12 Practical Tips for Managing Adult ADHD

Over the years, Dr. Hallowell has invented and discovered practical tips to manage his ADHD. He’s also collected various tips from people of all ages on how they manage ADHD to live happy and successful lives.  You may not find all of these tips useful. However, just make note of the ones that ring true to you, and try and put them into use in your life. If you need help implementing them, ask someone else to help you do this.

 12 Practical Tips for Managing Adult ADHD*

*Adapted from Delivered from Distraction, Edward M. Hallowell, M.D., John J. Ratey, M.D., Ballantine, 2005

1. Educate yourself. Perhaps the single most powerful treatment for managing ADHD is understanding it in the first place.  You need to learn what ADHD is, and what it is not. A diagnosis of the mind, like ADHD, must be fully understood if it is to be mastered and made good use of. At its best, ADHD can become an asset, rather than a liability, in a person’s life. But, for this to happen, the person has to develop a deep appreciation for how ADHD works within him or her. To understand ADHD, read books. talk with professionals and talk with other adults who have ADHD.  Soon you’ll be able to design your own tips to manage your ADHD.

2. Tomorrow Starts NOW. Make deadlines – In the world of ADHD there is NOW and NOT NOW.  You need to prioritize and avoid procrastination. When things get busy, the adult ADHD person loses perspective: paying an unpaid parking ticket can feel as pressing as putting out the fire that just got started in the wastebasket. Prioritize. Take a deep breath. Put first things first. Then go on to the second and the third task.

3. Consider joining or starting a support group. Much of the most useful information about ADHD has not yet found its way into books, but remains stored in the minds of the people who have ADHD. In groups this information can come out. Plus groups are really helpful in giving the kind of support that is so badly needed.

4. Try to get rid of the negativity that may have infested your system if you have lived without knowing that what you had was ADHD. A good psychotherapist may help in this regard.

5. Get well enough organized to achieve your goals. The key here is “well enough.” That doesn’t mean you have to be very well organized at all — just well enough organized to achieve your goals. Here are 10 tips to start 2020 off right.

6. Do what you are good at, instead of spending all your time trying to get good at what you’re bad at.

7. Choose “good” helpful addictions, such as exercise. Many adults with ADHD have an addictive or compulsive personality such that they are always hooked on something. Try to make this something positive.

8.  Understand mood changes and ways to manage them. Listen to Dr. Hallowell’s podcast on How ADHD Affects Emotion.

9. Sleep – Make sure you get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. 

10. Learn how to advocate for yourself. Adults with ADD are so used to being criticized that they are often unnecessarily defensive in putting their own case forward.

11. Learn to joke with yourself and others about your various systems. If you can learn to be relaxed enough about the whole syndrome to be able to joke about it, others will forgive you much more easily.

12. Coaching. It is useful for you to have a coach, for some person near you to keep after you, but always with humor. Your coach can help you get organized, stay on task, give you encouragement or remind you to get back to work. Friend, colleague, or therapist (it is possible, but risky for your coach to be your spouse), a coach is someone to stay on you to get things done, exhort you as coaches do, keep tabs on you, and in general be in your corner. A coach can be tremendously helpful in treating ADHD.

Summer Camp for ADHD Brains

It’s not too soon to start making summer plans for the family. Long, school-free days can leave kids feeling restless and a bit unsettled. This is especially true for kids and teens with ADHD who, while grateful to escape the constraints of classroom schedules, benefit greatly from the predictability of daily routines.

This summer why not attend our ADHD Summer Adventures Camp for Families?

ADHD Summer CampIt’s like none other. It provides families with a fascinating week of learning, connecting, adventuring, reflecting and community-building. All members of the family are invited. Camp is suitable for siblings who do not have ADHD too.

The camp offers a mixture of ADHD education for parents through seminars and Q&As, and fun camp activities for kids, like kayaking, art and music. There’s also plenty of time set aside for families to spend quality time together.

The camp is held at the Leelanau School, situated on the stunning Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore on Lake Michigan. Families can choose to stay at the school in dorm-style lodging, or opt for other local accommodations nearby. It’s an incredible week that provides a strong foundation for families to build on throughout the year.

You’ll learn while you have fun!

ADHD Summer Camp Group 2019
2019 ADHD Family Summer Adventures Campers

Parents – I work with parents to share with them my 30+ years of experience with the strength-based approach to ADHD. You’ll learn how to help your child actually enjoy having ADHD while creating stronger family bonds.

Youth – Rob Himburg engages in fun activities with youths (ages 8 to 18) which build in strategies to improve executive functions. Kids will gain new insights for improving organization, time management, and self-advocacy and have fun doing it through adventure and play.

Limited Registrations Available with an EARLY BIRD SPECIAL UNTIL 2/29/20

REGISTER NOW!

In this mini podcast, camp alumnus and mom, Julie Christin, talks about her family’s experience, including the comfort of meeting other families who can relate, and how much she learned about raising a child with ADHD.

Learn more at Dr. Hallowell’s Summer Adventures ADHD Family Camp.

Questions? Please contact Sue Hallowell @ 781.820.0881.

Hope to meet you at camp,

Edward “Ned” Hallowell

ADHD The Key to the Best Outcome

People often ask me, “What’s the key to getting the best outcome in working with ADHD?”

There is no one key.  Watch out for simplistic solutions and the people who offer them. There is no one best remedy, there is no one best system, there is no one best medication or nutritional supplement.  And what works for one person will not necessarily work for you or your child.

However, having treated ADHD in children and adults for over 30 years now, and having ADHD as well as dyslexia myself, I can say with absolute certainty that while there is no one key, we do have a marvelous assortment of keys that open many of the doors untreated ADHD can seem to close.  The doors to success, personal fulfillment, joy, health, and lifelong satisfaction.

“The key” is to find the various keys that work for you.

The best way to do this is to work with a doctor who knows that vast array of available keys.  Sadly, such doctors can be hard to find.  If that’s the case for you, start with my books.  Start with Delivered from Distraction and SuperParenting for ADD.  Those books will show you many keys that might work for you or your child.  As you read, you will start to smile and fill up with knowledge and knowledge’s sibling, hope.

I can tell you for sure that there is always a realistic chance for major improvement.  So don’t settle for mediocre results.  People with ADHD are champions in the making.  Above all, I want you to know this just as surely as I know it. You, or your child, are champions in the making.  Let me help you get there, either through my books, or sign up for a free patient care consult and find out how The Hallowell Centers can help you.

Finally, the great mistake people make as they work with their ADHD or their child’s is settling for less than the best outcome.  Please don’t make that mistake yourself.

Next Steps:

If you think you or someone you know may have ADHD, learn what ADHD is and about Getting an ADHD Diagnosis.

Educate yourself about the signs of ADHD in Adults and in Children.

ADHD KeysIf you have a child with ADHD, then you probably try hard to figure out how to manage it. And sometimes, it feels like there are key secrets locked behind an iron door. Dr. Hallowell collaborated with Impact ADHD to create a  video and training program called: 4 Keys to Unlocking the Gifts of ADHD.

Special price of $35 for Dr. Hallowell’s followers.

If you’re looking for non-medication treatment for ADHD and Dyslexia, learn more HERE.

 

10 ADHD Tips To Start 2020 Off Right

People with ADHD can spend a lifetime dodging the necessity of organizing themselves. They avoid getting organized the way some people avoid going to the dentist: repeatedly postponing it as the problem gets worse and worse. The task of getting organized, one that bedevils us all, particularly vexes the ADHD mind.

As the new year approaches, I thought I’d share my top ADHD tips on performance management to help you start 2020 on the right track.

10 ADHD Tips on Performance Management*

1. External structure

Structure is the hallmark of the non-pharmacological treatment of the ADHD child. It can be equally useful with adults. Tedious to set up, once in place structure works like the walls of the bobsled slide, keeping the speedball sled from careening off the track. Make frequent use of:
  • lists
  • color-coding
  • reminders
  • notes to self
  • rituals
  • files

2. Color coding.

Mentioned above, color-coding deserves emphasis. Many people with ADHD are visually oriented. Take advantage of this by making things memorable with color: files, memoranda, texts, schedules, etc. Virtually anything in the black and white of type can be made more memorable, arresting, and therefore attention-getting with color.

3. Use pizzazz.

In keeping with tip on color coding#2, try to make your environment as peppy as you want it to be without letting it boil over.

4. Set up your environment to reward rather than deflate.

To understand what a deflating environment is, all most adult ADD’ers need do is think back to school. Now that you have the freedom of adulthood, try to set things up so that you will not constantly be reminded of your limitations.

5. Embrace challenges.

ADHD people thrive with many challenges. As long as you know they won’t all pan out, as long as you don’t get too perfectionistic and fussy, you’ll get a lot done and stay out of trouble.

6. Make deadlines.

7. Break down large tasks into small ones.

Attach deadlines to the small parts. Then, like magic, the large task will get done. This is one of the simplest and most powerful of all structuring devices. Often a large task will feel overwhelming to the person with ADHD. The mere thought of trying to perform the task makes one turn away. On the other hand, if the large task is broken down into small parts, each component may feel quite manageable.

8. Prioritize. Avoid procrastination.

When things get busy, the adult ADHD person loses perspective: paying an unpaid parking ticket can feel as pressing as putting out the fire that just got started in the wastebasket. Prioritize. Take a deep breath. Put first things first. Procrastination is one of the hallmarks of adult ADHD. You have to really discipline yourself to watch out for it and avoid it.

9. Leave time between engagements to gather your thoughts.

Transitions are difficult for ADD’ers, and mini-breaks can help ease the transition.

10. Keep a notepad in your car, by your bed, and in your pocketbook or jacket.

You never know when a good idea will hit you, or you’ll want to remember something else, it’s a good idea to keep a notepad handy.
If you missed my Distraction episode on Taking Back Control, LISTEN HERE to learn my easy-to-follow strategies for handling life and focusing on what matters most.

Learn more about ADHD.

*Adapted from Driven to Distraction.

ADHD Holiday Survival Guide

Although people with ADHD love the intensity and excitement of the holidays, I know from experience that for someone with ADHD, stress this time of year can quickly multiply and create the perfect storm. When the ADHD brain is on overload, things can become overwhelming. Between juggling work, holiday parties, tons of lists, chaos with kids and unpredictable surprises along the way, it’s enough to send even the calmest person into a panic.

The holiday season is a never ending cycle of to-do lists that never get done, juggling acts that falter and expectations that fall short. So it’s easier to become angry, frustrated and say things you don’t mean. That’s why it’s especially important for someone with ADHD to have plenty of structure this time of the year so they can take control of the chaos around them.

So I’m offering the following tips to help cross out some of those items on your holiday to do list and ease the holiday headache for adults with ADHD and anyone else trying to remain sane in this crazybusy world:

SURVIVAL GUIDE TO MANAGING ADHD AND THE HOLIDAYS

1. Shop smart and shop early.  Last minute shopping is a big no.  There’s too much pressure.  So start as early as possible.

2. Make a list of people you need to buy for. Don’t buy too many gifts for each person.  That will keep the process from becoming too daunting.

3. Create a schedule of social events and don’t over schedule.  Leave time between engagements to gather your thoughts. Transitions are difficult for ADDers. Remember it’s okay to decline an invitation and you don’t need to offer any excuses. That will help you stay on task.

4. Prioritize rather than procrastinate. When things get busy, the adult ADHD person loses perspective and can become paralyzed.  Prioritize. Take a deep breath. Put first things first. Then go on to the second and the third task. Don’t stop. Procrastination is one of he hallmarks of adult ADHD. You have to really discipline yourself to watch out for it and avoid it.

5.  Make deadlines.

6. Get enough rest.  That will help you stay focused.

7. Recharge your batteries.  Take a nap, watch TV, meditate. Something calm, restful, at ease.

7. Carve out time to exercise or have some quiet time to yourself.  Exercise helps you work off excess energy and aggression in a positive way and calms the body.  The downtime; i.e., take a nap, watch TV, meditate, will help you recharge your batteries when you’re in crunch time.

8. Keep up with your regimen during the holidays and be vigilant about it.

The holidays are not the time to try something new.  They are the time to stick with what’s tried and true.  That will help ensure that you’re at your best this holiday season and you enjoy yourself.

Remember to take time and savor the joy of the moment.

Read more about ADHD.

Get tips on How to Take Back Control of Your Crazybusy life here.

Happy Holidays!!!

 

ADHD & Dyslexia Non-Medication Treatment

In this episode of Distraction on ADHD & Dyslexia Non-Medication Treatment, I interview my friend, colleague and mentor Wynford Dore. He discusses his personal journey and why he created the Zing Performance program, the science behind it and what this means for you while I share details about my own son Jack going through the treatment when he was 12 years old and how it helped him.

New research has shown that the key to treating ADHD and dyslexia lies in the cerebellum, the area of the brain that controls coordination and balance, with exercise playing an integral part.

For the past 25 years Wynford Dore has pioneered research into the root cause of learning struggles, building on the ground-breaking discoveries from the HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL about the cerebellum.  The new treatment program he created to help his struggling daughter has shown remarkable success in the more than 50,000 people that have tried it, including my own son. This breakthrough is so new that most doctors don’t even realize the important role the cerebellum plays in unlocking a person’s potential.

I invite you to listen to our conversation and learn more about Zing Performance.  I’m excited to be teaming up with Wynford again and adding Zing to the treatment toolbox for ADHD and Dyslexia.

LISTEN NOW!

If you have a questions, please reach out to us! Just record your question or comment on your phone using the voice memo app and send it connect@distractionpodcast.com. I enjoy hearing from you. Thanks.

If you’ve missed my episode on How ADHD Affects Emotions, listen here.

You’ll learn how to manage these intense emotions and reactions. In addition, you’ll learn why people with ADHD are more likely to have trouble with emotional dysregulation.

Thank you for being a part of my podcast community.

If you would like more information on Treating ADHD and my strength-based approach, click here.

Your Racing ADHD Brain

In his ADDitude Magazine article on “How to Slow Down Your Racing ADHD Brain,” Dr. Hallowell says, “Telling someone with ADHD to slow down is like telling the sun not to shine and the tide not to rise. The love of speed is built into our DNA. If our bodies are not moving a mile a minute, our minds are, ideas popping up like popcorn at the movies.”🍿

Your Racing ADHD Brain and the Need For Speed

We get off on speed, and we abhor slowing down. I hate it when I’m in the checkout line at the supermarket, and I get stuck behind a person who wants to pay with a check. Oh, the agony. Producing identification, the cashier writing it down, the customer putting it away, all of which seems to take forever. I stand and stew. People with ADHD can be impatient, and to use such time imaginatively would require something we don’t have: patience.

Read more and get practical tips from Dr. Hallowell on slowing down your ADHD brain in ADDitude.

Dr. Hallowell’s “Race Car Brain” analogy:

The current medical model for ADHD is deficit-based, as the name itself demonstrates: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.  While the medical model is preferable to its predecessor, which I call the “moral model” by which a child was labeled “bad,” “wayward,” “lazy,” or even “incorrigible,” the medical model slaps a pathological diagnosis upon the child, and a pretty miserable-sounding one at that.

Who wants to have a “deficit disorder”?  How much enthusiasm can you expect someone to muster to deal with that?  It is no wonder that many children reject the diagnosis and refuse to accept the label.  They’d prefer to fail on their own then cop to a plea of “deficit disorder” to get the help they need.

Instead, I recommend embracing a strength-based model, a model that acknowledges while there is a potentially serious downside to ADHD, there also is a potentially spectacular upside to it as well.

Dr. Hallowell’s Strength-based model:

The model I use when I present the diagnosis to children is as follows. I say to whomever it is I am giving the diagnosis of ADHD, “I have great news for you.”  At that the child, and his parents, look up, as this is not what they’d been expecting to hear. 

“I’ve learned a lot about you,” I go on.  “I’ve taken your history, and I’ve read what your various teachers have had to say about you.  As you know, we’ve also done some tests.  After putting all this information together, I’m now able to tell you that you have an awesome brain.”

“Your brain is very powerful.  Your brain is like a Ferrari, a race car.  You have the power to win races and become a champion.”  “However,” I continue, “you do have one problem.  You have bicycle brakes.  Your brakes just aren’t strong enough to control the powerful brain you’ve got.  So, you can’t slow down or stop when you need to.  Your mind goes off wherever it wants to go, instead of staying on track.  But not to worry, I am a brake specialist, and if you work with me, we can strengthen your brakes.”

Strengthening Brakes

Which is true.  Treating ADHD is all about strengthening brakes.  The inhibitory systems in the brain, which is to say the brakes, do not work well enough to control it. So, it can’t inhibit incoming stimuli, hence is distractible, nor can it inhibit outgoing impulses, hence is impulsive and hyperactive.

But consider also that each of those negative symptoms has a corresponding positive one.  The flip side of distractibility is curiosity, a valuable quality indeed.  The flip side of impulsivity is creativity, a hugely valuable asset.  You can’t be creative if you aren’t somewhat disinhibited.  And the flip side of hyperactivity is a quality I’m grateful at my age to have.  It’s called energy.

As a brake specialist, I can help these children, and their adult counterparts, strengthen their brakes.

I advocate embracing the strength-based model.  I believe this is so important.  When a child is disruptive you can simply say, “Joey, your brakes are failing you now.”  This sets a limit, but it does so in a non-shaming way.  Joey has already had it explained to him that he has a race car brain with bicycle brakes, and he has already accepted you, the parent, as someone who is going to help him strengthen his brakes.

Other interventions you can make in your child’s environment:

  • setting up predictable schedules and rules;
  • breaking down large tasks into small ones;
  • balancing structure with novelty, so that when your child gets overstimulated you introduce structure, and
  • when your child gets bored you introduce novelty;
  • making sure your child gets play time and frequent “brain breaks.”

Most importantly, make sure your child knows you love him or her and are on his side (or hers).  Make sure you and your child understand ADHD in the same way: race car brain, bicycle brakes.

Just embrace the strength-based model and use it every day.  Helping your ADHD child excel takes a lot of time and energy.  But your energy is much better spent if you think of ADHD not as a disability but as a gift to unwrap.

Dr. Hallowell describes his “race car” brain analogy is this VIDEO.

Learn more about ADHD for parents, HERE

and ADHD for Adults HERE.

Parenting Your ADHD Child

If you are the parents of an ADHD child, you may worry, and rightfully so, that the diagnosis can make your child feel labeled or set apart from other kids. It is important that your child not feel defined by ADHD. Having ADHD is like being left-handed; it’s only a part of who you are.

Try to answer any questions your child has about ADHD, but keep the answers simple and brief. Some older children may want to read a book about ADHD, but they don’t need to become experts on ADHD – just experts on living their lives as fully and well as they can.

How To Help

One of the most important things for the parents of a child with ADHD to do is help that child feel good about who he or she is. You’ll need to search out and promote the positives – both about life and about your child – even as you deal with the all-too-obvious negatives. If your child feels good about who he is and about what life has to offer, he will do far better than if he does not.

In his book Superparenting for ADD, Dr. Hallowell encourages parents to build up their child’s confidence and self-esteem by creating what he calls “the cycle of excellence.”

The Cycle of Excellence

The “cycle of excellence” consists of five key actions that work together synergistically to help “unwrap the gifts” of the ADHD mind.

  1. Create a “connected” environment for your child, full of emotional connections to people, places, and activities they love. A “connected” child feels positively engaged in the world, and that feeling is like an inoculation against despair. The great beauty of a connected childhood is that it is free and available to everyone.
  2. PLAY – any activity in which a child’s imagination gets involved and the mind lights up.
  3. PRACTICE – Practice that emerges out of enthusiastic play lays down habits of discipline that endure.
  4. ACHIEVE MASTERY – getting better at an activity that is both challenging and important. Achieving mastery does not mean becoming the best at a particular activity. What matters is making progress in that activity.
  5. RECOGNITION – The fifth, and final, action in the “cycle of excellence” is to receive recognition, which naturally flows from achieving a certain level of mastery in a difficult activity. This doesn’t mean you have to win a prize or get your name in the newspaper. It just means that someone sees, values, and acknowledges the progress that has been made. Such recognition solidifies the confidence, self-esteem, and motivation that mastery engendered, thus completing the cycle.

The single most important treatment for ADHD – or for any child at any age – is to enter into this “cycle of excellence.”

Find peace in parenting in Dr. Hallowell’s “4 Key Strategies: Unlock the Secrets to Raising Kids with ADHD.

How Your ADHD Child Can Play and Live Better

In this special guest post by Caroline Maguire, ACCG, PCC, M.Ed. (author of Why Will No One Play with Me?) shares her advice for parents on how:

Your Child with ADHD Can Play Better and Live Better With Coaching: Learn How!

As a parent, you hear your child with ADHD revealing too much too soon to another child. You watch your teenager avoid reaching out to other teens. You notice your child seems immature and is laughing too long at jokes that are no longer funny. Or you notice your child can be irritable and appear rude. Children and teenagers with ADHD often struggle with self-awareness, self-regulation, and the ability to manage emotions that are crucial to social interactions.

You may be baffled, but you can help your child with ADHD change her social approach. With direct instruction and support, your child can work with you to develop better social skills. Why Will No One Play With Me? is your road map to learn how to talk to your child, coach her, and help her to develop these key life skills. After all, how often does self-advocating and communicating with teachers and peers come up in academics? Being able to fit in, collaborate with others, manage emotions, and make conversation are not just social skills—they are life skills.

Check Out My Top 5 Tips to Help Your Child Play Better and Improve Social Skills:

1. Open the Lines of Communication

Start by using more open-ended questions to open the conversation and make it more collaborative. Open-ended questions use the words who, what, when, where, how, and why. They ask, rather than tell. You can ask your child, What makes friendship hard? Who are you hanging out with these days? I notice you had a big reaction, what made you have that reaction? You need intel, and your child has it.

This communication style will allow for more collaborative discussions and help you to understand your child’s social dilemmas through his eyes and his own experience. Don’t assume you know why things are happening. When we assume, we miss so much. Any time your child balks at doing something you’ve suggested, ask, How come? Maybe it’s because he’s afraid of the unknown, or he remembers an experience that wasn’t pleasant.

2. Teach Your Child to Read Between the Lines—Games make learning more fun.

Play a game with your child. Make it a game to ask your child to interpret not what people say, but what they mean based on body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice. If need be, prompt your child and share with her some ways to guess what the person means, such as, What does the person’s body signals and tone of voice tell us they are trying to say? What do we know about this person? Ask her to pick out a sharp tone in one party guest, someone at the mall who is angry but does not say she is angry or someone who uses sarcasm and ask her how she knows this is the case.

3. Teach Your Child Learn to Read the Room

Help your child learn to clue into social cues by playing a game with your child. Prompt your child to pick out two people in her family to observe and then to report back what their facial expressions, body language, and tone of voice are when they are angry, frustrated, nervous, or frightened. When you and your child are at a party, at a mall, engaging with your family, ask her what she sees. Ask her, What does that person’s body language mean? What information can you gather just from the person’s tone of voice? In every environment, there are social guidelines, meaning typical behavior that the situation calls for—they are the unspoken rules.

4. Help Your Child Improve His Self-Regulation 

Help your child learn what makes him too excited, lose control of his body, or become flooded with emotions. In the moment, guide your child to pinpoint what is going on inside his body and mind. These are signals that show him his current emotional state. Ask your child, Is there a particular topic that makes you experience a reaction? What happened before you got excited, or felt big emotions? Arm your child with calming strategies that you design with him collaboratively, so he is prepared in the heat of the moment to head off any signs of losing control.

5. Teach your child to engage in a “polite pretend”

The ability to fake interest or happiness and to be polite even when your child is hungry, tired, or bored is what I call a polite pretend. Begin by asking him some open-ended questions, How do you think your friend felt about your behavior? How do other people feel about how you treated them? What behavior does the situation call for? This will help your child think about his actions and why performing a polite pretend may be necessary rather than hurting other people’s feelings.

Bio

Caroline Maguire, ACCG, PCC, M.Ed. is a personal coach who works with children who struggle socially and the families who support them. She is a former coach for the Hallowell Center in Sudbury, MA. While with the Hallowell Center, Caroline was the primary coach for children and teenagers. Her groundbreaking book, Why Will No One Play With Me? teaches parents how to coach their children to develop and improve their social skills.

Follow her parenting advice and purchase the book at carolinemaguireauthor.com.

Learn about Coaching at the Hallowell Centers: NYC and Boston MetroWest

Busting ADHD Myth on Medication

MYTH: The “right help” for ADHD begins and ends with medication.

FACT:  While medication can often be useful in dealing with ADHD, it is neither necessary nor always effective.  The starting point in managing ADHD is education.  One needs to learn about what ADHD is–and what it isn’t–in order to change it from a serious liability into a bonafide asset.

Books are a cost-efficient way to start the process.  I can recommend my comprehensive book, Delivered from Distraction, written with Dr. John Ratey, but there are many other good books out there as well.  

There are also excellent websites, chock full of free, valuable information.  The best one for parents looking for help for children is Understood.org, which is a phenomenal resource. ADDA provides resources for adults.

Once you learn about ADHD—its positives and its negatives—then you get to work, with a good guide, a therapist of some sort who understands ADHD. Someone who takes a strength-based approach, to change whatever it is in your life that is causing you problems. Usually you need to work with a coach to get more organized.

Steps To Take:

  • Get on a regular sleep schedule.
  • Build exercise into your life.
  • Consider the nutritional aspects of treatment.
  • Reconsider your job or school situation in light of ADHD
  • Making various structural changes in your life can make a big difference: the right filing system, the right organization scheme, the right daily schedule.

In addition, you will likely want to talk with your therapist about your family life. If you are a child, some family therapy will help. If you are an adult, couples therapy can make a big difference.

Beyond education, coaching, and therapy, it is important to have a plan for developing your talents and interests. This will take time, but it is key. You build a life not on weaknesses you have repaired, but on talents you have developed. Of course, fixing weaknesses can help you in developing your talents, so the two go hand in hand.

Click here for a list of comprehensive resources.

Click here to learn how the Hallowell Centers can help you.

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ADHD Upside

 

If you missed my podcast on the Upside of ADHD, listen HERE.

 

ADHD Downside

 

If you want to know about the Downside of ADHD, listen HERE.