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One Simple Way to Make the Holidays Work for You and Your ADHD

Posted on December 11, 2018

 

Less than two weeks until Christmas. Let me guess:

  • You’re freaking out because you haven’t purchased all your gifts, yet.
  • You’re having houseguests and your house isn’t ready. In other words, you have boxes, socks, books, papers piled up. Everywhere.
  • Your Christmas cards haven’t been addressed or stamped. Or purchased.
  • You caught a cold and are now way behind, in general.
  • You could slap yourself in the face for offering your home for the big dinner.
  • You’re not talking to half of your family and your stomach is already churning, thinking about seeing them at the dinner table.

Having ADHD means that “normal”- whatever that means- activities that others seem to enjoy, basically… FREAK YOU OUT. What we often don’t remember is that even GOOD things can cause a lot of stress. Like holidays. Family gatherings. Cooking. Buying gifts.

Did you know that you have choices? Did you know that you aren’t forced to do the things you THINK you should be doing? Did you know that you can make your own rules?

I’m keeping this short because I hope to keep your attention long enough to make yourselves a promise: what can you do differently this year that will help you manage your stress levels better?

Write your idea(s) in the comment section below.

Let’s see if you can come up with one thing you can do differently from years before. Have fun with this, because if you do, you’ll have fun during the holidays, too. Extra points for your creative ideas!

 

 


ADHD Food Rejection Dysphoria

Posted on November 28, 2018

 

‘Twas the night before Thanksgiving when all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

So in that delicious quiet surrounding me– no distractions, no worries- I decided to surprise my family by making something special: a spinach lasagna, using a Rachel Ray recipe, for dinner the next night.

Those of you who have followed my blogs and other writings all these years might remember that when my kids were little, every night was a tailspin into desperation: what should I make for dinner?  And worse: what can I make that everyone will eat?

Neither of my two kids liked the same foods. One loved pasta with meat sauce; the other would gag from it. I’d have to have plain with butter for her. One loved chicken casserole; the other despised fowl and deemed it properly named. On and on it went for many years until I threw in the towel and gave them a choice: they eat what I make or they cook their own meals. It worked. My oldest started cooking at age 11 because she got bored of the cold cereal option on the rotating nights of meals she found disgusting.

Fast forward to last week’s Thanksgiving dinner. Wait, no…the night before, when even the mice weren’t stirring. I started assembling the lasagna at 9pm, following the recipe word for word. Easy enough, right? You basically have the spinach and cheese filling, tomato sauce and various kinds of cheeses, plus the noodles. Good ol’ Rachel favors oven ready noodles for this particular recipe, so I felt certain that this would be the easiest lasagna ever (I’ve been experimenting for 3 years, looking for an easy vegetarian lasagna that didn’t taste like ketchup on latex.

Well, this recipe put me straight over the edge. My math skills are less than stellar so when I read that I had to add ½ of the 1.5 cups of mozzarella cheese, I had to pull out my calculator to get it right. I still didn’t get it right. Then again, ½ of 2.5 of…something and again, it threw me off.

Two things never fail when I attempt lasagna:

  1. I can’t figure out what order to layer the ingredients and always end up with the wrong thing on top and
  2. I *always* forget an ingredient.

Both of these things happened that night. An entire container of cheese laughed at me on the counter after I’d placed the casserole dish into the oven (can you believe I remembered to pre-heat it? Bravo, Terry!). And of course, the ingredients were not in the right order. But who would know besides me?

I also realized I’d run out of aluminum foil, so I was sure the edges would burn. Thankfully, they didn’t. Because I think I undercooked the darn thing.

Finally, the time came to serve my hungry family this Thanksgiving treat (we had turkey earlier in the day, but that’s another story).

The lasagna looked great! I had some simple sides to go with it, minus the garlic bread I had forgotten to buy. I set the dish down on the table where the hungry family wasted not a second to dig in, while I turned to toss measuring cups, spoons, spatulas, and 127 other items into the sink and came back to a very… silent… kitchen table.

Uh oh.

I looked from one set of eyes to the next and asked- well…did THIS one come out ok?

Silence. Eyes averting.

One daughter said she preferred cottage cheese to ricotta but it still came out…..(quietly) “ok.”

Daughter #2 simply took one bite and walked away, mumbling something, then pulled out a (I kid you not) Stouffer’s Fettuccini from the freezer. Granted, this is my special needs kiddo and she rarely sits through a meal, anyway. So who knows what she was really thinking. Wait. I think I know.

The rest nodded kindly, knowing how SENSITIVE I am about how well or unwell my food is received.

I took a bite, finally, and my tongue, jaws and taste buds screamed out: DRY RUBBER. I thought about Daytona Beach briefly, but then came to the realization that I was reminiscing…and not in a good way…back to those days of trying to please my kids with my cooking. As I thought about it more, I remembered the term that Dr. Bill Dodson coined:  Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria, which basically means that those of us with ADHD often experience extreme feelings of emotional pain and sensitivity when we perceive being rejected or thinking we’ve fallen short. Mind you, the key word is “perceived.”

No one criticized my meal, which by the way, took three hours to prepare (no joke). My friends, you have ADHD; you know what I’m talking about.

So I decided that what I have is Food Rejection Dysphoria. (Dysphoria: noun a state of feeling very unhappy, uneasy, or dissatisfied- Merriam Webster).

Those many years of making meals that ½ of my family rejected, had taken a toll on me. Even though it was nearly 20 years ago.

In all these years of working with women with ADHD, I found I wasn’t alone (I wasn’t diagnosed until my kids were older at which point, they’d learned to find their way around the kitchen themselves if they wanted a meal they enjoyed). Many women with ADHD struggle in the kitchen just like I do.

What is the point of all this? Past hurts can return with a vengeance. In my case, I thought I’d had this ADD “thing” figured out, but at times, like last week, those personal PERCEIVED failures can come out and bite me. And generally, it happens at times like this- holidays, special occasions or times when I want to shine, not falter.

How about you? What triggers a drop in your self-esteem? What do you do to pull yourself out of that hole? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

And while we’re at it, does anyone have a good recipe for spinach lasagna?

 

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Gift Ideas for your ADHD Loved Ones (and for you, too!)

Posted on November 17, 2018

Here are some great holiday gift items for the ADHD person in your life (including yourself!). These are all on Amazon and many are on sale! Can’t see them? Please turn off your ad blocker then re-fresh the page. 🙂







ADHD and The Wizard of Oz

Posted on October 31, 2018

 

I never put a whole lot of thought into the meaning of this movie. I’d seen it countless times since childhood and consider it my all time favorite movie.

Every year at the ADDA conference (partnering with CHADD and ACO and now called the Annual International Conference on ADHD), I choose two songs to sing at the infamous Talent Show. I got to thinking about what songs I’d perform this year.

For some reason, the song “If I Only Had a Brain” popped into my…..brain. At first I thought- no- this isn’t an appropriate song to sing to an audience of adults with ADHD. We (I have ADHD, too) struggle every day trying to make our brains work for us, not against us. So I began thinking: is this song critical and hurtful to those who struggle with memory, disorganization and other cognitive/executive functions?

I’d forgotten so many details about that movie, so I began to analyze the various characters: the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, the Lion, even Dorothy- were all searching for something they thought they didn’t have: a brain, a heart, courage, and….home. The Wizard of Oz promised to give these things to them if they’d agree to kill the wicked witch. But in the end, the Wizard was a fake, a fraud. And the Tin Man, Scarecrow, Lion and Dorothy realized something important- that they had all of these things within them all along- they just didn’t know it.

I’ve decided to perform the song next week at the conference. But this time, I’ll remind the audience what I’d remembered myself: that we don’t need to constantly focus on what think we don’t do well. Maybe these abilities, strengths, talents are there but need support and understanding; we need to recognize these as just parts of us that have been hidden far too long- inner resources that need nurturing and acceptance so that they can find their way. Just like Dorothy and her friends.

Note: Join me at the conference in St. Louis November 7-11. I’ll be presenting on The Secret Lives of Women with ADHD: What Your Mother, Grandmother and Teachers Never Told You.”

Register today at www.CHADD.org . And feel free to sing along with me at the Talent Show. Cuz there’s a good chance I’ll forget some words. And that’s ok!

P.S. Which character in the Wizard of Oz do you most identify with? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

 


Lessons for Life: How Oskar Schindler Harnessed ADHD to Change the World

Posted on October 16, 2018

By Kevin Roberts

Editor’s note:

Kevin’s book, Schindler’s Gift: How One Man Harnessed ADHD to Change the World,has just been published. This is a fascinating study on Schindler, making a strong case for his having ADHD, and showing how one can change themselves and transform the world. Get your copy today HERE

 

Oskar Schindler was not a woman with ADHD. I felt I should state that right from the get-go in case there was any confusion, since I am writing this for her Majesty, Terry Matlen’s, blog. Schindler’s life offers all of us with ADHD, however, some wisdom about our own struggles. Oskar hated school. He was frequently yelled at for talking, and during his upbringing corporal punishment held sway as the primary tool of classroom management. On many occasions, he received classroom beat-downs. Oskar was so troubled in school, incidentally, that he lied his way through, only to get expelled for cheating on a major exam when he was 16.

The mundane rhythms of life did not rouse Oskar’s brain. He had a messy room, messy apartments, and struggled with organization. The movie, Schindler’s List, gives us a flavor for this when Yitzhak Stern, played by Ben Kingsley, follows Oskar around, reminding him constantly of his responsibilities and duties. Oskar struggled with planning, organization, time management, and follow-through until the day he died.

Before World War II, Oskar had not found his calling. He struggled, in fact, to even hold a job. He flitted from one place of employment to another, his mind trained on dreams of a brighter and more exciting future. He was a salesman and even tried his hand at chicken farming. But routine and repetition were a plague for Oskar. He was also terribly restless, and rarely stayed in one place for very long.

Oskar, like many with ADHD, suffered from financial woes his whole life. He never seemed to have money to pay all his bills; his energy was often held captive by visions of grandeur. He was convinced time and again that his get-rich-quick schemes would succeed. He and Emilie, for example, moved to Argentina after the war because Oskar saw an opportunity there to raise nutria for fur coats. He assured his wife: “Emilie, behold before you the business of the century. We’re going to be millionaires. All the women wear fur coats.” Emilie ended up doing all the work in this venture because her “husband was always busy elsewhere.” Oskar’s fertile mind had grand ideas, but lacked the executive functioning to bring to bring them into fruition.

Yet, when human lives were at stake, something emerged in Oskar, something he had long suspected he had within him. He had found the great endeavor his heart had longed for, one that filled him with resolve, persistence, and purpose, three crucial elements that eluded him before and after the war. During that magical period from 1939-1945, he pulled some of his workers off of death-camp-bound trains. He bribed dozens and dozens of Nazi officials to keep his workers safe. He was arrested by the Gestapo numerous times because some members of that dreaded organization were upset that he had solid and respectful relationships with Jews. On one occasion in 1942, Oskar drove his car through a cordoned-off area around the Belzec death camp so he could figure out why so many Jewish people had been shipped out of Krakow on trains. He risked arrest and even death if his purpose had been found out. Many scholars believe it was after this daredevil maneuver, and the discovery of the murderous spree happening in this death camp, that his commitment to save his Jewish workers found unshakeable resolve.

The lessons of Oskar Schindler’s heroism apply to all of us with ADHD. During the war, he succeeded beyond his wildest dreams. Why? First of all, he had something that all of us with ADHD need: SUPPORT. He had access to some of Krakow’s most adept Jewish businessmen. They were, in a manner of speaking, his ADHD coaches. Yitzhak Stern, one of Oskar’s coaches, says in the film: “They put up all the money. I do all the work. What if you don’t mind my asking would you do?” Oskar’s answer is what initially gave me the notion that he might have suffered from ADHD: “I’d make sure it’s known the company was business. I’d see that it had a certain panache. That’s what I’m good at. Not the work. Not the work…the presentation.” The “presentation” was Oskar’s façade that he was a true-believing Nazi, a game he played so well that 1200 people survived because of it. The “presentation” was also his grand manipulation of Nazi greed, as he “bought” their help by providing them with an almost constant flow of luxury items and forbidden contraband. But, Oskar had SUPPORT during the war, a factor that greatly accounted for his success.  Without regular interactions with his business “coaches,” however, he failed in every financial and commercial endeavor thereafter. Oskar’s life clearly shows all of us with ADHD to not try to go it alone!  

The horrors of the time gave Oskar PURPOSE, something I believe can be one of the greatest allies of people with ADHD. His brain just seemed to work better during that time period than it did before or after. He functioned poorly when he had just a “job,” but found genius within him when he had a mission. He tired quickly of each and every job he ever had, but when it came to saving his workers, he never gave up, bribing and cajoling some of history’s most infamous psychopaths to help him. For example, he tricked Amon Goeth, the notorious commandant of the labor camp in Krakow, into believing that the two were best friends. Preparing for his war crimes trial, Goeth actually asked his lawyer to contact Schindler, whom he was certain would testify positively on his behalf. The historical record is quite clear, however, that Schindler only saw a “friendship” with Goeth as a means to an end, and had no intention to help him. Oskar was a masterful manipulator.

His sense of purpose also filled him with persistence. Threatened with the closing of his factory, with the impending Russian advance, he did not give up. He used every connection he had amassed during the war to achieve his purpose of saving lives. He travelled back and forth to Berlin to get the necessary signatures. In another one of his grand manipulations, he led others to believe, because they had the same last name, that he was the nephew of the head of the Armaments Inspectorate, Lt. General Maximillian Schindler. Oskar never gave up, yet after the war, with no sense of purpose, other than becoming wealthy again, he failed with reliable consistency.

The war also gave Oskar something that some ADHDers also crave: INTENSITY. While boredom caused Oskar to go into what one might call a funk, even a depression, intensity caused his brain to come alive and allowed him to function at a high level. While he had problems with alcohol before and after the war, during World War II his use of alcohol was cut way back. It is almost as if Oskar did not need the negative intensity of alcohol when he had the purposeful intensity and excitement of the war all around him. Emilie has talked about how engaged Oskar was during the war, a state of mind that was clearly absent thereafter.

Like many of us with ADHD, Oskar did not find his genius in the classroom. His struggles with organization, planning, and follow-through ensured that for most of his life failure continued to haunt him. Yet, with SUPPORT, PURPOSE, and INTENSITY, Oskar saved over a thousand lives. I believe in my heart that there is a fourth element that he did not have, one that if he had had it might have meant success after the war, too: TREATMENT. I believe medication and intensive therapy could have allowed Oskar Schindler to continue to succeed after the war. So, I think the final and most important message of Oskar’s life is the crucial importance of getting diagnosed and treated, whether that involves therapy, social support, or medication, or a combination of all three.

 

Kevin Roberts has spent a good deal of his adult life coming to terms with his own ADHD and cyber addiction. He has a Master’s Degree in ADHD and Addiction Studies from Antioch University. He has trained therapists, students, physicians, nurses, teachers, parents, and school administrators on the perils of overuse of the Internet and video games, as well as ADHD. He has developed a number of innovative programs, such as Training Your Dragons summer camps that empower ADHD children, including intensive training to their families. His “ADHD Empowerment Groups” have been featured on television programs and other media outlets. A sought-after speaker, Roberts has given lectures and workshops around the world, and has recently spoken in the United Kingdom, Canada, Holland, and Poland. He speaks five languages fluently. He has taken groups of young people and their families to Poland to visit Schindler’s factory, Auschwitz, and other Holocaust sites. Roberts has appeared on national and local television stations across the country and the world.

You can reach Kevin at kevin@kevinjroberts.net .

 


The Story Behind My Own ADHD Diagnosis: Stumbling into Self-Awareness

Posted on September 03, 2018

 

It’s a classic story, in a sense. The quiet child who never got into trouble. The teacher’s pet. The sensitive one who had a rich inner life, worrying about the squirrels freezing in winter and dogs getting hit by cars in the summer. The little school girl who gazed out the window, lost in her own secret world, while the rest of the class enjoyed being read to and learning about numbers, state capitals and the life cycle of a chicken.

I was lucky, though. None of my teachers, let alone my parents, would ever know that I got through my early years of school by sheer luck and I suppose, an intuitive method of learning. How I was able to get through without doing homework or listening to the teacher; I’ll never know. But then I hit the famous “ADHD wall”- that’s when undiagnosed, untreated kids with ADHD find they can’t keep up with the academic challenges and then… fall apart. For me, it happened in 6th grade when, after the death of my father a few years earlier, I found myself in a new house, new neighborhood, new school. We had left the city for the suburbs and my new classmates were light years ahead of me in every possible way. Academically, they were at least a year ahead of where I was in the city school. Socially, they were becoming teenagers, while I was still lost in childhood, oblivious to the interests of most girls my age.

I fell behind quickly and, sadly, didn’t catch up for many years. What was the problem? I had undiagnosed ADHD and anxiety.

The rest of my academic career is for another story, another time. What I’d like to do here is to share with you how I discovered my ADHD.

For many of you, that time happens when you, too, hit the wall. It could be in your youth, when your grades slipped, or your behaviors got you in trouble. But more than likely, it happened when you became an adult and found you could no longer juggle all the balls: marriage, work, raising children, keeping up the house, paying bills on time, etc. etc. Or perhaps your child was having difficulties and when you explored how you could help him/her, you discovered that it was ADHD behind it all. In reflecting on the difficulties of your child’s history, you had a rude awakening…”hey, that’s exactly how I was as a child”, and you, too, found yourself diagnosed (and hopefully treated) for your own ADHD.

My case was a bit different.

Let me tell you about my own “aha” moment– the events in my life that led to my own diagnosis of ADHD.

It was June of 1989, when every mother’s nightmare became a reality for me. I found my 16-month-old daughter writhing strangely in her crib in the middle of the night. Her eyes were wide open, but they held a vacant stare. I instantly recognized what appeared to be a febrile seizure. Having seen this same scenario five years earlier at a friend’s house, whose daughter was having seizures, I knew to rush my baby to the bathtub and run tepid water over her to bring down her body temperature. However, in my daughter’s case, it didn’t work. Her body continued to shake and tremble and her body remained hot to the touch.

EMS came, we rushed to the hospital and long story short, my daughter was suffering from encephalitis; a reaction to the MMR vaccine she’d had 8 days earlier. She was horribly ill and hospitalized for nearly three weeks, which included four days in a drug-induced coma to stop the seizures. When she was awakened, she was no longer the child I had known. She had lost all functioning- everything- her memory, her ability to walk and talk. It was all gone. She basically fell into a vegetative state. We were told her future was unclear. The doctors couldn’t predict whether she’d ever walk or talk again. Thankfully, she did both, after much therapy and very long days of hoping, crying and sweating it out.

My little girl, Mackenzie, began to regain her strength. But it was clear that she would have to re-learn everything, and we could only hope she’d catch up. Physically, she did. And more. Not only did she regain her gross motor skills, she also became severely hyperactive and impulsive.

Unlike most people with ADHD, Mackenzie wasn’t born with it (from what I can tell); she “acquired” it from the encephalitis. The following months were a nightmare- trying to keep up with a toddler who went from being a listless rag doll to an out of control warrior. She not only learned to walk again, she became a reckless runner, but with poor coordination- a disastrous combination. In fact, her hyperactivity was so severe, she was unable to sit for more than a few seconds. She was in constant motion; she couldn’t even attend long enough to play with her toys. Worse, she couldn’t nap or sleep- I had to lay on her in her crib in order to stop her limbs from flailing so she could sleep for 20 minutes at a time.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because in trying to learn about Mackenzie’s severe ADHD, I discovered my own. You see, in reading, studying and researching everything I could about how to help my baby, I serendipitously fell upon a book about adult ADHD, titled Attention Deficit Disorder in Adults, by Dr. Lynn Weiss. I nearly dropped the book when I read descriptions of various family members. Then, it happened- the flash of realization that much of what Dr. Weiss was describing also fit me to a “t”. I was floored. My inattention, disorganization, chronic clutter, not finishing projects, etc. etc. were detailed in this book!

I hungrily looked for more information and found Driven to Distraction, by Drs. Edward (Ned) Hallowell and John Ratey. Again, I was amazed that these two men could explain so clearly the difficulties I’d experienced throughout my life. Then came Sari Solden’s Women with Attention Deficit Disorder, which I cried through. Page after page described my inner life in detail. Finally, someone who not only understood ADHD in women, but who could write about it in a way that tugged at my heart, opened it and filled it with hope.

For some, this light bulb moment feels like a knife in the heart. Depression often sets in and there’s tremendous sadness about the many years lost to this “disorder.” But for me, it was a relief that words couldn’t express. It was the answer to WHY I found seemingly simple things impossible for me to handle, like keeping the house clean, cooking a meal, finishing a book, etc. How was I able to earn two college degrees yet unable to keep a closet organized? Why would I enter a supermarket and leave with items other than the ones I had intended to buy? And worse, why was I in a constant state of anxiety in such settings? Malls and grocery stores always left me in a state of panic. It wasn’t until years later that I learned that being bombarded with stimuli and shutting down were part of how my ADHD affected me.

These books gave me my life back and gave me hope. I wasted no time in pursuing the gnawing question: could I really have ADHD? Or was I simply lazy and disorganized; a character flaw that haunted me all of my life?

I found a psychologist in my area who had expertise in diagnosing ADHD in adults. After weeks of waiting for my appointment, I finally had the evaluation and my suspicions were confirmed: I did, indeed have inattentive ADHD.

Perhaps being a psychotherapist, myself, made it easier for me to pick up the phone and find a therapist; someone who could help me fit the pieces together to help me understand what was “wrong” with me all these years.

Therapy taught me the facts about ADHD– that there’s a strong genetic component. That it’s highly treatable, but that its effect of living with it for over 40 years did take its toll on me and my self-esteem. There was much work to do to gain back the confidence I’d lost over the years and to begin making decisions that worked FOR my ADHD instead of against it.

When I saw the dramatic change of learning about my own ADHD, I knew I wanted to help others, too, who were living their scattered lives thinking they were flawed mothers, fathers, partners, college students, employees, etc. So years after my daughter’s illness, when I could begin to focus on my life again, I became very involved in the world of ADHD; from joining the ADDA board of directors (www.ADD.org ), to running my local CHADD chapter (www.CHADD.org ), then opening a private practice, and finally, launching my consulting/resource websites at www.ADDconsults.com   and www.QueensOfDistraction.com .

I began to lecture locally and nationally on ADHD, and in 2005, published my first book, Survival Tips for Women with ADHD. My second book, The Queen of Distraction, was published in 2014.

In addition to raising my two daughters, I also found time to make art and music in my home studios.

Could I have done all of this had I not gotten the ADHD diagnosis and proper treatment? I highly doubt it. And that’s why my mission is to help others emerge from the darkness of distractions, inattention and brain fog, to find their true selves and move forward with their wonderful strengths and gifts.

Do you have a similar story? Are you ready to take a personal journey to find the answers to the questions haunting you about your own procrastination, inattention, impulsivity? Could it be ADHD? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

 


CHADD Conference Nov 7-11-2018 St. Louis! Come to my Session- Register Today!

Posted on August 30, 2018

 

The CHADD Conference (now called the International Conference on ADHD), and put on by CHADD, ADDA, and ACO, is Nov. 8-11 in St. Louis! Great speakers lined up, great topics, plus all the fun of connecting with others. Just added: Dr. Russell Barkley keynote.

I’ll be presenting on “The Secret Lives of Women with ADHD: What Your Mother, Grandmother and Teachers Never Told You.”

Register now: https://events.bizzabo.com/207351

 


10 Tips for Parents of ADHD Kids: How to Keep your Marriage Healthy and Alive

Posted on August 18, 2018

You probably know that raising a child with ADHD or other special challenges puts a strain in even the most stable of marriages. Recent studies show that such marriages are at a higher risk of ending in divorce.

All relationships and marriages require diligent work and open communication in order to survive and stay healthy. But add children with ADHD or other special needs and those requirements become paramount in keeping the marriage alive and well.

Below are ten tips to keep your marriage on track when you have a child with ADHD in the mix.

10 Tips for Improving your Marriage

 

  1. ** Remove yourself emotionally** from the child-related problems at hand and focus on your partner. Too often, we get sucked up in the daily dramas of raising our very challenging children and forget the emotional needs of our partners and ourselves. One way to help do this is to think back to the early days of your courtship and marriage and to re-live the feelings you had and what drew you to your partner in the first place.
  2. Spend time with your spousewith the understanding that there will be NO discussion of the children. The focus is only on each other.
  3. Improve communication skills.After a long day at work or a full day of caring for children at home, the temptation is to “dump” all of your frustrations on your partner at the end of the day. Instead, write down your aggravations as an emotional release, then discuss them with your partner after you’ve each had time to settle down, had dinner and feel emotionally ready to handle this. By then, some of the intensity may decrease, making it easier to problem solve without feeling overwhelmed with emotions.
  4. Never finger point and accuse.State the issue at hand as a problem so as not to alienate your spouse. For example, instead of shrieking to your husband that he doesn’t do enough to help you with your son’s homework, state it as a problem needing to be solved, i.e.: “Danny gets overwhelmed with his homework after putting all of his energy into getting through a day at school. After dealing with the school staff and Danny’s explosive behaviors when he comes home, my patience is gone and we’re at each others’ throats. Every day is a battle ground and we both lose. What do you think we can do to make homework time less stressful?”
  5. Make sure that your child’s ADHD treatment is optimal. If he’s on medication,      make sure the dosage and type is best suited for his flavor of ADHD. If he’s having trouble in school, discuss your concerns with school staff and see if he qualifies for special help. If his behavior is a problem, seek out professional counseling or consult with the school psychologist.
  6. Since ADHD is highly genetic, there’s a good chance that either parent might have undiagnosed and untreated ADHD. If you see symptoms, get yourself or your spouse evaluated and treated.  Raising challenging children also takes a toll on ones’ self-esteem and confidence, often causing anxiety and depression. If you or your spouse is struggling, consider counseling to help with the emotions and difficulties you are dealing with. “Special” families have more on their plate and an extra hand in the way of professional support can do wonders for the entire family.
  7. Seek out support groupssuch as CHADD, where you and your spouse can go for education and help. Hearing other parents share similar problems can often help you in dealing with yours, while learning new strategies to help your marriage survive. Find the closest CHADD chapter to you by visiting their website at www.chadd.org .
  8. Dear Abby may not always be right, but heed her advice about getting marriage counseling when things seem to be going off course. Make sure you find someone who understands the challenges of raising children with ADHD and/or other special needs.
  9. Take time awaywith your spouse sans the kids. Your relationship needs to be nurtured and taking vacations, even if for just a day or two, is imperative in keeping your love alive.
  10. Take parenting classes.If you can help keep your child on an even keel, there will be less stress in the family and marriage. You and your spouse need to work as a team and having the right tools to improve your parenting skills will go a long way in improving family life.


When You Can’t Afford ADHD Coaching

Posted on August 15, 2018

PsychCentral did a nice job on this piece. I don’t think I’ve seen any or many articles on the topic of “When You Can’t Afford ADHD Coaching.”

ADHD coaching can be incredibly transformative. It can help you better understand yourself, identify and harness your strengths, achieve your goals and build a meaningful, satisfying life.

But depending on your budget, it also can be pricey. It’s absolutely worth the investment, but you might not have the funds available right now.

Read the full article HERE

 

 


The Queen of Distraction: Building Community For Women with ADHD

Posted on August 03, 2018

 

Healthstoriesproject.com wrote a nice article about me and my work:

Before she was diagnosed with ADHD, Terry Matlen spent a lot of time trying to figure out what was wrong with her. “I felt like a failure,” she says. “I wondered how come I couldn’t do what every other woman I knew could do without thinking twice.”

Read the whole article HERE.