ADHD and Word Problems: Hate Them or Embrace Them

If you are like me, you hated doing word problems in school. Word problems are hard because there isn’t a methodical way of doing them. Solving them requires insight, trial-and-error thinking, patience, and practice.

The reason word problems were so important in school is because they require us to think more deeply, to use reasoning and deductive logic to analyze and solve problems.  In other words, they develop us as thinkers.

Word problems are a three-part process. Continue reading “ADHD and Word Problems: Hate Them or Embrace Them”

The Bold Realities of ADHD

It’s become a joy of mine to produce Attention Talk Videos to address attention issues and provide information to help those in need. One thing I enjoy the most is how articulate many people are in commenting on those videos. I’d like to share a few that really represent the realities of the ADHD plight.

One viewer commented on a video related to dopamine and how those with ADHD forage for information on it. Here’s the comment:

“I simply won’t get the same dopamine boost from reading a textbook as I do from playing online games or watching YouTube videos, so I’m going to pick the latter every time. I’m not as motivated by having a reward at the end as I am by having rewards built into every moment of an activity.”

This comment is surreal, as it really does encapsulate so much in the ADHD experience in a legitimate way. It’s quite difficult for those with ADHD to seek a later reward where dopamine is built into every moment of an activity.

Then, we see this comment on a video regarding foraging for information:

“Part of the human plight is we forage for food because it’s pleasurable. These days food is abundant. More and more people with ADHD are on the Internet foraging for information. They are lifelong learners but struggle with the execution.”

Two other viewers wrote:

“I’m a chronic researcher and overpreparer… it’s my main way of procrastinating while appearing productive.”

“Learning can be exciting. The application of what you learned can be repetitive, boring, and mundane. It is common for those with ADHD to like learning but not like executing. The way this is articulated is, so often those with ADHD use learning as an excuse to avoid not doing the repetitive details, simply because execution is boring or somewhat ambiguous. I find behavioral coaching to be interesting when it comes to these because the strategy is basically to focus on behaviors, scheduling, and awareness.”

If anyone with ADHD wants to self-manage or self-regulate, the first thing I always advocate for is to face the harsh realities and be aware of what is true. I think both those comments are representative of that. There’s no simple way to overcome. The issues really are about problem-solving. Often, you may be trying to manage your environment to remove the temptations of the things that are shiny and exciting, while at the same time trying to reduce the burden of thinking and the boredom of executing a task. While problem-solving is a little bit more complex, and it is a credible strategy, and it’s far more effective.

I found a lot of success in coaching my clients by concentrating on the awareness level and helping them understand the true plight of those with ADHD, acknowledging that it’s hard, and actually problem-solving to address these formidable challenges.

From the comments on my videos and the success I’ve seen in viewers who have applied the tips, insights, and strategies, I believe Attention Talk Video is a relevant and significant resource for the ADHD community. With hundreds of videos available there, the viewer is free to pick and choose whatever seems most helpful personally. With immense gratitude, thank you to all our viewers. Your helpful comments are much appreciated.

Keeping Organized Goes Beyond a Task List

Are you one of those individuals who think it’s just too complicated to get organized or even to remember things you need to do? Planning is essential for both of these tasks, but it’s important to keep those plans as simple as possible. This theory was what motivated Dr. Carey Heller and me to co-author an article, titled “Keeping Organized Goes Beyond a Task List,” for Attention Magazine, published in the October 2020 edition.

In the article, we discuss why it is common among those with ADHD to struggle with planning, organizing, and remembering tasks; it’s an issue of being unable to see the overall picture, or what is called an executive functioning impairment. We illustrated examples of the various ways these situations present themselves and then offer suggestions to address the process to help you complete your tasks.

The article mentions several lessons to help you learn how to do things in a more natural way to how you work, like breaking down a project and tackling just a small portion at a time. This would help to clear out visual clutter without overtaxing your working memory. The goal of the article is to help you learn more about advocating for yourself and improving your productivity.

That’s why I’m sharing this link with you so you can access the article, along with articles included from other experts. I’m sure you’ll find information there that you will enjoy and that will inspire you. Also, I encourage you to become a member of CHADD. You’ll get the magazine for free in both print and digital format, or you can just subscribe to the digital edition alone. In any case, here’s the link to the magazine: Click here to subscribe to CHADD’s Attention Magazine: https://chadd.org/get-attention-magazine/

Or click here to read the article:  https://digcoaching.com/PDF/Keeping-Organized-Goes-Beyond-a-Task-List_AttentionMagazineOct2020.pdf

Things That Make You Go, “Hmm…”

Since 2012, I’ve had the honor of being on the editorial board of Attention Magazine, published by Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD). At first, this might not be surprising, but once you realize I have dyslexia and a learning disability, you might understand the irony, as these have had an enormous impact in my life and have made writing one of my greatest weaknesses. You have to laugh at the idea though. Somebody who struggles to write is actually on the editorial board of a prominent magazine. Go figure.

Seriously, I had been invited onto the editorial board because of my special relationships with experts in the ADHD community and because of the content I had created for Attention Talk Radio and Attention Talk Video. My asset is not the ability to write but, rather, my ability to network with people and find good content.

Here’s another tidbit. When COVID-19 hit and almost everyone was mandated to stay home, I immediately jumped on the idea of a radio show about working from home. Rarely are my shows done solo, but this time, I was compelled to do so based on my experience of working from home and coaching others. Ironically, the editor of Attention Magazine, after listening to the show, had asked me to write the article. I agreed.

Ultimately, the process meant I had to dictate a stream of consciousness with several proofs and edits by others. So, there you have it. The article, titled “ADHD, Productivity, and Working from Home,” was printed in the June edition of the magazine.

The good news is that, because of COVID-19, CHADD had made the decision to post the entire June edition of the magazine available online for public access. That’s why I’m sharing this link with you so you can access my article, along with articles included from other experts. I’m sure you’ll find information there that you will enjoy and that will inspire you.

Also, I encourage you to become a member of CHADD. You’ll get the magazine for free in both print or digital format, or you can just subscribe to the digital edition alone. In any case, here’s the link to subscribe:  https://chadd.org/get-attention-magazine/

Click here to read the article: https://digcoaching.com/PDF/ADHD-Productivity-Working-from-Home.pdf

Even though writing is very difficult for me, I am on the editorial board. Go figure. I think there’s a song, “Things That Make You Go Hmm.”

 

The Truth about ADHD and Working Independently

Work EnvironmentDr. Thomas E. Brown once said, “The more there is a need for independent work, the lower the grades and productivity of those with ADHD.”

In general, I’ve found this to be true in my experience as a coach. Although the peace and quiet of home or your office might increase productivity in some people, sadly, that is not always the case for those with ADHD. Continue reading “The Truth about ADHD and Working Independently”

ADHD, Productivity, Working from Home, and You

Our workplaces are formal, professional, and structured to accommodate business systems, interactions, frequency of direct communications, and access to human capital (or people knowledge) by being in the presence of others.

A workplace at home is more informal, more comfortable, and lacks the structure of the work environment, making it difficult for those with ADHD to self-regulate their attention. Gone are the face-to-face human interactions, the “buzz” of other busy bees getting work done with their work energy. Continue reading “ADHD, Productivity, Working from Home, and You”

ADHD Diagnosis and Treatment: Art or Science?

Jeff Copper & Aha BobPeople are unique, individual, and infinitely complex. In the interest of maximizing efficiencies, our world and medical community focuses on commonalities to evaluate, label, and treat patients. This approach raises some key questions: Can something so complex be labeled? Is the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD a science or is it an art?  Let’s explore this system a bit deeper to understand how we get a diagnosis before answering these questions.

Continue reading “ADHD Diagnosis and Treatment: Art or Science?”

Diagnosing ADHD With a Brain Scan: Yay or Nay?

Aha Bob BrainWithout a doubt, science is an amazing thing and strides in medicine are impressive. Many specialists turn to advanced tools to diagnose and better understand attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). By studying cerebral function, structure, and chemistry, specialists can discern biological differences in the ADHD brain. But seeing something different does not mean they understand it.
Continue reading “Diagnosing ADHD With a Brain Scan: Yay or Nay?”

ADHD: Foraging for Information

Our ancestors foraged for food because it was necessary. Today, food is in abundance, freeing up time for us to forage for information. Why are we… especially those with ADHD… prone to forage for information? Because it is pleasurable! You see, one of the key neurotransmitters that impacts the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder plight is dopamine, the reward neurotransmitter. It’s the reason we procreate, why we forage for food or seek anything pleasurable. Continue reading “ADHD: Foraging for Information”