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.

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.

How the Environment Affects Individuals with ADD and ADHD

Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Individuals with ADD and ADHD are very sensitive to the environment. That includes sounds, smells, motions and temperature just to name a few. Keeping this in mind, it is important that individuals with ADD/ADHD understand how every environment impacts him or her and takes action to minimize the impact of outside stimuli.

Sounds simple enough, right? It should be on the surface, but there’s more to this than we think. Let me give you an example from my life (keeping in mind that I mentioned temperature earlier). When I settle down for the evening, depending on the temperature in my house, I will or won’t wear socks. Now, the obvious answer to this is how cold are my feet? But there’s more to this than just the surface idea of temperature. If my feet get too cold or too warm, I have trouble settling down the rest of my body. My body is so sensitive to outside stimuli that even something as small as the temperature of my feet can impact how well I sleep. This also applies to the rest of me as well.

With some of my clients, I will often ask questions about his or her environment. Is it noisy? How’s the temperature? Are colors around him or her bright? Does he or she work in an open area? All of these things have to be considered to impact how well one does work. Asking someone to work in an environment that has too many stimuli will impact the quality and quantity of work. Think about it from this standpoint; would you want to sit outside when it’s hot outside in a winter coat fully bundled up? Now imagine that multiplied and that is how it impacts someone with ADD/ADHD across many different areas. It doesn’t make life any easier.

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 Facebook 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.

Finding Help and Support for Adults with ADD and ADHD

Image courtesy of tungphoto/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of tungphoto/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Please enjoy my latest appearance on ADHD Support Talk Radio with Tara McGillicuddy. We discuss finding support for ADD and ADHD as an adult.

Finding Help and Support for Adults with ADHD and ADHD

For many adults with ADD/ADHD, it is difficult to know where to start. Tara and I have a deep and frank discussion on things to look for as an adult and ways of understanding the process of coaching along with other interventions.

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. Feel free to email me at jonathan@adhdefcoach.com or call 773.888.ADHD (2343) with any additional questions.

Gambling with ADD and ADHD

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Let me disclaimer this piece by saying that I am not opposed to gambling. It is important to understand how gambling can be very dangerous for someone with ADD and ADHD. With impulsive behaviors can come bad decisions. And with bad decisions can come enormous ramifications.

Self Regulation is a key to being successful. You need to know your own limits and not get too over-or-under balanced when entering such a potentially dangerous activity. It isn’t just people with ADD/ADHD that make bad decisions. But it is people with ADD/ADHD that will often make decisions we know we shouldn’t have made. So if you decide to gamble, here’s some pointers to keep in mind…

  • Only bring what you’re prepared to lose.
  • Leave the ATM card at home.
  • Play in games you understand and are comfortable with the rules.
  • Fight the temptation to play games you don’t understand.
  • If you’re not sure, ask your dealer or someone you trust about the rules.
  • Travel with a friend you know and trust. Ask that person to hold your money if concerned.
  • If you’re winning, know when is the time to walk away.
  • Avoid being distracted by other players.
  • Try to avoid alcohol in access.
  • If you’re a poker player, try to play in tournaments to minimize your losses.

There are some of you reading this that are obviously more experiences gamblers. But for a non-regular gambler going to a casino or poker game, be sure to stay in the comfort zone. The worst decisions are when we try to over-complicate things.

One last piece of advice is if you have a bad night, it isn’t the end of the world. Try to minimize the damage and learn from your mistakes. When you try to compound your mistakes by making even more impulsive decisions, you will end up making regrettable choices. As the song says, know when to walk away; know when to run.

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 FacebookDigg 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.

Overeating with ADD/ADHD

Image courtesy of marin/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of marin/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Impulsive behaviors are one of the biggest challenges for people with ADD and ADHD. When it comes to activities like eating, the ability to control the amount of food we eat and have manageable portion control is extremely difficult. There are some things you can do to help with this issue.

  • Avoid “unlimited” eating options. Just because there’s an unlimited amount of food doesn’t mean you have to eat an unlimited amount of food.
  • Try to take smaller bites and spend a few more minutes chewing and digesting your food.
  • If you’re going to snack, try to avoid bringing the whole bag/container of the item. Pour some into a bowl and eat slowly.
  • On the subject of snacking, if you can substitute a healthy alternative, do it.
  • Drink plenty of water before, during, and after a meal.
  • Try to eat three meals a day. Not having breakfast can force overeating during other meals.
  • If you slip-up, try to rebound from it.

Personally, my overeating is caused by eating way too quickly. Instead of enjoying my food, I have a tendency of eating quickly. If you eat quickly, try to give yourself smaller portions and wait around five minutes between portions. If you take a larger portion and force yourself to eat it, chances are you will overeat.

One last piece of advice I’ll share is to know your own body. If you go through long stretches of not eating, chances are you’re going to overeat when you’re hungry. By having at least three set times to eat will make all the difference in the world.

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 Facebook, Digg 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.

Is there a Cure for ADD/ADHD?

Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Without a doubt, this is one of the questions I get asked most often in my work. Is there a cure for ADD and ADHD? There’s so much information and misinformation about ADD/ADHD, that it is important to understand some basic facts before answering this question.

  • ADD/ADHD is not a disease
  • ADD/ADHD is not mental retardation or brain damage
  • There’s no environmental causes of ADD/ADHD
  • ADD/ADHD is not a boys’ only disorder, it also impacts girls
  • ADD/ADHD often manifests itself differently in boys than girls.
  • It is hereditary
  • Only a qualified professional can properly diagnose ADD/ADHD
  • Medication can be an effective intervention when properly monitored and not the only intervention

These are just a few things to keep in mind. There’s plenty of other ones as well, but let’s start with this list. I usually ask new clients to tell me what he or she knows about ADD/ADHD. I am surprised at how many different responses I’ll receive. Unfortunately, this often comes from misinformed professionals or even worst, the Internet  Now, I know what you might be thinking, and yes, you’re reading this on the Internet too. But the difference between my blog and other sources is that I am not trying to sell you a product (yes I am an ADD/ADHD and Executive Functioning coach, but there’s no hidden agenda).

Here is my best advice for anyone seeking help; if it doesn’t feel right, comfortable or seems too-good-to-be true, it usually is a problem. When it comes to ADD/ADHD, many not-so-trustworthy professionals try to sell hope. It is a very unfair and unprofessional way of doing business. I’m upfront with perspective clients about what I offer and how my services will work. If I don’t see this as a fit, I will point perspective clients in a different direction. I’d strongly advise you to ask questions and if there’s concerns early, these will not go away.

So to answer the original question, there is no cure for ADD/ADHD. But with the proper interventions (medication, coaching, counseling, etc.), there are ways of improving performance. As with anything else, implementing proper interventions will eventually lead to improved compensation strategies. If you are told otherwise, you are probably at the wrong place.

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 FacebookDigg and Tumblr. My good friend and fellow ADD/ADHD Coach Tara McGillicuddy invited me as a 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 with any additional questions.

Self Control and ADD/ADHD

 

Image courtesy of tungphoto FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of tungphoto FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Self Control and ADD/ADHD

Please tune in and enjoy. If you have any questions, please let me know.

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 FacebookDigg and Tumblr. My good friend and fellow ADD/ADHD Coach Tara McGillicuddy invited me as a 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 with any additional questions.