Author Archives: joanjager@live.com

Accepting Life with ADHD: August 2017 Newsletter

Hello there,

August already! Hope you are enjoying the best food and entertainment the season has to offer.  We have a few good resources to enjoy for your summer reading.  Both parents and adults with ADHD should find something of value. This month I’m focusing on how it feels to have ADHD and how self- acceptance and finding new ways to meet the challenges of ADHD can help.

I struggle with feeling worthy, like I am ENOUGH, just as I am. (That I’m doing pretty well. …considering everything…most of the time.)  I suspect that I am not alone in feeling this way.

But, I AM getting better and feeling more comfortable in my own skin.  I’ve been blessed by many people who reassure me, who see and nurture my gifts with love. Support groups, coaches, and group coaching members have been a great help as well.  

As you enjoy the final days of summer, consider this FREE 12-week self-coaching program that ADHD coach Linda Walker is leading again this year.  Short videos introduce each segment with a simple assignment for the week. These help you develop small habits to build routines for accomplishing both daily tasks and larger projects. I had great results following the steps last year. Try it out!

Finish reading newsletter online >>>> How to Meet ADHD Challenges with Acceptance and Connection

 

Thanks for your attention,

Joan Jager

ADD freeSources.net 

Past ADHD Life newsletters 

 

Meet ADHD Challenges with Acceptance and Connection

Accepting Life with ADHD: August 2017 Newsletter

 

Thrive with ADHD through self-acceptance.We are lucky to have two posts this month from guest author Elizabeth Lewis, founder of  A Dose of Healthy Distraction. We’ll expand on her work with a  focus the on how it feels to have ADHD and the power of self- acceptance in finding new ways to meet the challenges of ADHD.

I struggle with feeling worthy, like I am ENOUGH, just as I am. (That I’m doing pretty well. …considering everything…most of the time.)  I suspect that I am not alone in feeling this way.

But, I AM getting better and feeling more comfortable in my own skin.  I’ve been blessed by many people who reassure me, who see and nurture my gifts with love. Support groups, coaches, and group coaching members have been a great help as well.  

As you enjoy the final days of summer, consider this FREE 12-week self-coaching program that ADHD coach Linda Walker is leading again this year.  Short videos introduce each segment with a simple assignment for the week. These help you develop small habits to build routines for accomplishing both daily tasks and larger projects. I had great results following the steps last year. Try it out!

How does it feel to have ADHD?

And what can we do about it?

 

Elizabeth Lewis delves into the emotions many people with ADHD deal with in Against the Wind: How it Feels to be a Woman with ADHD.  Liz writes, “It seems like we are forgetful or careless. Sometimes we come off as self-centered or even lazy. But you are not lazy or unmotivated. And you are not self-centered.”

“ADHD is frustrating and infuriating. A lifetime of criticism, from our self and others, really takes its toll.” Woman and girls have traditionally been under diagnosed and feel overwhelmed by combined roles of working, homemaking and caretaking.  But, man, woman or child all report the frustration, racing thoughts, mental exhaustion, and irritability that Liz describes. These feelings reflect problems with managing well at home, school, in the workplace and socially. Because of these feelings of failure, individuals with ADHD often judge themselves unfavorably.

Shame and Acceptance

 

All too often children and adult with ADHD “view themselves as fundamentally different and flawed.” William Dodson, M.D. writes on this encompassing feeling and how to overcome its hold on us for ADDitude Magazine in When the Shame of Living with a Disorder Is Worse Than the Disorder Itself.” He points out thatFeeling shame is different from feeling guilt. Guilt focuses on what is done. Shame focuses on who one is.

But, “What if you loved yourself, laziness and all? What if you loved yourself, all that is ugly and incompetent and mean, along with the beauty and brilliance and kindness?” In Unconditional Acceptance of Yourself, Leo Babauta of Zen Habits talks about this radical change. Acceptance does not mean you cannot make improvements in your life, Leo says, “Acceptance isn’t stagnation — you will change no matter what. You can’t avoid changing. The question is whether that change comes from a place of acceptance and love, or a place of self-dislike and dissatisfaction.”

For good examples of how this acceptance leads to successful change and self-advocacy, see  “Know your Brain” (Link works) by Psych Central’s  “ADHD Millennial” blogger Neil Peterson. He explains, “The key to making progress on managing my ADHD was the shift from trying to change internal things that I can’t control to changing external things that I can control… In other words,  shifting from trying to change my brain to accepting my brain and trying to change my environment.”

Dr. William Dodson in Secrets of the ADHD Brain explains that with the ADHD brain, interest, a challenge, novelty, urgency or a strong sense of purpose help spur action We can develop routines for most mundane tasks but, we usually need an extra boost for projects. Medication helps with many symptoms, but you will need additional supports to manage your life well. Rather than focus on remedying areas where you struggle, you need to use your specific tools that get you “in the zone” and help you start each morning feeling motivated and capable.

What do you need to do to turn your brain on? How can you put your knowledge to work for you to adapt your life and environment?

 

See our Pinterest Boards for many more ideas on coming to accept your brain and how it works at its best: What’s Getting in Your Way,   Lead with your Strengths,  and Self-advocacy. If you’re not on Pinterest, you can access the boards through ADD freeSources on Facebook.  Look for the Pinterest section on the menu.

 

Acceptance for Parents

Acceptance of their child’s diagnosis and meeting their needs is vital for parents as well.

In How to Accept your Child’s Diagnosis: Even When it Hurts, Elizabeth Lewis reveals her ongoing process.  First and foremost, remember to enjoy your child. Love them, and seek to understand their differences – both their talents and challenges. You’ll also need to take personal time, grieve, and modify your vision for the future. Be ready to support and advocate for your child and teach them to ask for help to meet their own needs.

Liz admits that “I am scared and I am sad. But I know I am not alone.  A diagnosis gives you the chance to learn and grow and provide the resources your child needs.”

 

The Awesomeness of Accepting our Children’s Diagnosis by Penny Williams, blogger and parenting coach of Parenting ADHD and Autism, expands on this concept. Penny shares her insight learned through years of struggle. “I was allowing ADHD to be a barrier to success and joy by fixating on making it better.”

But, “There is no “fixing” ADHD. There’s no cure. Nothing will erase its symptoms. When I realized that I couldn’t’ make ADHD better, but I could make life with ADHD better, things took a drastic, positive turn forward. Our job is to make life better, not to make the disability better.”

Podcast and Videos

 

One person who found a way to thrive with ADHD through self-acceptance is ADHD advocate and educator Jessica McCabe, founder of the popular YouTube Channel How to ADHD.  ADHD pioneer Ned Hallowell interviews Jessica about how working with a coach helped her define her strengths and driving purpose. Listen to the Distraction Podcast: Jessica McCabe tells us How to ADHD. Link works. (20-minutes)  Together with her fiancée/producer Edward, Jessica has developed a unique service that now has over 100,000 subscribers.  Her friendly, “Hello brains!” invites viewers to enjoy her informative videos. You might also enjoy Jessica’s interviews with Hallowell.

 

Always remember that you are not alone. You need validation and connection. FIND your TRIBE!.

To provide a realistic yet positive community for women with ADHD, this month’s guest author Liz Lewis founded A Dose of Healthy Distraction, a website and a private Facebook group.

The Find Support for ADHD section lists a number of in online and in-person ADHD support groups to meet a wide variety of needs.

 

Understanding ADHD from a personal perspective will be the focus next month. You’ll find strategies for parenting with empathy, and tips for organizing and managing your life more effectively.

Until then,

Joan Jager

ADD freeSources.net

(Photo courtesy of Vlado/ FreeDigitalPhoto.net) Modified on Canva.com

How to Accept your Child’s Diagnosis: Even When it Hurts

By Elizabeth Lewis

 

What is normal, anyway?

Based on conversations I have had with other moms, we all have moments where we wonder if we have done something wrong. Have the Gods cursed us? Are we bad mothers?

When my son screams at me in public or verbally threatens his kindergarten teacher I want to sink into the floor. I envy the moms whose children come out of school beaming, holding up their prizes for an entire day of good behavior.

Not that my son never gets a prize, he does, but every single day I am sweating, waiting for the phone call.

I write all the time about how abnormal I am. I have no explanation for why I want my son to be something I am not. But I am starting to think my feelings are not uncommon.

My son has Asperger’s Syndrome and ADHD. Life in my house can be a little…..errrr challenging.

It is totally normal and acceptable to have mixed feelings about your child’s diagnosis.

 

HOW TO ACCEPT YOUR CHILD’S DIAGNOSIS

ENJOY YOUR CHILD

 

In the past, my son has had some emotional regulation issues. I have run around town to play therapists and occupational therapists and one cognitive behavioral therapist. Each time we went through a bad spell, we came out of it and I thought that I had it under control.

In my own way, I was arrogant for believing that having lived through ADHD I could handle it in my own son. As it turns out he does have ADHD. But he also has Asperger’s Syndrome, a type of high functioning autism that does not affect speech.

E likes the same things all 6 year-olds like. But he cannot transition at all. Not from one activity to another, and not from one environment to another. And if his daily schedule is altered in any way he is highly likely to have a meltdown.

When I say meltdown,  that means anything from crying and covering his ears, to telling his teacher that he will, “Hulk smash the building.”  He is that unpredictable.

E is also incredibly funny. Within the last week I have discussed all of the following:

  • Where “meat” comes from = dead animals
  • Black holes in space
  • The fact that my son swears he is never moving out of my house
  • Meditation, mindfulness….and, “why does that lady keep talking?”

 

Here is a link to more information on Asperger’s.

When you get a diagnosis for your child you will go through a process. Here are some ideas to get you through the tough times.

TAKE PERSONAL TIME

 

I have not been alone in 6 years. Literally.  My son was attached to me like an appendage for most of his life.

If there is one piece of advice I can give it is to take time for yourself.

This year we didn’t have a dog-sitter for Easter so I stayed by myself in my house over the holiday weekend. It was glorious. No interruptions. Just quiet time.

And I was fine. I can exist separate from my child with Asperger’s Syndrome and my husband.

My life is so consumed with taking care of others that I often forget how to take care of myself. Now I know that I can. I can be alone with my thoughts and it is ok.

GRIEVE

 

For at least 2 years I suspected my son has some kind of sensory processing or pragmatic disorder. Nobody really believed me, but I always knew. A mom just knows.

To date, I have yet to cry over my son’s diagnosis. Maybe because I spent so much time crying before?

Having an answer is somewhat comforting. With the diagnosis, I can make plans. I can enroll him in social skills classes, and schedule occupational therapy.

There is a forward motion to what I am doing.

But there is sadness. Will he ever be the boy I KNOW he could be? Will he make friends?

Let yourself cry if that is what you need. Hopefully, I will get there. Right now I feel like I don’t even have time to feel sorry for myself.

I have cried enough for all of us.

VISION FOR THE FUTURE

 

Like every other parent, I want the very best for my child. I want him to achieve… everything.

I have this vision of a handsome young man traveling abroad his junior year of high school. The same young man goes off to college and leaves me. I can literally feel the potential in my son.

I can feel it, but my son is too young to see the world through my crystal ball.

We have had issues at every single child care provider we have tried. Daycare directors have told me my child is “unmanageable.” There have been countless notes home from preschool teachers.

I have cried for days. I have cried rivers over my son. Every meltdown, every incident report chips away at my “vision” of who my son is.

But this is the thing – I know that he is more than his behavior.

It is my expectations that are being shot down. My hopes and dreams.

It is ok to grieve the death of your own expectations. Always keep the end goal in mind.

MAKE THE TOUGH DECISIONS

 

I live in one of the best public school districts in the country. I have shared with them my son’s recent diagnosis. We are working on a 504 plan.

It’s complicated because my son has an above-average IQ, but marked social skills deficits.

I am fearful of the labels that are often assigned in public schools. The labels, though necessary, tend to be life-long. I do not want to go to IEP meetings for my son. I do not want to get phone calls and emails from the school.

But as the mom, it is my job to make the tough decisions. Talking to teachers and administrators is part of my job. I got this. So do you.

THE FEAR IS REAL

 

I worked for a time with older students in a special education setting, I loved my time there but what I saw was not encouraging. I witnessed bright kids who were going through a tough time being thrown together with emotionally disturbed kids.

My students believed they could not and would not achieve. They had given up on school and even worse, on themselves.

In order for my son to be successful in any school he is going to need support. Private schools are sometimes unable to offer the types of supports that a kid like mine needs. I would like to think that I can provide enough support outside of school that he can live up to his potential.

I am scared and I am sad. But I know I am not alone.

To all of the moms out there dealing with an Autism diagnosis; I hear you. I feel you.

It is totally normal to question everything. It is also ok to just sit and cry. Sometimes this feels like a life sentence.

Every single expectation and hope goes down the toilet when you hear the words, “autism spectrum.”

But it’s ok. Your mixed feelings are ok. A diagnosis gives you the chance to learn and grow and provide the resources your child needs.

I feel you, I hear you. And I am right there with you.

Now I want to know: How do you accept your child’s diagnosis?

 

 

About the author:  Elizabeth Lewis is a freelance writer, wife, mother, and self-appointed CEO of her home. Liz founded A Dose of Healthy Distraction, a website and a private Facebook group to provide a realistic yet positive face to living with ADHD.  She also runs the ADHD Coaching Corner, a low-cost online support and coaching group.

Contact Liz at HealthyADHD@gmail.com or liz@adoseofhealthydistraction.com

 

This article was originally published as How to Accept your Child’s Diagnosis http://adoseofhealthydistraction.com/how-to-accept-your-childs-diagnosis/

Reprinted and edited with permission from the author.

Link on Asperger’s goes to Autism Speaks.org: https://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism/asperger-syndrome

 

“Photo courtesy of Vlado/ FreeDigitalPhoto.net”  Modified on Canva.com

 

 

 

 

 

Against the Wind – How it Feels to be a Woman with ADHD

You are not lazy, unmotivated, or self-centered.By Elizabeth Lewis

 

For most neurotypical people,  ADHD is hard to understand. (1) It seems like we are forgetful or careless. Sometimes we come off as self-centered or even lazy. Believe me, I totally understand why other people perceive us this way.

But you are not lazy or unmotivated. And you are not self-centered. I have spent hours thinking about and talking to other women with ADHD. After a while, some patterns emerged.

Like anything else, ADHD is individual. We all experience varying degrees and types of symptoms. If you have ADHD over the course of your lifetime, which most of us do, the symptoms actually change with your age and your circumstances.

What all women with ADHD need to remember is that they are not alone.

 

WANT TO KNOW HOW IT FEELS TO HAVE ADHD?

 

FRUSTRATING

 

Everyone has felt frustrated with themselves at some point. But for us, the frustration is aimed at ourselves. This is an insidious type of frustration that makes you doubt yourself at every turn.

We spend a lot of time with negative thoughts running on replay through our heads. Unfortunately, we also have trouble stopping these thoughts and managing them. Long term this causes all types of psychological symptoms ranging from anxiety to major depression.

Imagine being mad at yourself all the time. We are our own toughest critic.

 

RACING THOUGHTS

 

Having ADHD means your thoughts go so fast that you barely have time to acknowledge them before you are on to the next thing.

In the course of 60 seconds, I think about this website, my son, my dog, the work in front of me and the noise coming from my neighbor’s garage. None of these thoughts actually reach fruition… they just flit through my brain before I get to completely process them. Usually, I cannot even remember what I was trying to think about.

You know how sometimes you will walk into a room and forget why you are there? It’s like that – but with everything.

Often, I cannot remember what I sat down to write about. Sometimes I forget that I already started writing about a certain topic. I end up with 3 different word documents all started on different days about the same subject. It is infuriating.

But I can only concentrate on being furious for a few seconds until my brain moves on to the next thing.  At least I don’t hold grudges?

 

MENTAL EXHAUSTION 

 

Every so often I have a meltdown. Usually, this is a result of total and complete mental exhaustion brought on by parenting, work…life. Apparently, I am not alone in this.

So many women with ADHD report feeling chronically mentally fatigued. Initially, I thought this might be due to the fast-paced activity that is happening in our brains. (See racing thoughts above.)

But then I started to think about how many of us seek comfort through food or other behaviors. Since ADHD involves brain chemicals, it makes sense that we might feel a bit fatigued since we lack the normal amount of dopamine. Dopamine is the chemical most often associated with pleasure or rewards, but it is not the only neurotransmitter implicated in ADHD.  (2)

The best remedy to control the how our brains use dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine in our brains is to take our meds as prescribed.  (2)  Add exercise and eat a healthy, nutrient dense diet. Oh and get plenty of sleep and relaxation time. Coaching or therapy can also help you develop self-awareness and to develop other coping strategies. Organization and time management skills should be implemented gradually, addressing the areas that cause you the most difficulty first. It will take effort, but over time, you will feel more in control of your life.

Other than those options, I have no good advice. I am struggling with cognitive fatigue as I write this.

 

IRRITABILITY

 

Along with a tendency to feel tired, many women with ADHD also report feeling a bit cranky.

Imagine spending all day feeling frustrated with yourself, unable to concentrate, racing thoughts and fatigue…and then you come home and your family says, “What’s for dinner?”

Yeah, that is a recipe for trouble. (Or at least a lot of slamming cupboard doors and swearing under your breath.)

Irritability tends to be a symptom of anxiety and/or depression for many of us. It’s tough to live like this and hold it together.  I once referred to having ADHD as, “trying to hold about 100 corks under water all at the same time.”

In order to feel less irritable, you probably have to address the chemical issues in your brain. So think about getting diagnosed and medicated. ADHD meds may not be enough, so you will need to try some other coping mechanisms. Think mindfulnessjournaling or maybe cognitive behavioral therapy.  (Links go to Liz’s articles)

ADHD is frustrating and infuriating. A lifetime of criticism, from our self and others, really takes its toll.  Some of us cannot even share our diagnosis with the people in our lives for fear of denial, disbelief, and stigma.

ADHD symptoms are individual so it is tough to describe all of them. The feelings mentioned here are ones that are commonly reported in my Private Coaching Group and my public Facebook Group. Hopefully, with enough awareness and community support, we can support as many women and mothers living with ADHD as possible.

Finally, always remember you are not alone!

 

 

Note from the author: I hope that this writing was enlightening for anyone trying to understand what it feels like to be a woman with ADHD. If I wanted to go on I could, but that would be overkill.

 

About the author:  Elizabeth Lewis is a freelance writer, wife, mother, and self-appointed CEO of her home. Liz founded A Dose of Healthy Distraction, a website and a private Facebook group to provide a realistic yet positive face to living with ADHD.  She also runs the ADHD Coaching Corner, a low-cost online support and coaching group.

Contact Liz at HealthyADHD@gmail.com or liz@adoseofhealthydistraction.com

 

This article was originally published as Want to Know How it Feels to have ADHD? Reprinted and edited with permission from the author. http://adoseofhealthydistraction.com/want-know-feels-like-have-adhd/

  1. Neurotypical – Definition from The Urban Dictionary – Neurotypical is a word used to describe a person who has a typical brain. This not only includes non-autistic people but also people without mental illnesses, intellectual disabilities or any other neurological illness or disorder such as ADHD, epilepsy or brain tumors. It is the opposite of neurodivergent.  – Harvested 7/14/2017 urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Neurotypical
  2. What Does Dopamine Actually Do? By Steven Fleming, Ph.D. – Harvested 7/14/2017https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-hidden-mind/201212/what-does-dopamine-actually-do
  3. Neurochemicals Involved in ADHD by Elizabeth Stannard Gromisch – Harvested 7/14/2017 https://psychcentral.com/lib/neurotransmitters-involved-in-adhd/ Link works

 

“Image courtesy of Vlado/ FreeDigitalPhoto.net” Modified on Canva.com

“Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhoto.net”

 

 

 

 

ADHD Life – July 2017 Newsletter

Hello,

ADHD overwhelm is real. To survive, we think we must tackle the most visible of our symptoms, the disorganization, forgetfulness, and unfinished tasks first.  But it helps to start at the beginning with basic self-care.  I’m not talking about pedicures or spa days. Many of us neglect basic needs for supporting ourselves physically and mentally.   We don’t even realize that they may be part of the problem and increase impairment from ADHD symptoms.

Yet, a poor diet, disturbed sleep, a lack of exercise, and not taking time for breaks are common problems for children and adults with ADHD. We also don’t make time to rejuvenate, to refresh our mind and bodies.

For this month’s newsletter, I’ve found a few good articles on self-care as well as a Printable on getting organized that I keep on my fridge and consult often. It’s not easy to develop new habits and routines to help carry you through the day, but it is possible. To remind you why the effort is worth it, I’m including two articles on coping with ADHD in the family. We all hope to feel safe and accepted at home, but a misunderstanding of behaviors caused by ADHD can evoke anger, judgment, and shame.  Finally, I have a short video for adults and another for the kiddos.

Continue reading here>>>

 

For solid information on  ADHD and the many ways it impacts lives, check out Laurie Dupar’s  FREESucceed with ADHD Telesummit, “ July  17th to the 24th  – 20 one-half hour presentations with 24 hours to listen to replays.  http://succeedwithadhdtelesummit.com/ Sign up now.  

 

Enjoy the summer.

Take care of yourself and try not to get sunburned.

Joan Jager

ADD freeSources website, Pinterest, and Facebook, pages. Choose the format that fits your needs.

 

ADHD Life July 2017 Newsletter

ADHD overwhelm is real. To survive, we think we must tackle the most visible of our symptoms, the disorganization, forgetfulness, and unfinished tasks first.  But it helps to start at the beginning with basic self-care.  Many of us neglect basic needs for supporting ourselves physically and mentally.   We don’t even realize that they may be part of the problem and increase impairment from ADHD symptoms. Yet, a poor diet, disturbed sleep, a lack of exercise, and not taking time for breaks are common problems for children and adults with ADHD. We don’t make time to rejuvenate, to refresh our mind and bodies.

 

ADHD isn’t easy, but if you take it step by step, you CAN get a handle on it. Our natural inclination is to rush in and try “Fix” everything at once, but we have a lifetime of poor habits and emotional fallout to deal with first.

 

We MUST Eat, Sleep, Move, and Rest, but so often these don’t make it onto our daily to-do list. (If we even have such a list.) But ignoring these needs exacts a heavy toll on out physical and mental health.  In The Best Advice Ever,   Katherine McGaver addresses this topic.  “If you have ADHD,” she writes, “you need to be in your best possible shape every day to manage this powerful, free-spirited brain.” “Because if you don’t manage an ADHD brain, it will manage you. For people who have ADHD, proper eating, exercise, and sleep are mandatory. They provide the energy, strength, clarity, and staying power that is needed hour by hour, day by day, every day, to stay in charge.”

 

At work, home and in school, we still struggle with getting things done. So often we focus on what we HAVEN’T  done and don’t reward ourselves for those things that we HAVE accomplished.  Rest, Self-Expression and Connection are perfect ways to be refreshed and get ready to tackle the day again.   To help keep balance in your life, see this article, Self-care Activities you Actually Have Time For by Meagan of Page Flutter.  She also created a Printable of Self-care and rewards to help you create balance in your life.

 

See our Pinterest Board, Basic Self-care for ADHD for many more ideas on how to care for yourself or your loved ones. If you’re not on Pinterest, you can access the boards through ADD freeSources on Facebook.  Look for the Pinterest section on the menu.

 

 

Of course what’s probably driving you crazy is your messy house or desk at work. You don’t have to ignore these but approach them gradually. Start with Simple Steps to Staying Organized, an article with a Free Printable from Andrea Dekker.  By taking them one step at a time, each task takes just a minute or two. If you attend to them every day, big jobs become manageable.

 

Original content from AndreaDekker.com: http://andreadekker.com/simple-tips-to-stay-organized/#ixzz4l1VLo39l
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alik

 

I’m lucky to have two lovely articles on dealing with ADHD in the family. Keeping our relationships vital, loving, and supportive can make all the difference for yourself and other family members.

Honor your child’s individuality while seeking solutions to challenges you face every day.The first is On ADHD: Parent to Parent. It’s an overview of three articles that offer down-to-earth and practical approaches that honor your child’s individuality while acknowledging the very real challenges in your family life.

 

"Being a member of a family with ADHD can be exhausting, nerve-wracking and absolutely frustrating. And I think what I found most frustrating is that I thought I had no control over anything. Once I learned that there were some things I could do to make life with ADHD better for all of us, the building process began and the frustration diminished."

Duane and Linda Walker

We also have How I Fixed my ADHD Husband. Coach Linda Walker writes, “I think of us as a family with ADHD.  We could only solve this problem working together, and so this was as much my journey as theirs.”    

I realized that I wasn’t the only one suffering in the family.  I know Duane had it worse than me – he was living it 24/7. “

 

But IS ADHD  REALLY 24/7? Dr. Charles Parker maintains that it is NOT. He claims that ADHD is situational. It only shows sometimes in certain contexts.  As he says, “One of the hallmarks of ADHD is cognitive abundance, not a cognitive deficiency.” Too many thoughts mean too many choices and too many options to handle well. According to Dr. Parker, “ADHD symptoms flourish when there are too many variables, a lack of structure and an absence of focus.”

 

Limiting the variables within a defined platform is the answer to getting things done.” Being interested in the process, involved with the outcome, or working to a deadline also helps. Watch Dr. Parker’s video ADHD Medication Rule 2- Reality Denied.

 

My symptoms disappear when I’m working on Pinterest or Facebook. Those social sites are tailor-made for my natural inclinations collecting and sharing information with the aim of encouraging people to get help for ADHD. Writing about ADHD is a different animal that requires strategic thinking to make it possible. When I’m struggling with a task like getting out this newsletter, I make it more manageable by breaking it down, defining its scope, and getting inspired or making it a challenge. I call it “putting a box around it.” I love to share the “treasures” I’ve found but I have way too much information! This time I limited myself to three outside sources, 2 articles from my website and a video or two. They had to be personal favorites, cover basic information, be encouraging and easy to understand.  I set a July 1st deadline and committed to working on it every day for at least fifteen minutes. I also participated in a Body-doubling session with my coaching group to keep me on track for the final push. This gave me both a time-limit AND provided accountability.

 

Finally, I have something for the kids to watch – a 2-minute clip that brings research interviews with children to (animated) life. ADHD: What it’s Like to Have ADHD Find the film ADHD and Me, the research results, and more short clips on ADHD Voices. It’s about time we asked Kids how they experience ADHD in their lives.

 

 

Don’t forget, for solid information on  ADHD and the many ways it impacts lives, check out Laurie Dupar’s  FREESucceed with ADHD Telesummit, “ July  17th to the 24th  – 20 one-half hour presentations with 24 hours to listen to replays.  http://succeedwithadhdtelesummit.com/ Sign up now. 

 

By Joan Jager – Founder of ADD freeSources

 

 

 

Photo credits:

ADHD Life – “Image courtesy of Simon Howden at FreeDigitalPhotos.net”

Modified on Canva.com

Self-care Printable by Meagan of Page Flutter.com

Simple Steps to Stay Organized – Original content from AndreaDekker.com: http://andreadekker.com/simple-tips-to-stay-organized/#ixzz4l1VLo39l
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike

From On ADHD: Parent to Parent – “Photo courtesy of Vlado/FreeDigitalPhoto.net” – Modified on Canva

From How I Fixed my Husband – Linda Walker with her husband, the current president of ADDA, Duane Gordon.

 

ADD freeSources – Newsletter – 6/7/2017

Hello,

Welcome to summer. I still feel like having more than 16 subscribers is some sort of cosmic joke forcing me to write on a schedule. I’ve decided that instead of getting out a new post, I’d put together a short newsletter with a few things that I hope you find useful. Not sure just which way to go yet, so I am taking my inspiration from a quote by Sam Goldstein, a pioneer in ADHD research and treatment.

So that’s the tone I’ll aim for. Please leave a comment and let me know whether any of this “hits home” for you. I’m hoping for one comment per one hundred subscribers. Maybe then, you’ll seem real to me.

This is what you’ll find today –

  • ADHD Screening Tests
  • Medication Effects Rating Scales 
  • Reputable ADHD websites
  • Secrets of the ADHD Brain by Dr. William Dodson
  • 7-Steps to Get Fit Gradually by Leo Babauta
  • Executive functions as explained by the Brown Model of ADHD
  • 6 Steps to Survive ADHD Overwhelm – Learn to Plan your Day by ADHD coach Sara Jane Keyser

 

 

Continue reading here 

Take care,

Joan Jager

ADD freeSources.net 

Newsletters

 

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June 7, 2017 ADD freeSources’ Newsletter

ADHD Newsletter - Love, Acceptance and RespectHello,

Welcome to summer. I still feel like having more than 16 subscribers is some sort of cosmic joke forcing me to write on a schedule. I’ve decided that instead of getting out a new post, I’d put together a short newsletter with a few things that I hope you find useful. Not sure just which way to go yet, so I am taking my inspiration from a quote by Sam Goldstein, a pioneer in ADHD research and treatment.

“The most important things we can offer Children and Adults with ADHD are Love, Acceptance, Respect, and Empathy… In the absence of these things, all of the Other things you do are unimportant.” ~ Sam Goldstein

 

So that’s the tone I’ll aim for. Please leave a comment and let me know whether any of this “hits home” for you. I’m hoping for one comment per one hundred subscribers. Maybe then, you’ll seem real to me.

Treating ADHD isn’t easy, but there are ways to make it a little simpler. One of the biggest questions remains whether or not to medicate. Fears of drugging your kids and turning them into robots may inspire you to look for alternative treatments. Some of them, despite little reputable proof of effectiveness, have gained a lot of attention. And that’s Okay. Research takes time and money. Some alternative treatments like mindfulness and Omega 3 supplements are showing positive results.  If you DO decide to try medications, even the most experienced of professionals will be using a process of trial and error to find the correct medication and dosage that works for the individual patient. Each individual’s treatment must be tailored to fit their own needs – to address their symptoms WITHOUT causing intrusive side-effects.

 

Treatment for ADHD is usually multi-faceted. Whether you choose medication, dietary restrictions, neuro-feedback, or essential oils, treatment should also include education, support, parent training, putting new routines and habits into place, and behavior therapy or behavior modification. Whichever methods you choose, it’s important to track both positive and negative results so you know whether your attempts are really making any difference. You could use any of the ADHD Screening tests from my most popular page, but the Arlington Center for ADHD has developed Medication Effects Rating Scales for Children and Adolescents or Adults that will help you record all changes you observe and any negative side effects that arise. For children, the Weiss Functional Impairment Rating Scale will help you be on the lookout for your child’s emotional and behavioral response to treatment.

 

Don’t just rely on public opinion, popular media or on-line support groups for your information. I’ve put together a collection of reputable ADHD websites so you can choose those that most appeal to you. The more you know about how ADHD affects the brain and how to make that brain work most efficiently, the better your life can become.

 

An essential article to read is Secrets of the ADHD Brain by Dr. William Dodson for ADDitudeMag about what “turns on” the ADHD mind.  Most people, he writes are “neurologically equipped to determine what’s important and get motivated to do it, even when it doesn’t interest them, but the person with ADHD “can’t get started until the task becomes interesting, challenging, or urgent.”  Novelty or something you’re passionate about can also get us going.

 

We need to work with the ADHD nervous system to get things done. You need to find out what gets you “in the zone” and “create your own ADHD owner’s manual.” Taking care of boring, everyday, or mundane tasks is helped by creating structure – developing habits and building routines that keep you on a schedule and help you keep track of ideas, things, and upcoming tasks. These take some time to put into place, but you can make a big difference in your own or your loved one’s life through your ongoing efforts.

 

Even small changes can reap big rewards. This is how Leo Babauta of Zen Habits changed his lifestyle and embraced fitness – Small steps, one week at a time! He calls it leveling up. I used the same idea to lose thirty pounds two years ago. 7-Steps to Get Fit Gradually  

 

Today's hectic world puts tremendous pressure to perform on everyone, but if you have ADHD the pressure is magnified several times over.ADHD coach Sarah Jane Keyser offers a similar process to be more productive and to make your days go smoother in 6 Steps to Survive ADHD Overwhelm – Learn to Plan your Day.

Click through to see the full explanation, but these are the bare bones.

  1. Stop.
  2. Listen to your self-talk.
  3. Make a list of the tasks you need to do
  4. Consider what help you can get.
  5. Plan the day.
  6. Write out the day’s route map

 

I’m pretty impulsive and tend to judge myself harshly for when I make mistakes, so learning to STOP first, take a breath, and get past my self-criticism and doubt freed me to actually take action.  I had always made lists for projects but never thought of making one for each day. It’s called scheduling, but I had no idea how to do it.  Learning to ask for help was tough at first because I thought that I needed to do it all myself to prove myself worthy. Mapping out what to do first, second, and next really helped with doing errands as well as finishing tasks.  I knew I was getting better when I had my purse, keys, to-do list AND I knew where I was going — all before I backed out of the driveway! I’ve been working on strategies to manage my ADHD for over twenty years and I’m still amazed at what I can get done in 15-minutes that used to take me all day.

 

To people without ADHD, these ideas may seem ridiculous, but planning involves executive functions that just don’t come naturally for me or over 90% of people with ADHD. Executive functions are the complex management systems whose development is delayed in the ADHD brain.  As these systems mature,  you develop the ability to self-regulate, helping you to control both your actions and emotions.  A good article with a graphic that may help you better understand this important aspect of ADHD is the Brown Model of ADHD  by Thomas E. Brown.

 

Take it one step at a time. One day at a time. You don’t have to struggle so much.

You CAN live a life of grace and purpose.

I’d love to hear from you. Please leave a comment if there’s anything special you’d like me to address next time. Take care,

Joan Jager

ADD freeSources.net 

All photos courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and Modified on Canva

ADD freeSources News – May 30, 2017

Welcome. Thanks for inviting me into your inbox. I’m new to having more than a few subscribers, so please bear with me as I try to figure out what you might be most interested in.

If you’re the parent of a child with ADHD, I have a collection of online articles, websites, activities, and videos that your kids might like. It’s been popular in Parent groups on Facebook this week.  See my Kids ADHD Page – Things to read, do and watch.

When you think about ADHD, the controversy about prescribing stimulant medications is paramount in most people’s minds. The decision to medicate is intensely personal and not an easy choice to make. Dr. Ted Mandelkorn graciously let me re-post an extensive article that will increase your knowledge: A PHYSICIAN’S PERSPECTIVE on ADHD Medications – Therapeutic Treatment of ADHD.  Also, Gina Pera wrote a great article this month for ADDitude on 10 Medication Fallacies even Doctors Believe. 

I like Why I Chose to Medicate my Child by Dianne Dempster about how a family that eats organic and prefers holistic treatments for illness came to the decision to try ADHD medication for their son.  “I knew that I could always have my son stop taking the medication; but, if he never tried it, I wouldn’t really know if it would help him or not…Ultimately everything comes back to my son.” If you’re considering a stopping medication over the summer break, ADDitude magazine has an article weighing the pros and cons of medication holidays.

For myself, as an adult with bipolar disorder and ADHD, one of my biggest challenges with the greatest reward has been coming to believe and trust in myself. “For many of us, with ADHD or not, there’s an underlying feeling of not being good enough, wanting to be better, wanting to be in better shape or better at things.” Unconditional Acceptance of Yourself by Leo Babauta of Zen Habits addresses that pain, helping to repair that feeling of being unworthy.

Getting the word out on feeling better about having  ADHD, Kari Hogan of ADDing to the Mayhem shared 16 Steps to Better Self-Esteem with ADHD that details many non-medical treatments that will improve your daily functioning and make you feel more confident in yourself and more in control of your life..  (These ideas work for kids and teens as well.)

  • “Your first step is STRUCTURE.
    By creating structure, each day, you’re giving yourself a reason to wake up and get out of bed!
  • The second step echoes the first step. Set up a daily to-do list. This will give you a sense of accomplishment (it gives you a reason to be proud of yourself).
  • Step 3. FOCUS on your good qualities…”

 

I have the feeling that this is just TOO much information but hope you will find something that meets your needs.

Joan Jager
ADD freeSources.net

Follow ADD freeSources on Pinterest or Facebook.

Tools for Discovering your Strengths

Tools for discovering your strengths. Live well with ADHD. Self-advocacy can give you the opportunity to speak for yourself regarding your needs and help to secure the necessary support at work or school and for your personal life. We don’t have to struggle so hard. Developing self-knowledge is the first stepADD Coach Dana Rayburn reminds us, that, “When properly treated, ADHD loses much of its power over our lives. As adults, we can paint a new picture of who we are and what we contribute to the world…” (1)

The goal is to develop your strengths and delegate your weaknesses.

Don’t go it alone, feeling you have to prove yourself over and over again that you CAN persevere! The truth is, delegating the things you aren’t good at, or just plain don’t like, is a good idea for anyone. If you have ADHD, however, it can make the difference between constant struggle and an enjoyable, successful life.

You are uniquely made and have a lot to share with the world. Don’t let self-judgement stop you from becoming all that you can be. For more about learning your strengths, building self-awareness, and developing powerful self-advocacy skills, continue reading here.

Thanks for signing up for the latest news. Hope you find a new appreciation for your talents and can use that awareness to make your life more rewarding.

I know this can be a difficult concept to get your head around. Let’s talk about it.

Joan Jager
ADD freeSources.net

Follow ADD freeSources on Pinterest or Facebook.

Tools for Discovering your Strengths – Introduction to Self-advocacy for ADHD: Know yourself