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How is ADHD Treated? Psychotherapy and Parent Strategies

Psychotherapy

Different types of psychotherapy are used for ADHD. Behavioral therapy aims to help a child change his or her behavior. It might involve practical assistance, such as help organizing tasks or completing schoolwork, or working through emotionally difficult events. Behavioral therapy also teaches a child how to monitor his or her own behavior. Learning to give oneself praise or rewards for acting in a desired way, such as controlling anger or thinking before acting, is another goal of behavioral therapy. Parents and teachers also can give positive or negative feedback for certain behaviors. In addition, clear rules, chore lists, and other structured routines can help a child control his or her behavior.

Therapists may teach children social skills, such as how to wait their turn, share toys, ask for help, or respond to teasing. Learning to read facial expressions and the tone of voice in others, and how to respond appropriately can also be part of social skills training.

How can parents help?

Children with ADHD need guidance and understanding from their parents and teachers to reach their full potential and to succeed in school. Before a child is diagnosed, frustration, blame, and anger may have built up within a family. Parents and children may need special help to overcome bad feelings. Mental health professionals can educate parents about ADHD and how it impacts a family. They also will help the child and his or her parents develop new skills, attitudes, and ways of relating to each other.

Parenting skills training helps parents learn how to use a system of rewards and consequences to change a child’s behavior. Parents are taught to give immediate and positive feedback for behaviors they want to encourage, and ignore or redirect behaviors they want to discourage. In some cases, the use of “time-outs” may be used when the child’s behavior gets out of control. In a time-out, the child is removed from the upsetting situation and sits alone for a short time to calm down.

Parents are also encouraged to share a pleasant or relaxing activity with the child, to notice and point out what the child does well, and to praise the child’s strengths and abilities. They may also learn to structure situations in more positive ways. For example, they may restrict the number of playmates to one or two, so that their child does not become overstimulated. Or, if the child has trouble completing tasks, parents can help their child divide large tasks into smaller, more manageable steps. Also, parents may benefit from learning stress-management techniques to increase their own ability to deal with frustration, so that they can respond calmly to their child’s behavior.

Sometimes, the whole family may need therapy. Therapists can help family members find better ways to handle disruptive behaviors and to encourage behavior changes. Finally, support groups help parents and families connect with others who have similar problems and concerns. Groups typically meet regularly to share frustrations and successes, to exchange information about recommended specialists and strategies, and to talk with experts.

Tips to Help Kids Stay Organized and Follow Directions

Schedule. Keep the same routine every day, from wake-up time to bedtime. Include time for homework, outdoor play, and indoor activities. Keep the schedule on the refrigerator or on a bulletin board in the kitchen. Write changes on the schedule as far in advance as possible.

Organize everyday items. Have a place for everything, and keep everything in its place. This includes clothing, backpacks, and toys.

Use homework and notebook organizers. Use organizers for school material and supplies. Stress to your child the importance of writing down assignments and bringing home the necessary books.

Be clear and consistent. Children with ADHD need consistent rules they can understand and follow.

Give praise or rewards when rules are followed. Children with ADHD often receive and expect criticism. Look for good behavior, and praise it.

 

 

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Encouraging Self Advocacy in Teens

Tools to help students with ADHD discover their strengths and learn to ask for help to overcome their difficulties.
During their younger years, it is the parents responsibility to speak up for his or her child to get their needs met at school. However, as  therapist Louise Levine writes,

Doing everything for your children may make you feel like a successful parent but it may not let your child be a successful person.”

“Before children leave the protective shelter of home and zealous parenting, we need to help them practice basic techniques and instill competencies that will enable them to:

Feel comfortable conversing about their disability,…

Identify their warning signs,…

Advocate for themselves,…

(Have systems in place that)… will help them…manage their lives, and

Have a sense of humor about ADHD….and their own particular foibles.” (1)

For all children, the ability to view the future with hope is central to their future success. According to the Gallup Student Poll, hope, engagement and well-being are all factors that have been shown to drive students’ grades, achievement scores, retention, and future employment. (2) For students with ADHD, knowing that they have areas of competence and strengths that can help them overcome their difficulties gives them hope.

Realizing that many of your weaknesses are not personal but symptomatic of the disorder and exploring strategies to address specific problem areas provides a sense of power and competence they may not have felt before. Knowing that asking for help is often met positively builds social trust. Being skilled in requesting options to standard requirements at school can also help students to re-engage with learning. The ability to affect their environment and how people react to them increases self-esteem and, in turn, affects their sense of well-being.

For those with ADHD, knowing there are ways around your difficulties that don’t involve constant struggle is truly liberating.

We have found a few strength assessments and self-advocacy programs that can help your teen through this process.

Evaluate Strengths

FREE – VIA Strength Survey for Children (VIA stands for Values in Action) Measures 24 Character Strengths for Children – Well researched

FREE – Interest Profiler – Discover what your interests are and how they relate to the world of work. The Interest Profiler helps you decide what kinds of occupations and jobs you might want to explore based on your interests.

strengths explorer $ – The Strengths Explorer For Ages 10 – 14 – Package includes: Youth workbook, a parent guide, and one online access code. ($29)

Self-advocacy

Going to College.org– Designed for high school students, their My Place section offers a good selection of activities and on-line resources for identifying learning styles and personal strengths as well as exploring interests. They present basic information about why knowing your personal style is important and recommend self-evaluation as well as talking with friends,  parents, and teachers about what they perceive as your strong points.

 

EBook

BUILDING A BRIDGE From School To Adult Life – A Handbook for Students and Family Members to Help with Preparation for Life After High School (92 page Workbook – Includes strengths and interests survey as well as self-advocacy tips)

 

1) Kids with ADHD are Natural Born Leaders by Louise Levin, Marriage and Family therapist – SmartKidswithLD.org – http://www.smartkidswithld.org/getting-help/adhd/kids-adhd-natural-born-leaders/ – Harvested March 19, 2015 (Copy and paste URL to link to article)

2) Gallup Student Poll – Hope, Engagement, and Wellbeing http://www.gallupstudentpoll.com/home.aspx – Harvested March 19, 2015

 

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20 Tools to Enhance your Memory

20 Tools to Enhance your MemoryBy ADD coach Marla Cummins

(Note: Many links return to other articles by Marla Cummins on her site.)

For adults with ADHD, not being able to remember your intentions is what can sometimes get in the way of following through.

I know from plenty of personal experience with forgetting everything from the mundane to the important, it can be really frustrating.

But, rather than berate yourself because you think you should have a better memory, you can adopt workarounds to help you remember what you need and minimize your frustration.

Below I’ve curated a lengthy list of possible options you can apply to the various situations in your life. And, if you can think of more, please share below.

Short Term and Long Term Memory

First, a little bit about why you may have such a hard time remembering information at the time you need it.

One reason is that short term (working) memory is often weak in adults with ADHD.

  • That is, you may not hold information long enough to follow through on it. So, you say to yourself, “I need to drop off that folder at Joe’s office before I leave.” Then you turn around to get your jacket, pack up and forget about the folder. All within the span of a few minutes!
  • Because you do not hold onto information long enough it also does not enter your long term memory. So, it is lost to you until Bill says to you, “Hey, Lisa, I didn’t get that email you said you would send when I saw you in the hall yesterday.”

Challenges with long term memory are also common for adults with ADHD.

  • This can mean that you have difficulty remembering your intention to do something in the future. So, as you are leaving the office you have this nagging feeling you are supposed to do something before going home. Not until you get home do you remember you were supposed to pick up the take-out!
  • Also, you may have difficulty recalling information when you need it. You go to the meeting and can’t remember all the details of the report you want to share.

Bottom line. Your memory, like mine, may be more like Swiss Cheese than a trap door. That is ok, as long as you use some of the methods below to help you remember what you need when you need it.

Remembering What You Want

    1. Paper Based Task Managers– If you are looking for a comprehensive paper-based system to manage your to-dos, try the Planner Pad.

Their webpage is oudated, but don’t be discouraged. See this article about why to use it.

  1. Electronic Task ManagersYou may opt for an electronic system to manage your to dos. These range from the simple, like Remember The Milk,   to the more comprehensive like OmnifocusNozbeToodledo or , Todoist.

 

  1. Put It Where You Can Do Something About It– For example, when you have books to return to the library, clothes to donate, etc. put them in the car where you can see them. That way you can take care of them when you are out and about. Could save you an extra trip.

 

  1. Just Do It!– If a task is going to take you less than 2 minutes (literally), it may be worth it to just do it rather than trying to figure out how you are going to remember to do it later. Of course, you want to be careful that doing that task doesn’t take you away from what your primary intention in the moment.

 

  1. Put It In Your Calendar– You calendar contains the hard landscape of your life. A commitment for a specific day and/or time should go in your calendar. Right away. Even if it is tentative, put it in your calendar and mark it as “tentative” until you can confirm it. That way you will not double-book.

You can find more tips on using your calendar here.

 

  1. Post It Where You Can See It– Maybe you want daily reminders of how you want to be or what you want to achieve. Whether it is a quote, list or vision board to visually illustrate your hopes and dreams, post it in a prominent place where you are most likely to see it regularly.

 

  1. Tie It To Another Habit– It is always easier to remember to do something if you can tie it to an already well-established habit. For example, if you are trying to remember to take your meds, put them by your toothbrush.

 

  1. A Plain Piece Of White Paper– I’ll admit this isn’t the most environmentally sound option. But it is one I use every day. Write the 3-5 tasks you are committed doing each day on a piece of paper and put it where you will see it (middle of your desk, taped to your monitor, on the wall, etc).

 

  1. Weekly Review– To offset the pull of immediate gratification, the weekly review is the time when you assess where you are vis -a- vis your projects and goals in your various areas of focus, as well as plan the next action steps. By doing this on a weekly basis you can be confident you are remembering your important stuff and time is not just slipping away.

 

  1. Post A List– When you notice you are out of something, immediately put it on a list that you leave on your fridge or another easily accessible place. That way you won’t worry about trying to remember it when you get around to creating your grocery/errand list.

 

  1. Read It Later!– We all know what a “time suck” the internet can be. And it may be that you are pulled to reading something immediately because you don’t think you will remember to read it later. Try an application like Instapaper,  Readability  or Pocket  to save articles you come across. And then you can refocus on your original intention.

 

  1. Electronic Notebook– An electronic notebook, like OneNote or EverNote,  is a great place to keep track of and remember all of your random ideas from project planning to lists.

 

  1. Send Yourself A Message– When you are out and about and something suddenly comes to mind, rather than assume you will remember it later, call, text or email yourself a message. But don’t wait. You know those ideas can be fleeting. Well, at least for me…

 

  1. Set An Alarm– Use an alarm to remind yourself of appointments. Since transitions can be a challenge, you may want to set two alarms. The first alarm will remind you to stop what you are doing and get ready. The second will be the reminder that it is time to go!

I suggest you don’t use alarms to remind yourself of tasks unless you are committed to doing it at fixed time. Because, if the reminder goes off when you can’t do anything about it, you will learn to ignore those alarms. And they will just become background noise…

 

  1. Wake up and Reminder Services– You may tend to ignore your alarm, but I’ll bet you find it hard to ignore a phone ringing. Telephone reminder services like Wakerupper or Wakeupland can help get you out of bed or to your appointments on time.

 

  1. Tracking– In the beginning just remembering the habits you are trying to build can be the hardest part to following through on them. Tracking your progress is a good way to remember.

And an app, like Beeminder, may be the extra support you need. As you track your goals, they will plot your progress on a yellow brick road and if you go off track they take your money!

 

  1. Meeting Notes– Taking notes during meetings will help you pay attention as well as have the information you need for later. Just as important is reviewing and taking action on your notes soon after.

 

  1. ADHD Coach– If you are working with an ADHD Coach, take advantage of the accountability support as you are trying to build new habits and makes changes.

 

  1. Launching Pad– Create a launching pad by the door where you put everything (purse, briefcase, etc.) you need for the next day. You could carve out a small space or use a small table for your launching pad.

 

  1. Put Your Keys In The Refrigerator– To remember your lunch put your keys with it in the refrigerator.

Share Your Tips

How do you get out of your head and remember what you need when you need it?

 

By Marla Cummins. Please visit Marla’s website at www.marlacummins.com for additional articles and resources on Adult ADHD. Original article posted at: http://marlacummins.com/adhd-and-20-ways-to-remember-what-you-want/

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Getting Started with the Discipline Habit – Mindfully

Doing dishes

By Leo Babauta

What do you do if your life is a mess, you have no discipline or routines, can’t stick to anything, procrastinate, and feel out of control?

How do you get started with the discipline habit when you have so much to change?

You start by washing your dishes.

It’s just one small step: when you eat your cereal, wash your bowl and spoon. When you finish drinking coffee or tea, wash your cup. Don’t leave dishes in the sink or counter or table.

Mindfully wash your dish, right away.

Form this habit one dish at a time, one day at a time. Once you do this for a few weeks, you can start making sure the sink is clean. Then the counter. Then put your clothes away when you take them off. Then start doing a few pushups. Eat a few vegetables.

One of these at a time, you’ll start to build the discipline habit and trust yourself to stick to something.

But for now, just wash your dishes. Mindfully, with a smile.

 

By Leo Babauta of Zen Habits.  Leo grants permission to repost his work freely.

Original article: Getting Started with the Discipline Habit – http://zenhabits.net/start-discipline/ (Copy and paste URL if link shows it’s broken)

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Time for Reflection on Time

By Cindy Goldrich, Ed.M., ACAC  

Now we have arrived at a place where we can look deeper into the choices we make regarding how we spend our time.  Has this ever happened to you?  It’s the end of the day and your spouse comes home and says, “How was your day?”  After the pleasantries are exchanged your spouse says, “So what did you do today?”  It is then you realize that yet another day has gone by you when you didn’t get to do “x, y, and z” that you had promised yourself you would.  You vow to do better next time.

Steven Covey, the author of several influential books on effective living, shows how we devote much of our time in ways that do not serve us best.  In a simple yet clear graph, he enables us to visually see how we devote much of our time.  I invite you to take a little time out of your day to do some self-reflection and explore the conundrum we call Time Management.

CoveyMatrix

 

Take a look at the Chart.  If you are like most people, you usually spend time doing the things in Quadrant I (stuff that’s both Important and Urgent like tending to deadlines and crises), Quadrant III (Things that are Urgent but not Important, like email and texts), and Quadrant IV (Both Not Urgent and Not Important, like visiting Facebook). Many people almost never get to Quadrant III (Not Urgent, but Important, like planning for the future).

 

Covey suggests that where we should be spending our time is truly in Quadrant II, where things may not be Urgent, but they are Important.  These are the things that help us both move forward in our lives and enjoy and enrich our lives (things like planning for future events, enjoying the zoo with your family).  Most often, however, most people tend to focus on Quadrant III where things are Urgent but Not Important (perhaps the newest emails to your inbox or the upcoming meeting).

Here is an exercise he recommends to help you understand and manage the choices you make in how you spend your time.

  1. Get 20 or 30 notecards. On each card, write down one thing on your mind that you should do, want to do, have to do, wish you did, hope you get to do… you get the idea. Include everything, no matter how large or small. Keep writing cards until you can no longer think of anything.  (Don’t worry; you can add more cards later).
  2. Once you have written out as many cards as you can, separate the cards into two piles: Urgent – things that have to be done now, and Not Urgent – things that can wait (even if you don’t want them to).  You can refer to the chart to help you with this process.
  3. Now go through each of these piles a second time, this time separating the cards into piles of Important and Not Important. Sometimes, this can take some thought and your decision is purely subjective. Is the trip to the zoo important?  The four resulting stacks correlate with the Covey Quadrants: Important/Urgent, Important/Not Urgent, Unimportant/Urgent, Unimportant/Not Urgent.
  4. For now, put a rubber band around the stacks that are Unimportant/Urgent and Unimportant/Not Urgent and put them aside for review at a later date. (Side note: It will be interesting to take these out in a month or two and review which ones you want to rip up and which you will want to incorporate into your present life.)
  5. Now the fun begins.  Make a commitment to yourself to really examine the cards in Quadrant II – the items that are Important and Not Urgent.  My experience shows that these items contain the gems of your life.  The things that, when done, help you to live a calmer, more fulfilling life.

Many people find that once they have completed this exercise they have a clearer vision of their priorities in life.  However, that is often not the end of the process. It is truly just the beginning.  The true magic is in making the things happen that we find important but are not pressed or required to do.  Examples might be developing new hobbies, enhancing your professional education, building on friendships, spending time with loved ones, writing a book, and getting your retirement finances in order.

Now that you have taken the time to reflect on how you can spend your time, you have some choices to make.  You have opened the door to your true desires, now it’s up to you do decide to make these things happen.  Sometimes, and for some goals (perhaps spending more time with family or reorganizing your closets), knowing what you want to accomplish is enough to get you started.  Other goals, like creating a calmer home or expanding your business might need more thought, planning, or support to get you to the finish line.  Enlist a friend, a family member, or perhaps the services of a professional Coach to keep you moving forward.  Then you can know that wonderful, calm, satisfied feeling at the end of each day that you spent your time well.

Bonus Tips:

  1. Schedule a meeting with yourself once a month to look at the bigger picture of your to do lists.  Choose a long-range item, one that never gets off the list, and plan to do it.  Feels great to get it done!
  2. Find a coaching partner.  Saying your goals out loud and being accountable to someone else greatly increases your chances of success!!

 

Cindy Goldrich

 

Written by Cindy Goldrich, Ed.M., ACAC © 2013 PTS Coaching. All rights reserved. Articles may be reproduced or electronically distributed as long as attribution to PTS Coaching is maintained.   Original post: Time Management – It’s a Family Affair! 

 

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How to Ask for Accommodations at Work without Coming Out about ADHD

A formula to ask for “accommodations” without outing yourself.By Linda Walker

The workplace has become a very challenging place, even for neurotypicals. Maybe it’s always been this way, but with the speed that things happen today, increased expectations from bosses and clients and worldwide competition for your job, it certainly seems more stressful than ever. If you have adult ADHD, you add a big bunch of extra challenges to the mix:

• Inattentiveness and lack of focus can lead to missed details, and make it challenging to accomplish work that requires concentration at the best of times,
• Forgetfulness has very likely already led to more than one missed commitment and the resulting loss of credibility,
• Disorganization has you feeling overwhelmed, distracted and jumping from one task to another,
• Procrastination leads to last-minute, gun-to-the-head, high-stress production to meet deadlines, causing you great stress,
• Or you play the hero, pitching in to put out other people’s fires while your own work goes undone,
• and more.

These extra challenges make the workplace a veritable minefield of reprimands and disappointments, but what can you do about it?

The obvious answer, and the one most experts provide, is that “You should ask for accommodations at work.” That sounds simple, doesn’t it? Accommodations have been proven to help, and it’s likely they would help you, but there’s a little problem. How can you ask for and get accommodations unless you disclose your ADHD at work? And as we know, there are risks associated with that.
So what can you do? There are ways of asking for accommodations without disclosing your ADHD.

If you don’t feel it’s safe to disclose your ADHD at work, or if you’d just rather not, you’ll be happy to hear there’s a “formula” that will help you to ask for “accommodations” without outing yourself. Use this model “script” to write down what you’d like to say, adapted to your specific circumstances, practice and use again and again with success:

Step 1. Describe your specific struggle and the circumstances surrounding it.
Step 2. Describe a possible solution you’ve thought of.
Step 3. Describe the benefits your boss, your co-workers and you will get from implementing this solution. WIIFY & M (What’s in it for you and me.)

For example, if there’s too much noise in your cubicle farm and you feel you’d be able do a better job preparing a particularly challenging report that you need to do regularly if you had a quiet place to do your work, you would apply the three steps as follows:

Step 1. Describe your specific struggle: Say something like, “I really struggle to stay focused on the XYZ reports because of all the noise in office.”
Step 2. Describe a possible solution: “I’ve thought of one possible solution: when I work on these reports, would it be possible for me to use a closed office, conference room, or to work from home?”
Step 3. Describe the benefits: “This will help me get it done much faster, so Joe can get started on his part sooner, and I’ll complete it with fewer or no mistakes so it’ll reduce the time you spend double-checking everything.”
You’ve done a good job of selling the solution by pointing out the benefits to all, it doesn’t sound like you’re whining… and no one mentioned ADHD!
So the formula is:

Specific struggle / Circumstances + Solution (aka Accommodation) + What’s in it for all?

“Job accommodation means modifying a job, job site, or the way in which a job is done so that the person with a disability can have equal access to all aspects of work.” (1)
Job accommodations may also include the use of tools such as headsets, assistive technology, training, job restructuring, job reassignments or even an administrative assistant.
One of my clients, an administrative assistant, had to review all of her supervisors’ direct reports’ expense reports once a week. This was tedious work that required a lot of focus and some quiet uninterrupted time. The challenge she faced was that she was expected to answer the phone at the same time, which led to numerous mistakes. Here’s the script she used:

Step 1. “I’m really struggling with reviewing your direct reports’ expenses. The challenge is that each time I answer the phone, I lose track of where I was before the call. This leads to missing details or making mistakes.”
Step 2. “I know that I need two or three hours of uninterrupted time when I am most focused to ensure I don’t make these mistakes. I’ve found a possible solution: Could Carol take my phone calls on Tuesday mornings so that I can do the work uninterrupted?”
Step 3. “With this solution in place, I’ll be able to dramatically reduce mistakes and make sure all the receipts are there and accounted for. This will prevent you from getting calls from the Accounting Department or the company paying out more than allowed by receipts. With fewer interruptions, I may even be able to get it done faster.”
Her supervisor thought it was an excellent idea and allowed the phone call transfers so my client was able to complete this work without mistakes. And they all lived happily ever after!

(1) Source from http://www.workwithoutlimits.org/

“By Linda Walker. Linda Walker, PCC, B. Admin., is a certified ADHD Coach who helps adults with ADHD overcome the special challenges of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD) they encounter at home and in the workplace. She is the creator of The Maximum Productivity Makeover for Creative Geniuses, a training program for adults with ADHD and the author of With Time to Spare. http://www.CoachLindaWalker.com.”

How to Ask for Accommodations at Work Without Coming Out about ADHD

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12 Great Strategies that Help ADHers Thrive

12 Great StategiesBy Coach Linda Walker

As an ADHD family, we’ve had our fair share of challenges, particularly early on when we didn’t know what we were dealing with.  Looking back, I could identify twelve great strategies that helped Duane and Kyrie thrive. And no, they aren’t about productivity; they’re about how you are feeling about yourself.

  1. Take advantage of your strengths. Identify what you’re strong in and find ways to do more of it. Keep a journal and note down when you’ve managed to learn something particularly well.  You know, when you realize “you’re a natural” at something, this is almost always an indication that you are playing to your strengths.
  2. Surround yourself with people who can embrace your differences and who accept you for who you are and for what you are not.
  3. Determine what ADHD traits aren’t going so well for you and your loved ones and consider what could change. Even though you want others to accept you, you also want to live in harmony with others. This may mean you’ll need to modify some of your behavior to reduce the negative challenges of ADHD.
  4. There will be things you cannot change. I’m thinking of your short-term memory for example. For those things, you’ll need to manage with systems and routines. I know, routines, ick! but all very successful ADHDers have a set of routines that solve many of their problems once and for all.
  5. You’ll have ADHD your whole life. That means you have all the time in the world to master the skills to thrive with ADHD. It won’t take that long to make your life fantastic, and then you can keep improving it forever.
  6. Small but significant changes are always the best way. They’re effective, their sustainable, and if they aren’t the right approach, there’s not great investment of your time and energy lost.
  7. Create a cue, a reminder, an alert, something that will help you remember to accomplish your new change.
  8. Document the changes that work for you. ADHDers often forget strategies they’ve used successfully in the past. Documenting them will also allow you to use strategy number 9.
  9. Celebrate ever day you progress in your new habits. Celebrating the progress and results increases the chances you’ll repeat the habit. We all love happy experiences. Celebrating could be as simple as acknowledging your progress, noticing the results, or giving yourself a pat on the back.
  10. Ensure you balance your work life with active recreation. Engaging in hobbies, reconnecting with your creative side, connecting with friends and family are great active recreation. They bring much more joy in your life than watching TV, surfing the Internet or chatting on social media.
  11. If you forget your habit for a day, chalk it up to being human, consider what went wrong then recommit to the habit, ensuring you make adjustments to avoid forgetting again.
  12. The most important: laugh.  Don’t take yourself too seriously.  When you make mistakes, laugh about it.  Find humor in your life. Read a funny story, watch a funny video.

 

Linda Walker“By Linda Walker. Linda Walker, PCC, B. Admin., is a certified ADHD Coach who helps adults with ADHD overcome the special challenges of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD) they encounter at home and in the workplace. She is the creator of The Maximum Productivity Makeover for Creative Geniuses, a training program for adults with ADHD and the author of With Time to Spare. http://www.CoachLindaWalker.com.

12 Great Strategies to Make ADHDers Thrive

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Getting Rid of the Gremlins

Gremlin saphatthachat fdpParents,  Silence your inner critics by Dianne Dempster

Gremlins – we all have them. What are they and why do they make or lives so miserable?

No, I’m not talking about our kids (though I’m sure we all have choice names for them at times.) Gremlins are those voices in our head that tell us, in one way or another, that we aren’t good enough. Some people refer to them as the inner-critic, or negative self-talk. No matter what you call them, they are troublesome at best, and for many people down-right paralyzing!

We tend to take on so much, and play so many roles. It’s hard to be a successful parent, partner, employee, boss, and friend. It’s even harder to play those roles well with a little voice in our heads that notices everything that doesn’t go as planned and tells us that things probably won’t work out anyway.

So where do these voices come from, and how do we get rid of them? (Or, do we?)
Our gremlins (yes we typically have more than one!) usually come from some real or perceived threat we experienced in the past. Perhaps you wanted to be accepted to a group as a teen and found you had to behave in a certain way for inclusion. Or maybe you experienced a very embarrassing situation. Your gremlins are “trying to” protect you from future rejection and discomfort. The threat seems so real that the voices tend to over-generalize. They get involved in aspects of our lives where they aren’t needed.

So what can you do to keep gremlins from getting in the way?

1) Notice it:

Pay attention to situations when the voices show up. Is it with particular people? Are you trying something new? Is it when you are being particularly brave? What threat is the voice trying to protect you from? What message is it sending?

2) Name it:

Call it what it is. Say to yourself, “that’s my perfectionist gremlin” or “that’s the voice in my head that doesn’t want me to be embarrassed.” You might even choose to name it. (Mine is named “Roz,” and Elaine’s is named “Prudence.”)

3) Own it:

Acknowledge that sometimes there is real value in having an intuitive voice making sure that you are safe. You might even take a moment to be grateful.

4) Choose:

Figure out if the voice is helping or hurting the current situation. Make a choice as to whether or not to listen. We have all had friends and family give us unsolicited or unwelcome advice that we have chosen to ignore. If the gremlin’s words are NOT helpful, don’t heed them. If you need to shut them up, try telling them, “ Thanks so much for sharing, but I’ve got this one covered!” Note: this may not make them go away, but typically can give us enough room to move forward and begin to regain momentum.

You may want to teach some of this “gremlin-talk” to your kids, too. Gremlins start creeping in at pretty young ages. Your kids are starting to create defenses that are valuable but can get in the way of forward progress and success. Remember these voices are a normal part of being human, and can definitely be helpful avoiding real threats. It’s just a matter of being aware enough to know when to listen, and when to tell them to “mind their own business.”

Return to ADD freeSources – Getting Rid of the Gremlins

 

Dianne Dempster – Article originally appeared on ImpactADHD.com and is reproduced with permission of ImpactADHD™

  •  For more about “Taming your Gremlins,” see the book by Rick Carson or visit his website.

 

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The Quick Start Guide to a Decluttered Home

The Quick Start Guide to a Decluttered HomeBy Leo Babauta

One of my favorite habits that I’ve created since I changed my life 9 years ago is having a decluttered home.

I now realize that I always disliked the clutter, but I put off thinking about it because it was unpleasant.

The thought of having to deal with all that clutter was overwhelming, and I had too much to do, or I was too tired, so I procrastinated.

Clutter, it turns out, is procrastination.

But I learned to deal with that procrastination one small chunk at a time, and I cleared it out. That was truly amazing.

Amazing because I didn’t really believe I could do it until I did it. I didn’t believe in myself. And amazing because when it was done, there was a background noise that was removed from my life, a distraction, an irritation.

Decluttering my home has meant a more peaceful, minimal life. It’s meant I spend less time cleaning, maintaining my stuff, looking for things. Less money buying things, storing things. Less emotional attachment to things.

For anyone looking to begin decluttering, I’d like to offer a short guide on getting started. Know that this guide isn’t comprehensive, and it can take months to really get down to a decluttered home … but if you do it right, the process is fun and liberating and empowering, each step of the way.

  1. Start small. Clutter can be overwhelming, and so we put it off. The best thing I did was to just focus on one small space to start with. A kitchen counter (just part of it) is a good example. Or a dining table or a shelf. Clear everything off of that space, and only put back what you really need. Put it back neatly. Get rid of the rest — give it away, sell it on Craigslist, donate it, recycle it. The clearing and sorting will take 10 minutes while you can give stuff away later when you have the time.
  2. Work in chunks. If you start small, you’ll feel good about it, but there’s still a whole home full of stuff to deal with. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. (Not literally — I’m vegan.) So just like you did one small area to start with, keep doing that, just 10 minutes a day, maybe more if you feel really enthusiastic. If you have a free day on the weekend, spend an afternoon doing a huge chunk. Spend the whole weekend if you feel like it. Or just do one small piece at a time — there’s no need to rush, but keep the progress going.
  3. Follow a simple method. For each small chunk you do, clear out the area in question and put everything in one pile. Pick up the first thing off the pile (no putting it aside to decide later) and force yourself to make a decision. Ask yourself: do I love and use this? If not, get rid of it. If the answer is yes, find a place for it — I call it a “home”. If you really love and use something, it deserves a home that you designate and where you put it back each time you’re done with it. Then go to the next thing and make the same decision. Working quickly and making quick decisions, you can sort through a pile in about 10 minutes (depending on the size of the pile).
  4. Put stuff in your trunk. Once you’ve collected stuff to donate or give away, put them in boxes or grocery bags and put them in the trunk of your car (if you don’t have a car, somewhere near the door). Choose a time to deliver them. Enjoy getting them out of your life.
  5. Talk to anyone involved. If you have a significant other, kids, or other people living with you, they’ll be affected if you start decluttering the home. You should talk to them now, before you get started, so they’ll understand why you want to do this, and get them involved in the decision-making process. Ask them what they think of this. Send them this article to consider. Ask if they can support you wanting to declutter, at least your own stuff or some of the kitchen or living room, to see what it’s like. Don’t be pushy, don’t try to force, but have the conversation. Be OK if they resist. Try to change the things that you can control (your personal possessions, for example) and see if that example doesn’t inspire them to consider further change.
  6. Notice your resistance. There will be a lot of items that you either don’t want to get rid of (even if you don’t really use them) or you don’t feel like tackling. This resistance is important to watch — it’s your mind wanting to run from discomfort or rationalize things. You can give in to the resistance, but at least pay attention to it. See it happening. The truth is, we put a lot of emotional attachment into objects. A photo of a loved one, a gift from a family member, a memento from a wedding or travel, a treasured item from a dead grandfather. These items don’t actually contain the memories or love that we think are in them, and practicing letting go of the items while holding onto the love is a good practice. And practicing tackling clutter that you dread tackling is also an amazing practice.
  7. Enjoy the process. The danger is to start seeing decluttering as yet another chore on your to-do list. Once you start doing that, it becomes something you’ll put off. Instead, reframe it to a liberating practice of mindfulness. Smile as you do it. Focus on your breath, on your body, on the motions of moving items around, on your feelings about the objects. This is a beautiful practice, and I recommend it.

These steps won’t get your home de-cluttered in a weekend. But you can enjoy the first step, and then the second, and before you know it you will have taken 30 steps and your home is transformed. You’ll love this change as much as I have.

 

By Leo Babauta of ZenHabits.net.  Mr. Babauta grants anyone the rights to republish his writing. Thank you, Leo. (To see the original article, search for: zenhabits declutter guide

 

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Bill of Rights for Children with ADHD

HELP ME TO FOCUS …Bill of Rights

Please teach me through my sense of touch.
I need “hands-on” and body movement.

I NEED TO KNOW WHAT COMES NEXT …

Please give me a structured environment where
there is a dependable routine. Give me an
advance warning if there will be changes.

WAIT FOR ME, I’M STILL THINKING …

Please allow me to go at my own pace.
If I’m rushed, I get confused and upset.

I’M STUCK, I CAN’T DO IT! …

Please offer me options for problem-solving.
If the road is blocked, I need to know the detours.

IS IT RIGHT? I NEED TO KNOW NOW …

Please give me rich and immediate feedback
on how I’m doing.

I DIDN’T KNOW I WASN’T IN MY SEAT! …

Please remind me to stop, think, and act.

AM I ALMOST DONE? …

Please give me short work periods with short-term goals.

WHAT? …

Please don’t say “I already told you that.”
Tell me again, in different words.
Give me a signal. Draw me a symbol.

I KNOW IT’S ALL WRONG, ISN’T IT? …

Please give me praise for partial success.
Reward me for self-improvement, not just for perfection.

BUT WHY DO I ALWAYS GET YELLED AT? …

Please catch me doing something right and
praise me for the specific positive behavior.
Remind me—and yourself—about my good points
when I’m having a bad day.

 

(Reprinted from Newsletter of The Delaware Association For The Education of Young Children, Winter 1993-94) © 1991, Ruth Harris, Northwest Reading Clinic – Harvested 3-1-2015 – https://www.kidsenabled.org/articles/diagnosis/reality-adhd – Sorry, Link is broken

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