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Dr. Hallowell's Blog

Archive for October, 2018

Wednesday, October 17th, 2018

ADHD and College

If you don’t have ADHD, it is difficult enough to make the transition from home to a college or university. If you do have ADHD, it is perilous far beyond what most people imagine. If you do not prepare in advance, the changes are good that you will stumble.

In this special Distraction episode on Why College Can Be Daunting For ADHDers  sponsored by Landmark College, Jessica McCabe from How to ADHD, shares the problems she faced  with new demands and less support in college.

To avoid the dangers of college, information and preparation make all the difference. First of all, parents and students should know in advance that going from home to college means going from a place of dependence and high supervision to a place of independence and low supervision. It is a jarring, albeit longed-for transition, one that students who have ADHD are particularly ill-equipped to handle. Parents and students ought to prepare for this transition methodically, instead of simply letting the student jump into the college environment literally overnight, hoping he or she can swim.

Even if your child does not have ADHD, I recommend that you begin during senior year of high school to prepare your child for the transition to college. If your child does have ADHD, this is crucial. Once  your child gets into college, you should then assist him or her to organize and run their life. You should not stop supervising them.

Dr. Hallowell’s Top 10 Tips for Parents, Children, Teachers and Students of all ages – how to make school rewarding and successful!

Tuesday, October 16th, 2018

Boston MetroWest Parenting ADHD Group Starts October 19

Parenting ADHD Child Ages 6-12- Group for Education and Support

Parenting Your Child with ADHD – Group for Education and Support

Fridays 10:30- 12pm

8 weeks 10/19/18 – 12/14/18 (No session on 11/23)

$400

Hallowell Center Boston MetroWest

Topics include:

• Understanding ADHD and the impact on executive functions

• Fostering self-esteem and effective family communication

• Addressing challenging behavior

• Helping your child enhance social skills

• Developing positive working relationships with schools

Most importantly, connect (and learn & laugh) with other parents of children with ADHD aged 6-12.

Contact Shelley MacLeod, LICSW to register

978-287-0810 x119              shelley.macleod@gmail.com

Saturday, October 13th, 2018

Busting ADHD Myth #8 – You do not have ADHD if you can pay attention!

MYTH #8:  If you can pay attention, you do not have ADHD.

FACT:  People with ADHD can super-focus at times and pay better attention than anyone.  When what they are doing interests them they often go into a state of hyper-focus, such that they lose track of the passage of time or their biological needs and drives.  A child with ADHD may sit for hours meticulously putting together a model airplane. An adult may work with amazing concentration when faced with a deadline. Or an adult with ADHD may become obsessed with a project and complete it in a tenth of the time one would have predicted. This ability to hyperfocus heats up the furnace in the brain, so to speak, and melts down rigid elements so they may easily flow and commingle, allowing for new products to be formed once they hit the cool light of day.  It is when they are not interested that their minds wander.  But their minds do not go empty, which is why attention deficit is such a misnomer.  In ADHD attention wanders, but it never disappears.  Adapted from Driven to Distraction.

October is ADHD Awareness Month.  Dr. Hallowell shares how he feels about ADHD in “My Turbo ADHD Brain..

 

Friday, October 12th, 2018

ADHD? 7 habits to get the most out of life!

One way to understand how to get the most out of life with ADHD is to develop habits to help you succeed. In Distraction S3 Mini 5: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective ADHD Adults, Dr. Hallowell reviews his list:

1.  Do what you’re good at.  Don’t spend too much time trying to get good at what you’re bad at.  You did enough of that in school.

2.  Get well enough organized to achieve your goals. 

3.  Connect your energy to a creative outlet.

LISTEN NOW to hear all 7 tips. Perhaps you’ll apply some to your own life or be inspired to develop your own habits.

It’s ADHD Awareness Month. Learn more about the Treatment of ADHD.

Here is a Comprehensive List of ADHD Resources.

Wednesday, October 10th, 2018

Busting ADHD Myth #7:  People with ADHD cannot do well!

Busting ADHD MYTH #7:  People with ADHD cannot do well in school or in life.

FACT:  While people with ADHD may struggle in school or flounder as adults, they can also excel.  With the right help, or with luck or the grace of God, they can rise to the very top of whatever field they enter.  There are Nobel Prize winners who have ADHD, as well as Pulitzer Prize winners, Academy Award winners, self-made millionaires and billionaires, CEO’s, professional athletes, leading jurists and attorneys, brain surgeons, best-selling authors, scions of Wall Street, Professors, airline pilots, Navy SEALS and war heroes, mega-successful entrepreneurs, inventors (Edison was a classic!), poets, playwrights, chefs, award-winning teachers, champion race-car drivers, and, in short, anyone who has made their way to the top of anything. 

  • ADHD does not have to keep you from achieving your dreams. Indeed, it can  help you do exactly that.
  • To achieve your dreams, you have to find out what you’re good at. Then you have to practice.

How a person feels about having ADHD largely determines the outcome of that person’s life. Therefore, it is crucial, from as early as possible, that children with ADHD feel good about who they are. Lives with ADHD can be happy, successful, vibrant, and fulfilling – as long as shame and fear do not prevent people with ADHD from taking on challenges.

In my opinion,  when ADHD is managed properly, it can become a huge asset in one’s life. I have both ADHD and dyslexia myself and I wrote the book Positively ADD with Catherine Corman to profile a collection of fabulously successful adults with ADHD; such as, David Neeleman, Founder, Chairman and CEO, JetBlue Airlines. He says, “Try every day to take steps toward achieving your goals. And most important, believe in yourself.”

Keep learning about ADHD.

Adult ADHD

ADHD for Parents

ADHD and Students: 

Download your copy of 50 Tips on the Classroom Management of ADHD by filling out the form below.


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Tuesday, October 9th, 2018

Hold Onto Your Dreams, No Matter How Unrealistic

Someone asked me in a lecture I was giving the other day how she should tell her 10-year-old son that his dream of playing in the NBA is unrealistic.  I asked her why she felt she needed to tell him that. She replied that she wanted to protect him from getting disappointed when he realized that that dream could never come true.  I asked her how she knew it could never come true.  “Well, he’s white, for one thing, and he’s short for his age for another, and your average toddler is more coordinated.”

“But would it hurt him to keep believing he might play in the NBA someday?” I asked.  “After all, we allow kids to believe in Santa Claus for a long time.  We even encourage it.”

  “But this is starting to seem cruel,” she said.  “I mean when his grandfather asks him what he wants to be when he grows up, and he says a professional basketball player, and his grandfather laughs so hard his glasses fall off before he then asks him to give a serious answer, isn’t it time for me to tell him this dream is just not going to come true?”

“Well, it sounds like Grandpa already did that, didn’t he?  But if he chooses to ignore Grandpa, so what?  Life will teach him soon enough, when he tries out for whatever team he tries out for.  And who knows, maybe he’ll have a growth spurt, maybe he will become more coordinated, and being white doesn’t automatically disqualify him.”

“But you know what I mean,” the mom replied.  “Aren’t we supposed to guide our children toward realistic dreams and protect them from crazy ones?  Isn’t that part of making sure they don’t get hurt?  What if he wanted to date a movie star?  Should I say, Ok son, go for it?”

“Why not?” I said.  “What’s he gonna do?  Send her a fan letter?  If he got a reply, which he might or might not, it would probably be a signed photo that he could put on his wall and admire all year. What’s so good about being realistic?”

“I just don’t want him to get hurt,” the mom replied.  By now the whole lecture hall was listening to our conversation, obviously interested in it, not making noises for me to move on.

This is a question that comes up all the time, not only in children who have ADHD, but in all children, and, if truth be told, in us adults as well.  How long it is healthy to hold onto dreams that aren’t coming true?  By what age should we start to get realistic?

My answer is you should never give up on your dream.  It’s better to go to your grave with an unfulfilled dream than no dream at all.  You can feed off of that dream your whole life long.

But you also need a Plan B. My first dream career was to be a writer.  When I was in high school, I wanted to rank right up there with Dickens, Dostoyevsky, and all the greats.  When I got to college, I realized that making a living as a writer of fiction was sort of like trying to make the  NBA as a 5’6” white guy, so I needed a Plan B.  I decided being a doctor would be a good way to make a living, that would also allow me to write as well.  And that’s exactly what I’ve done.

I encourage people of all ages to hold onto dreams no matter how unrealistic.  I will die hoping to write a great novel.  Maybe I will actually do it, but on the way I’ve written some wonderful books that have helped lots of people, so my dream has served me and the world quite well.  Which is exactly what dreams are supposed to do, don’t you think?

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