Interrupting with ADD and ADHD

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A big issue for people with ADD and ADHD is interrupting. It makes us come across as rude, crude, and uninterested. It hurts us in social and life situations. I know when I get excited about a thought or feel that I have to be heard, self-regulation can become an issue.

So what can we do to help with this issue? Well I have a few suggestions. One is to confide in a trusted partner, friend, relative or coworker. Ask he or she  how often you may interrupt a conversation (and wait for the answer before interrupting)? Does this happen at different parts of the day? Certain situations? But be prepared to not like the answer. The truth isn’t always delightful.

OK, so not that you’ve established that you can interrupt conversations and found out a little bit more about it’s impact, now it is time to act. This won’t be an overnight thing, but you need to start conditioning yourself to change. One strategy that helps me is to have an object in my hand (stress ball, phone, etc.). When I feel like speaking, I will squeeze my hand around the object (or make a fist if I am not holding anything). If after making this gesture, if what I need to say is still important, I will then find the appropriate time to intervene. But that second pause makes all the difference.

Now let’s take this a step further. What happens if you’re on a bad streak of interrupting? To use a football term…punt. Suggest you need a drink of water or a trip to the restroom and refocus. There’s nothing you can do to correct a situation, but you can move forward. Regroup and create a plan moving forward.

For more information on my ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning coaching, please visit www.adhdefcoach.com. In addition to working with clients in-person, I also work with clients all over the United States and World online, so please visit www.onlineadhdcoach.com for more information. To learn more information about some of the other services I provide, please visit www.carrolleducationalgroup.com www.iepexperts.com.  I can be found on Twitter at ADHDEFCoach. You can also find me on FacebookGoogle Plus and Tumblr. My good friend and fellow ADD/ADHD Coach Tara McGillicuddy invites me as a regular guest on ADD/ADHD Support Talk Radio. Feel free to email me at jonathan@adhdefcoach.com or call 773.888.ADHD (2343) with any additional questions.

Creating Filters for ADD and ADHD

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

We all have those moment where we wish we could take back something we’ve said or done. For some of us, these things seem to happen a lot more often than others. Creating and implementing filters for people with ADD and ADHD is essential.

So how does one create and implement a filter? Well it begins with identifying the issue or problem that one wants to repair/discontinue. Perhaps we say things that shouldn’t be said? It gets to a point where people are uncomfortable around us. Or even worse, we are uncomfortable with ourselves.

The best place to start is at the beginning. Ask yourself three questions…

  • What is our goal?
  • What behavior/action are we attempting to improve?
  • Is there something we want to do differently?

Let’s say that you have a tendency to say things that will offend others. While this isn’t your intention it happens too often in social situations. The goal becomes to improve social communication. You’re attempting to improve how your communicate (too much. too little, etc.). Depending on the issue, you want to change that specific action that concerns you or the situation.

Now, this sounds great and easy, but if it were so easy none of us would have those moments. And by putting a filter in place isn’t suggesting we won’t have those moments in the future, but understanding the behavior is essential. I strongly recommend you take a personal (and honest) inventory and identify the areas you feel good about and those areas in which you struggle. Apply those things you want to improve through my little test and track the results. What you might find will surprise you.

For more information on my ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning coaching, please visit www.adhdefcoach.com. In addition to working with clients in-person, I also work with clients all over the United States and World online, so please visit www.onlineadhdcoach.com for more information. To learn more information about some of the other services I provide, please visit www.carrolleducationalgroup.com and www.iepexperts.com.  I can be found on Twitter at ADHDEFCoach. You can also find me on FacebookGoogle Plus and Tumblr. My good friend and fellow ADD/ADHD Coach Tara McGillicuddy invites me as a regular guest on ADD/ADHD Support Talk Radio. Feel free to email me at jonathan@adhdefcoach.com or call 773.888.ADHD (2343) with any additional questions.

Similarities Between Golf and ADD & ADHD

Image courtesy of antpkr / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of antpkr / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I am an avid golfer (this does not mean I am a good golfer). Recently, I picked up Golf Magazine and found an article about professional golfers with ADD and ADHD by Cameron Morfit (click here). It got me to thinking more about the connections between ADD/ADHD and golf.

Without a doubt, golf is an excellent comparison to living with ADD/ADHD. You can hit a great tee and approach shot, then miss two putts. Even though the two original shots were great, the missed putt counts the same as a long drive. On the flip side, you can hit a terrible drive, recover well and get a good score on a hole. Just like with ADD/ADHD, you can start well and end poorly; or you can start poorly and end well.

Recently, I went golfing with a young client that was struggling with his game. I worked with him on taking a moment to visualize the thought process behind his shots. Recognize the situation and identify if there was a better approach to his round. This wasn’t a talent issue, but a confidence one.

Golf is frustrating and satisfying within one shot. You hit a great shot and it keeps you coming back for more; or you hit a bad shot and the game becomes ridiculous. Either way, golf is a sport that requires large amounts of patience, persistence and dedication. Sounds a lot like living with ADD/ADHD doesn’t it? There are three keys to being more successful at both…

  1. Recognize and understand your strengths and areas for improvement.
  2. Enjoy your good moments and learn from your struggles.
  3. Despite how frustrating things become, keep working to get better.

No matter how good or bad things are going, remember, there are worse places one can be than a golf course!

For more information on my ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning coaching, please visit www.adhdefcoach.com. In addition to working with clients in-person, I also work with clients all over the United States and World online, so please visit www.onlineadhdcoach.com for more information. To learn more information about some of the other services I provide, please visit www.carrolleducationalgroup.com & www.iepexperts.com. I can be found on Twitter at ADHDEFCoach. You can also find me on FacebookGoogle Plus and Tumblr. My good friend and fellow ADD/ADHD Coach Tara McGillicuddy invites me as a regular guest on ADD/ADHD Support Talk Radio. Feel free to email me at jonathan@adhdefcoach.com or call773.888.ADHD (2343) with any additional questions.

Rejection with ADD and ADHD

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Handling rejection is one of the most difficult things for anyone to handle. For someone with ADD and ADHD, this becomes something we get used to and even more unfortunately begin to expect. It still doesn’t make it feel right, it is just something we deal with way too often.

With the above being said, it isn’t fair to say that this rejection doesn’t come from an action or misstep. Way too often we don’t learn from our mistakes and continue to have the same concerns come up on a regular basis. Just because we are genuinely remorseful when we lose our temper or say or do the wrong thing does not mean the other person will forgive that action. Remember, just because you apologize does not mean the other person is going to accept it.

Many of my clients suggest a change of scenery or a fresh start will solve his or her problems. But what he or she fails to recognize is that without a change in the behavior, the same issues will still arise. Do people reject you because of what you say? How you say it? Or your general behavior? These things follow you even if there’s new players on the stage.

Recently I tried to become friendly with someone. However, our first interaction wasn’t very positive. Even though I apologized to this person and was told it was all forgotten doesn’t mean this person wants to be my friend. My mistake was starting off on the wrong foot, and even though I was wrong and admitted as much does not mean this person will be my friend. The best lesson I can learn from this interaction is to understand what I did to make this situation bad and work through improving in the future.

It is important that you take a personal inventory of your strengths and concerns. Use this to better communicate with people. If there’s someone you’re close with, ask him or her for advice on your behaviors. And be prepared to hear what he or she has to say. Sometimes, the worst tasting medicine produces the best results.

For more information on my ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning coaching, please visit www.adhdefcoach.com. In addition to working with clients in-person, I also work with clients all over the United States and World online, so please visit www.onlineadhdcoach.com for more information. To learn more information about some of the other services I provide, please visit www.carrolleducationalgroup.com & www.iepexperts.com. I can be found on Twitter at ADHDEFCoach. You can also find me on FacebookGoogle Plus and Tumblr. My good friend and fellow ADD/ADHD Coach Tara McGillicuddy invites me as a regular guest on ADD/ADHD Support Talk Radio. Feel free to email me at jonathan@adhdefcoach.com or call773.888.ADHD (2343) with any additional questions.

Why do People with ADD and ADHD Have Trouble Taking Responsibility?

Image courtesy of artur84 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of artur84 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Having ADD and ADHD isn’t exactly a piece of cake. Those of us that deal with it have many daily struggles and challenges. So when we do something wrong or aren’t living up to our potential (a word I strongly dislike…much prefer ability), it slowly wears on the person with ADD/ADHD.

That being said, the unfortunate part of having ADD/ADHD is that we learn bad habits. One habit I see regularly are clients pawning his or her issues upon someone else. Why does this happen? Well, let’s go back to my first paragraph. We feel defeated on a regular basis. So when we can give our problem to someone else, it becomes one less worry for us.

We regularly find the family member, boss or teacher to blame for our failures. And why not? The less things we need to accept responsibility for the happier we become. When that particular person acts out, we feel even better. Seeing someone else take ownership of our problem and act out reinforces our detachment from it. It is amazing how many times I see clients and family members engaging in arguments over the smallest of things.

So as a loved one of a person with ADD/ADHD, what can you do? It starts with not engaging the person with ADD/ADHD in the argument. As I’ve discussed, a person with ADD/ADHD likes handing off his or her problems, so don’t accept it. When you’re blamed, just walk away. Once you engage in the argument, you lose. But if you hold the line, the ADD/ADHD will be more likely to take responsibility for his or her actions. Now I totally understand that this will not be easy, but it takes time and practice.

What if you have ADD/ADHD? I think there’s two things you should do. The first is write down the issue and journal about it. Be honest and see what your role is in the whole process. The other thing is to work with a qualified professional. You need someone fair and unbiased to help you see your role in things. A loved one is not the best source for this role. He or she is too involved in the game.

For more information on my ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning coaching, please visit http://www.adhdefcoach.com. In addition to working with clients in-person, I also work with clients all over the United States and World online, so please visit www.onlineadhdcoach.com for more information. To learn more information about some of the other services I provide, please visit www.carrolleducationalgroup.com and www.iepexperts.com. I can be found on Twitter at ADHDEFCoach. You can also find me on FacebookGoogle Plus and Tumblr. My good friend and fellow ADD/ADHD Coach Tara McGillicuddy invites me as a regular guest onADD/ADHD Support Talk Radio. Feel free to email me at jonathan@adhdefcoach.com or call773.888.ADHD (2343) with any additional questions.

Diagnosing ADD and ADHD

Image courtesy of digitalart/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of digitalart/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

There is no quick diagnosis for ADD and ADHD. Just like this is not a simple disorder, diagnosing it isn’t a simple process. While one might display symptoms that look like ADD/ADHD, it doesn’t mean that it is ADD/ADHD. It could be a variety of things. Only a full neuropsychological evaluation is the best way to tell if you’re dealing with ADD/ADHD or other symptoms that can act like this disorder. As the saying goes…

just because it looks and quacks like a duck doesn’t mean it’s a duck.

I cannot tell you how many times people call me for help with ADD/ADHD and he or she is self-diagnosed. Or what’s even worse is that a teacher will tell a parent that his or her child has the disorder. Just like a car should be evaluated by a qualified mechanic, ADD/ADHD should be diagnosed by a qualified professional. While the Internet is a great resource, information isn’t always filtered. It’s important to know the source.

You should still do your part. If you suspect you or a loved one is dealing with ADD/ADHD, you should do your due diligence. I’d suggest two things…

1. Begin gathering information…

  • Why ADD/ADHD is suspected?
  • What behavior(s) is/are a concern?
  • What do you hope to learn?

2. Identify and interview psychologists…

  • I’d identify at least three people to interview.
  • Be prepared for this process to take some time. It’s usually a good sign when there’s a wait to see someone.

This is not a simple or inexpensive process, but a comprehensive evaluation will help provide a roadmap for treatment. Once have a greater understanding of the specific situation, you’ll be able to identify the best ways of helping.

For more information on my ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning coaching, please visithttp://www.adhdefcoach.com. In addition to working with clients in-person, I also work with clients all over the United States and World online, so please visit www.onlineadhdcoach.com for more information. To learn more information about some of the other services I provide, please visit http://www.carrolleducationalgroup.com and http://www.iepexperts.com. I can be found on Twitter at ADHDEFCoach. You can also find me on FacebookGoogle Plus and Tumblr. My good friend and fellow ADD/ADHD Coach Tara McGillicuddy invites me as a regular guest onADD/ADHD Support Talk Radio. Feel free to email me at jonathan@adhdefcoach.com or call773.888.ADHD (2343) with any additional questions.

Self-Regulation with ADD and ADHD

Image courtesy of pakorn/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of pakorn/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

ADD and ADHD is a disorder of self-regulation. I’ve come to this realization after living with this disorder for almost 40 years and my professional experiences. My statement certainly simplifies the whole process, but let’s take a deeper look into what exactly this means.

In some of my other entries, I’ve mentioned things like The Internal Pause Button as a way of controlling one’s behavior. But what if we don’t even know what things we’re trying to control? Or that there’s an issue at all? What if we see a box of cookies sitting on a table and eat the whole thing, but don’t recognize these cookies are for a group of people? It is hard to implement any strategy without understand why it needs to be implemented. Or to use an old analogy, it is like putting the cart ahead of the horse.

Let me take a step back…what is self-regulation??? In the simplest of terms, it is one’s ability to control certain impulses or behaviors in relation to the environment. Let’s go back to the box of cookies example. We know we’re hungry, we know there are cookies, so two problems are solved. But what we don’t recognize is the expectations that we take a few cookies so other’s can enjoy these too. It isn’t that we don’t care, it’s more that we just aren’t regulating ourselves to the environment.

Due to this issue, many of my clients struggle in social situations. Whether it be in the workplace or other activities requiring attention to how one fits in, it presents some real challenges. That’s why many of my clients shy away from these types of events or have trouble maintaining work relationships. However, these things can be addressed through working with a qualified professional.

So how do we improve our self-regulation? This isn’t an easy question to answer. It will not go away, just like any other area of self-improvement, it has to be addressed regularly. But understanding it is a start. The best advice I can give is to study yourself in certain situations, take notes and learn from yourself. Learn from your own behavior and identify things to improve.

For more information on my ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning coaching, please visit http://www.adhdefcoach.com. In addition to working with clients in-person, I also work with clients all over the United States and World online, so please visit www.onlineadhdcoach.com for more information. To learn more information about some of the other services I provide, please visit http://www.carrolleducationalgroup.com and http://www.iepexperts.com. I can be found on Twitter at ADHDEFCoach. You can also find me on Facebook, Google Plus and Tumblr. My good friend and fellow ADD/ADHD Coach Tara McGillicuddy invites me as a regular guest on ADD/ADHD Support Talk Radio. Feel free to email me at jonathan@adhdefcoach.com or call 773.888.ADHD (2343) with any additional questions.

Grades vs. Performance with ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning Concerns

What is more important; grades or performance? Let me know what you think…

For more information on my ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning coaching, please visit www.adhdcoachchicago.com. To learn more information about some of the other services I provide, please visit www.carrolleducationalgroup.com and www.iepexperts.com. I can be found on Twitter at ADHDEFCoach. You can also find me on FacebookGoogle Plus and Tumblr. My good friend and fellow ADD/ADHD Coach Tara McGillicuddy invites me as a regular guest on ADD/ADHD Support Talk Radio. Tara does many wonderful things and you should check out her website here. Feel free to email me at jonathan@adhdefcoach.com or call 773.888.ADHD (2343) with any additional questions.

Boundaries with ADD and ADHD

It is difficult for people with ADD and ADHD to set boundaries. Here are some ideas to help you improve boundary setting.

For more information on my ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning coaching, please visit http://www.adhdcoachchicago.com. To learn more information about some of the other services I provide, please visit http://www.carrolleducationalgroup.com and http://www.iepexperts.com. I can be found on Twitter at ADHDEFCoach. You can also find me on Facebook, Google Plus and Tumblr. My good friend and fellow ADD/ADHD Coach Tara McGillicuddy invites me as a regular guest on ADD/ADHD Support Talk Radio. Tara does many wonderful things and you should check out her website here. Feel free to email me at jonathan@adhdefcoach.com or call 773.888.ADHD (2343) with any additional questions.

Setting Realistic Goals with ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning Concerns

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Goal setting is an important thing especially when it comes to people with ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning concerns. However, understanding goal-setting is a whole other ballgame. Just because one wants to set goals does not mean he or she is setting good and achievable goals. Here is an example…

I want to lose weight

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this goal except there’s not much more than a statement involved. Obviously, the ultimate goal is to lose weight, but there’s not much in the way of a plan to  lose weight in this statement. Here are some questions that should tie into this goal…

  • How much weight do you want to lose?
  • What are benchmarks for success (i.e, how much weight per week, per month, etc.)
  • How do you evaluate success?
  • What happens if there’s a slip-up or a benchmark isn’t met?
  • How will you maintain this goal upon completion?

Most of my clients miss goals by not putting specifics into place. Goal setting shouldn’t set one up for failure before it begins. Setting an expectation of losing weight doesn’t need to involve an unrealistic number that will never be met. I like goals to have these following components…

  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Reviewable

The first two are obvious. But what about reviewable? What does that mean? Well let’s say a goal isn’t being met. What should you do? Scrap the goal? Quit? Obviously these are two options, but one’s that will not get you to a level of success. Instead, being able to review and revamp goals will keep you on course. Just because it isn’t working doesn’t mean it is a bad goal. It just means you need to recalabrate expectations.

For more information on my ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning coaching, please visit www.adhdcoachchicago.com. To learn more information about some of the other services I provide, please visit www.carrolleducationalgroup.com and www.iepexperts.com. I can be found on Twitter at ADHDEFCoach. You can also find me on FacebookGoogle Plus and Tumblr. My good friend and fellow ADD/ADHD Coach Tara McGillicuddy invites me as a regular guest on ADD/ADHD Support Talk Radio. Tara does many wonderful things and you should check out her website here. Feel free to email me at jonathan@adhdefcoach.com or call 773.888.ADHD (2343) with any additional questions.