching RedCliff Ascent

By Stephen C. Schultz "We will be known forever by the tracks we leave." Having been raised in Oregon, I spent the majority of my childhood and teenage year’s steelhead fishing the coastal waters, climbing the Middle Sister in the Cascade Mountain Range, drifting the McKenzie River and hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.  I have mentioned to friends, family and colleagues on many occasions;   “From a therapeutic standpoint, there is no better place to have a student’s issues manifested quickly than in a wilderness setting.” The question then becomes, “Why do therapeutic issues rise to the surface in an Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare program like RedCliff Ascent ?” Throughout the years of teenage development, most teens spend a lot of time with friends. These friends think the same, dress the same, act the same, listen to the same music and sometimes get into the same types of trouble. Some teens also develop patterns of communication and manipulation

Video Games, Anxiety and ADHD - Free Family Resources

 By Stephen C. Schultz Video Games, Anxiety and ADHD - Is there a common theme? Aloft Transitions Home for Young Adults This is simply a complimentary resource guide for parents of teens and young adults who struggle with ADHD, Anxiety and Gaming. ADHD:   • Russell Barkley,  Taking Charge of ADHD • Hallowell & Ratey,  Delivered from Distraction • Harvey Parker,  The ADD Hyperactivity Workbook for Parents, Teachers, & Kids • Bradley & Giedd,  Yes, Your Teen Is Crazy!: Loving Your Kid Without Losing Your  Mind  • Gurian, Michael,  The Minds of Boys Saving Our Sons from Falling Behind in School and  Life, 2005. • Hanna, Mohab,  Making the Connection: A Parents’ Guide to Medication in AD/HD • www.CHADD.org  (Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) • www.help4adhd.org • www.aap.org (American Academy of Pediatrics) • www.aacap.org (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry) Young Adult caring for new baby calf Anxiety: The following websites