|ADHD News and Information Home > ADHD Articles 1998> September|
ADDed Attractions September 15, 1998
**If you would like to Unsubscribe to ADDed Attractions please send a message to email@example.com. Unsubscribing to any other email address will not get you removed from the mailing list.**
I'd like to take a moment to introduce Dr. Alice D'Antoni-Phillips who Will be joining the staff here at ADDed Attractions. Next month Dr. Alice Will be addressing academic issues related to ADHD. I hope you Will all find the information that Dr. Alice has to share with us Valuable. Please find below some information about Dr. Alice:
Dr. Alice D'Antoni-Phillips, President of Education Rx Associates, Inc, and GigaLEARN, Inc., ha extensive experience within the fields of educational administration, methods, psychology, learning disabilities and ADHD. She is well-known for her expertise in educational assessment, management/organization skill training, and learning strategies.
Trained at Marshall University, Dr. DP holds a BA in Elementary Education and Mental REtardation and an MA in Mental Retardation and Orthopedia Conditions. She eared her Doctoral Degree from the University of South Carolina in Special Education Administration and Learning Disabilities. Her postgraduate work includes training with the Reitan Neuropsychology Laboratory in Neuropsychological Assessment, Carlson Learning Company in Personal Profile Assessment, studied in the Soviet Union as part of an international psychology exchange with Dr. Russell Barkley focusing on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and participated in Scotland as part of an international reading study exchange through the University of Louisville.
Dr. D"s' broad professional background includes public school teaching, staff development, and administration with school systems, private industry, the US Department of Defense, and the US Office of Education. She has been a presenter at numerous local, state, and national seminars, including the 1998 International Psychology Conference on ADHD in Cambridge, England.
A creator of educational materials and products, Dr. DP has created the nationally known PowerOrganizerSuccessSystem, a tool for teaching students and adults, particularly those with ADHD, management and organization skills. In addition she created ThinkBankLearning, an extensive teacher-training program that focuses on school-work transitions. Most recently, Dr. DP created a 50-minute video on smart-study strategies; The A-Zone...Easy Ways to Better Grades, is a National Telly Award winner currently marketed through Doulous Productions, Inc. For Moms, Dr. DP wrote the humorous, poignant, easy-to-read guidelines on raising kids...Holy Moses, I'm Tired of Wiping Noses...The Ten Commandments of Motherhood. Dr. DP is a regularly featured writer for the National Beta Club Journal, a national student organization that recognizes young people who are achieving academic excellence.
Dr. DP maintains an active private educational practice seeing clients daily and working with parents and educators on a myriad of issues; she has three sons, Matthew who is a Junior at Brown University, Andrew who is a Senior in high school, and Nicholas a Sophomore in high school. All three sons are accomplished student-athletes; therefore, most of Dr. DP's extra time is spent in watching all three play basketball, traveling with husband, Ben, who heads Pelican Companies or just cruising with Ben on their Harley.
Welcome Aboard Dr. Alice!!!!
UNITED ADVOCATES FOR CHILDREN OF CALIFORNIA
The UACC is a statewide organization for families with Children who have or are at risk of having severe emotional, Behavioral or mental disorders.
The UACC was established in April 1993 and is:
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA OFFICE:
Carolyn Cooper, President
P.O Box 8900
Emeryville, Ca 94662-8900
CENTERAL CALIFORNIA OFFICE:
David and Robin Wheat
P.O Box 2125
Oakhurst, CA 93644
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA OFFICE:
6968 Bullock Drive
San Diego, Ca 92114
RIVERSIDE COUNTY COORDINATOR:
3861 4th St. #4
Riverside, Ca 92501
HOTLINE OPENS FOR FAMILIES WITH MENTALLY ILL CHILDREN
Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala and Tipper Gore, wife of Vice-President Gore, announced a new hot line for families with mentally or Emotionally disturbed children. The national Mental Services Knowledge Exchange Network will provide a variety of information, including mental health services And resources available across the country. 1-800-789-2647.
** DR. DAVE'S ADDVICE **
Before starting this month's column I'd like to invite you to sign up for a free trial subscription to ADHD RESEARCH UPDATE, the electronic newsletter I publish that keeps parents informed about new research on ADD/ADHD and how new findings can be applied to help their child. Just click on this link: firstname.lastname@example.org and type "Free Trial" in the subject line. I'll send you out 3 issues to look at and you should get your first one within several days.
* USING A HOME-SCHOOL REPORT CARD *
Now that school has started up again, one of the most important things parents can do to help make it a successful year for their child is to carefully monitor how their child is doing each day at school.
An easy and effective way to do this is with something called a "home-school" report card. This is simply a little chart that makes it easy for your child's teacher to provide you with feedback each day on how your child did in key areas (e.g. completing work, following class rules, etc.). Based on how your child does each day, he or she will earn "special" privileges that afternoon/evening after school (e.g. t.v. time, computer time, getting to stay up 30 minutes later, etc.).
Here are suggested guidelines to follow in developing and using such a program. (Note: This program is most appropriate for elementary school children, and needs to be adapted for use with older students.)
1. Discuss the plan with your child's teacher: Cooperation from your child's teacher is essential for this to work as he/she needs to fill out the ratings each day. Explain that you are trying to carefully monitor how your child is doing each day at school and that this will give you the information you need without requiring a lot of time from the teacher.
2. Decide what behaviors to target: This should be done with input from the teacher. The idea is to focus on 2-3 key areas that the teacher feels are most important. Examples of behaviors you might target are: completing assigned class work"; following class rules", treating peers with respect, waiting turn before talking.
The idea here is to identify a few important areas that your child is having trouble with and where improvement is necessary. Don't try to focus on more than 2-3 things at a time and make sure they are stated in simple, straight forward language.
3. Decide how your child will be "graded" for each item: Each day, your child's teacher will provide a rating indicating how your child did on each item being targeted. The rating system I generally use is a simple 1-5 scale where "1" indicates a very poor job on the specified behavior; "3" indicates an "okay job" and "5" indicates a "very good" job.
Each day, therefore, the teacher would assign such a rating to each behavior that is being targeted.
4. Make up the daily rating forms that will be used: This does not have to be fancy and can be as simple as the outline below:
(SAMPLE DAILY RATING FORM)
Daily Ratings for: (Child's name)
1. Completes assigned work 1 2 3 4 5
2. Awaits turn before talking 1 2 3 4 5
3. Treats peers with respect 1 2 3 4 5
Note: 1 = very poor; 2 = poor; 3 = okay; 4 = good; 5 = very good
You would give your child's teacher a supply of these forms so she can complete one each day that your child brings home. As you can see, this should not take more than a minute or two.
5. Discuss the plan with your child: It is very important that your child understand that this plan is not intended as a punishment but, instead, will provide him/her with the opportunity to earn extra privileges for doing a good job each day at school.
You need to make sure that your child understands exactly what is expected of him/her to earn a good score in each area being targeted. In other words, using the sample chart above, what does he/she need to do in order to be given a score of "5" for "treating peers with respect". Ideally, the teacher would explain to your child the reason for the ratings that were assigned each day.
Your child also needs to understand what extra privileges he/she will be able to earn each day after school for doing a good job, and what score needs to be achieved to qualify for these rewards.
* Your Child Needs to Succeed *
It is important that your child is successful with this program early on. If not, children can quickly become discouraged and lose interest. I might thus start out by requiring the child to earn a total of 9 points to receive their daily reward. This would mean that the child achieved an average score of 3 (or "okay")on the different items, which is presumably an improvement over what had been their typical level of behavior. Once this score is being earned consistently, you may want to require a higher score in order to earn the reward, but do not set the standard so high that your child is unable to achieve it with some consistency as this can quickly result in a loss of interest and effort.
These are the basics to consider in implementing this simple behavioral plan. This system can be helpful because it provides you with daily feedback about how your child is doing in important areas and provides your child with short term incentives for good behavior. It also requires very little time from your child's teacher. Here are some other things to keep in mind when designing and implementing this program:
* The more input your child has in developing this program the better.
It is good to get your child involved in setting the goals to work on as this can get him/her thinking about their behavior in a serious way. Also, letting your child have input into the daily rewards they are trying to earn (e.g. t.v. time, computer time, getting to stay up 30 minute later, etc.) can help them become more invested in doing well.
* Consider a long term reward as well as daily rewards for good scores.
I often suggest that in addition to the daily rewards a child can earn for a good report card, that a longer term incentive be used as well. For example, if the child earns a certain number of points during the week, a somewhat "bigger" reward can be earned on the weekend (e.g. getting to rent a video, lunch out with parents, trip to park, etc.)
(Note - Some parents have concerns that a program like this is simply "bribing" their child for things he/she should do anyway. I do not think this is the case. If your child is behaving in a more mature and cooperative manner, shouldn't he or she have access to privileges that would otherwise not be available?)
* Try to keep this plan on the "top" of your child's mind.
It is a good idea to remind your child each morning before school what behaviors they are working on, what they need to do to earn a good "score" and what reward they are working to earn for that evening and end of the week. If the teacher does this as well, and gives your child feedback about how he/she is doing as often as possible during the day, this will also be very helpful.
* Try to keep your child interested in the program.
Parents often complain that their child with ADD/ADHD shows initial interest in a program like this but soon loses interest. This happens as children with ADHD tend to become bored with things quickly.
The best way to work against this is to frequently praise your child for doing well and setting things up so he/she can be successful. Remember, don't make the standards too high starting out - if your child is not able to earn the rewards on a regular basis they are unlikely to work harder - instead, they will probably just lose interest.
It also helps to rotate the rewards frequently so your child is always working to achieve something different and new. This takes some effort and creativity but is important to try.
If you are not already using a program similar to that described above, this can be well worth giving a try. If it does not seem to be working for you, then consulting with a child psychologist to figure out how to modify the plan to be more successful would be advisable.
Remember, just like medication is not a "cure" for ADHD, either is a behavioral plan like this. Most parents find that this type of plan is helpful while it is implemented, but once it is stopped, the child's behavior often returns to how it was before. The goal of this type of program is thus to help manage a child's symptoms more effectively, and expecting this to provide a long term "cure" is, unfortunately, an unreasonable expectation.
Best wishes till next month.
** ADVOCACY HELP IN MAINE **
4-C Winter Street
Augusta ME 04330
Maine Advocacy Services
P O Box 2007
Augusta ME 04338
** CONFERENCE INFO: COMING OUT OF THE DARKENSS **
Attention Deficit Disorder [ADHD] and Co-Occurring Conditions Throughout the Lifespan
November 7-8, 1998
The Embassy Suites Hotel, San Francisco Airport
An intensive educational conference geared to the needs of both health Care and criminal justice professionals. CE/CME credit.
Presenters include: Edward M. Hallowell, MD; Daniel G. Amen, MD; David E. Comings, MD; Patricia O. Quinn, MD; Wendy Richardson, MA, LMFCC; Dwaine McCallon, MD; Joah McManus, PhD; Julia F. Tybor Moore, MD; Catherine Long Popell, RN, PhD & Matthew Stubblefield, MD..
Topics include ADHD in relation to: Bipolar Disorder; OCD; Behavioral & Chemical Addictions; PTSD; Depression; Violent Behavior; Anxiety & Chronic Worry; Tourette Syndrome; Acquired Brain Injury; Oppositional Defiance Disorder: Use of Medication; Diagnostic &Assessment Tools; Couples & Families; Adolescents; the Elderly; Hormones & Cognitive Function in Women;. Understanding & Treating the Criminal Mind; and more.
Dealing with Chronic Worry: What It Is and What To Do About It Edward M. Hallowell, MD
A one-day practical pre-conference workshop to "Coming Out of the Darkness". Learn how to understand and deal with excessive worry whether in clients Or yourself. Includes a psychological & biological framework for understanding and assessing worry and anxiety, and the most powerful medical and non-medical treatment strategies available. Latest medications will be discussed, and Dr. Hallowell will demonstrate a variety of non-medical interventions such as EMDR and selected cognitive therapy techniques that have proven especially effective in reducing chronic worry.
For more information contact: IABH 800-258-8411 or email@example.com or Check our web site at www/ibh.com
I received a great letter from Kathy and thought that her idea was A WONDERFUL one and wanted to share it with other readers. Here Is Kathy's letter:
"We have a little girl with ADHD and on particularly trying days my husband and I remind each other that she is:
"energetically gifted" and "emotionally wealthy" -
We have also made a list of positive characteristics we see in her because there are some days we need to be reminded.
We also have made a little book ( a plain journal) where we write special things she did or said, for example she shared her toys with a friend today, she made her bed today and we read these out loud to her when she is feeling a little low."
I thought this was a great idea! Self Esteem is often an issue with our children, Some struggle harder than others in this area but how wonderful it would be to Be able to show our child that they do accomplish things and that they are Successful with a journal of their accomplishments, their positive traits and Good deeds. What a lift this would be for the child having an off day or feeling Badly about themselves to be able to look back through a journal and see that they Do have a lot of good days and have a lot of good qualities. It would also help us As parents who often become overwhelmed to see that there are good days And good things that our children do and that things aren't always as bad as They seem when the negatives seem to out number the positives.
If you'd like to write Kathy, she'd love to hear from you and you can contact Her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
** "Correcting Learning/Behavioral Disorders Naturally" **
Recently, I was emailed about a lady with Chronic Fatigue Immune Deficiency Syndrome and her child who has Attention Deficit Disorder. She stated that the diet worked for her son and helped her also.
This month's article is dedicated to Debbie and her son to show the correlation between diet and various health conditions. Also, to help give options available to others facing similar conditions.
short term memory loss
post traumatic stress disorder
Common Vitamins needed:
Common Minerals needed:
Common Herbs used:
**These herbs are used to work with the immune system and improve the blood flow to the brain improving the overall health continually. These also boost the amount of allergens produced.**
Shitake mushroom extract - enchances certain components in the immune system
Quercetin - helps boost the allergens to combat allergies & asthma
Bromelain - works to enhance absorption of vitamins, etc. into the system.
Factors to consider looking into:
red dyes natural flavorings
additives over excess of sugar
yellow dyes sugar substitutes
yeast certain fruits
food intolerance - an adverse response to food that is mediated by an immunologic mechanism and occurs consistently after consumption of a particular food.
Tests common to both:
a varied diet of fresh, refined foods
a trial of vitamin B6 and magnesium supplements
a gluten free and casein free diet
a yeast/mold free diet
a diagnostic trial of avoidance of all commonly allergenic foods
E'OLA puts out smart longevity and amps 2 which have had wonderful success with both ADD and CFIDS due to the common components of Gingko Biloba, DMAE which works with the neuro transmitters, and by being in drop form they go directly into the blood stream.
My son and I have been on the drops for years and I recommend them highly. I have information on how to get E'OLA and can send that to you by mail or by fax.
My book covers theory/controversy, personal favorites, tests available, misdiagnosis, documentation, Attention Deficit, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Conduct Disorder, Compulsive behavior, Autism, Tourettes, Vitamins, Minerals, Trace Elements, Organizations, and much more.
The price is $30.90 which includes price, tax, and shipping. Send to Michelle Davis PO Box 10757 Presto, AZ 86304.
I want to thank those of you who have taken the time to write me with your situations. It's great to be able to give back what God has given me. Thank you.
**When The Coach Needs Just As Much Coaching: **
**AD/HD Parents Raising AD/HD Children **
** By Dr. Steven Richfield **
Parenthood can be compared to a journey of discovery. Many of us embark on the trip with the best of intentions, filled with expectations of satisfaction and images of family harmony. Some of us are better equipped than others to realize these dreams. Necessary equipment includes patience, determination, courage, faith, and about every other parenting virtue one can muster. Often times, our available supply of virtues ebbs and flows, depending upon the stresses of the day and the challenges we confront. Plenty of personal issues also play a role in what we discover along the way. For instance, our own childhood experiences plant the seeds for the parents we become. Sometimes that discovery leads to a conscious decision to do things differently so that those early impressions don't permeate our parenting.
Each parent brings unique personal issues to the journey. Issues shape our capacity to listen empathetically to children, to form warm and supportive bonds, or to provide kid-friendly guidance. Some issues impair our ability to clearly view our children (blindspots) while others leave us at risk for overheating (hot buttons). As parents, our habits, social and emotional traits, and character strengths and shortcomings, are on display, inviting children to follow our lead. Some of this modeling of parental behavior assists our children in their overall growth, but many of us have found that it can backfire, too. Those of us with more complex personal issues may often get stuck with excess baggage, and find the parenting journey hampered by frustration and confusion.
When I embarked upon parenthood nine years ago, I was fully aware that I would meet up with my share of stumbling blocks. What I didn't realize was that the process of navigating around them would influence the direction of my work in clinical psychology. As I confronted my own issues at different points, I discovered my need for a compass. My own baggage would easily sidetrack my parenting efforts, and leave me temporarily stranded. Eventually I found that I could get back on track by asking myself one fundamental question, "What do I see as one of the most important goals of my parenting job?" The answer I found reflected my penchant for pragmatism: prepare my child for what lies ahead.
My search for parenting direction led me to refine my answer. I arrived at the principle that one of the most critical jobs of parents is to help instill the necessary skills to guide children's management of the emotional and social challenges they face today, and prepare them for the hurdles of tomorrow. It wasn't long before this premise became an organizing thread in my private practice where I specialize in treating children and adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD). I recognized how AD/HD children are often ill prepared for the unexpected, and how AD/HD adults tend to be caught off guard by the twists and turns of life. And when AD/HD appears in both family members, the parenting journey is likely to be characterized by especially rough terrain and challenging obstacles. As one AD/HD mother, with four AD/HD sons, once told me, "A lot of the rules and structure is twice as hard for us, but the consequences are twice as bad when we don't follow them!"
The development of my parenting compass has been shaped by personal experiences and those relayed by AD/HD parents in my practice. These two sources led me to choose the "coach" metaphor to embody the compass. By positioning myself as the Parent Coach, I could better navigate around my own hot buttons, compensate for my blindspots, and even smooth out the bumps ahead by reviewing the terrain ahead of time. Sessions with AD/HD parents and AD/HD children convinced me that I needed the compass to be more than a guiding principle; the compass must have a form and a practical way of offering directions. This led me to develop Parent Coaching Cards. They provide kid-friendly coping messages and illustrations that translate common childhood difficulties, and parenting dilemmas, into clear and practical tools for social and emotional skill development. Articles in the ADHD Report, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and many other professional and lay publications, have led hundreds of parents of AD/HD children to turn to Parent Coaching Cards for help. (Many articles can be accessed via my website: www.parentcoachcards.com)
Parent Coaching Cards were developed to help children cope with the many hurdles they face each day, i.e., provocative peers, dangerous temptations, frustrating demands, etc. But many AD/HD parents and clinicians treating AD/HD kids have asked, "What if the coach needs just as much coaching; how about cards for them?" One international LD and AD/HD expert, who strongly endorsed the cards, observed, "Wouldn't it be terrific to develop a parallel set of cards for the parents to use themselves which would include the daily crises and challenges that parents face in dealing with their kids?" These probing questions have inspired me to pursue the notion of "Coaching Cards For The Coach." Many of my preliminary thoughts have surfaced during counseling sessions with AD/HD parents. Here are some of the resulting principles and prototype cards that flow from them:
1. First and foremost, I advise that we take stock of ourselves. This means taking a objective look at the personal issues that we have brought along on the journey. If your child struggles with AD/HD it is important to accept the possibility that you may have it, too. Learn about the symptom expressions of adult AD/HD, ask those you trust for feedback, and if necessary, pursue an evaluation by a qualified professional. Parents who have suffered traumas, harbor unresolved conflicts, or struggle with some other internal emotional obstacle, are advised to identify these issues and learn about their effects upon parenting. These issues often create "Parenting Blind Spots" that can subvert our journey and subject our children to unnecessary "dumping" of our baggage onto them:
Here's the card that flows from this principle:
Every parent has the responsibility to consider how personal issues shape parenting. The past and the present combine to effect how successful we are as parents. Consider the following:
What good and bad experiences from your own childhood may continue to show up in your parenting? How free are you in your present life to parent effectively?
Try to be honest when answering these questions. The answers help reveal your strengths and weaknesses as a parent. The more you can open your mind to this self-awareness the more you can make choices to enhance your parenting. Without awareness of the truthful answers, parenting blind spots can interfere. Blind spots occur when we avoid accepting certain truths about ourselves, and set the stage for letting our own personal issues interfere.
Here are some typical blind spots to consider:
Over-estimating how much of a parenting load you can handle before you become overwhelmed and resentful. Viewing your child as guilty of some inappropriate behavior without questioning how much you may have acted to precipitate it. Not accessing learning from past parenting mistakes, and repeating them without realizing you are doing so.
2. The second principle is about love. In my Parent Coaching Cards, I repeatedly stress the need for children to keep their "thinking side" in charge, rather than their "reacting side." But for my "Coaching Cards For The Coach," I suggest that it is the parent's "loving side" that also must always be within reach. This is especially true when our children are at their most unlovable, and they want to put distance and conflict between us and them. When that happens, try reading the card that was a joint effort between myself and the mother of an AD/HD child:
STAY CONNECTED IN HEART AND MIND
At this moment, even though Joey is resisting me, I want to think and feel inside of me all the love I feel for him. I must remember those happy times when he showed me love with kind talk, hugs, and kisses, and when we were close. I can remember the pleasures of doing puzzles together, playing music, talking about our love for animals, or just being quiet together during good times.
These thoughts and feelings can help comfort me now, when I feel sad that Joey won't let us be together in a positive way.
When Joey comes close next time, I need to remember his pattern of trying to bait me into another argument. He may try to do it again, and I must not take the bait. Sometimes it doesn't appear that he's trying to start fighting again, and I walk right into the trap. It may seem like he's trying to have a sensible discussion about my decisions when he's really just trying to get me to back down. He can be so relentless about wanting to get what he wants.
But I must be relentless in staying centered in my love for him, and conviction not to let my reacting side take control of me. When I show him love in my voice, in my face, and in my body, we will be connected again before too long.
3. The third principle comes right out my own experiences on the front lines of parenting. The parenting journey often leads us directly to our own hot spots. This is due to our own expectations and emotions that we wrap tightly around our children's behavior. When they act out in some inappropriate way, we are at risk for losing control of our feelings as a result. Of course, this doesn't help us guide them, but it may reduce our credibility as authority figures. As a way of trying to prevent my own coaching backfires, I make use of the following card:
WHAT'S THE COACHING RESPONSE?
It happens when I'm least expecting it: one of my kids do or say something that targets one of my hot spots. If I allow it, my reacting side can take control and cause more conflict. In order to prevent that from happening I need to identify my hot spots and plan ahead for their management. Here's some potential ones:
Take a few deep breathes.
Make gentle physical contact with my child if he allows me.
Ask him to tell me his side of the story.
When he's done, tell him, "I understand your side."
Suggest: "We both can learn something from what happened."
Proceed with reviewing the different contributions to the event.
The coaching response stresses the larger picture surrounding the circumstance. Rather than narrowly respond to the behavior, search for the underlying factors that led to the behavior. In this way, the discussion proceeds more like information gathering than an accusation.
These three principles and prototype cards will no doubt be added to in coming months. In the meantime, I encourage readers to try their hand at writing their own cards to share with other parents. Please feel free to e-mail me your samples: email@example.com
Dr. Steven Richfield
** ADDult Content**
Many Adult ADDers I know seem almost trapped in a perpetual mid-life crisis of some kind. More than others, they wonder if this really is all there is. They want to get so much more out of life, but aren't sure how to go about accomplishing it. Often they are defeated and discouraged to the point that they may think this is all they could have, all that they could handle. They really try to "behave" themselves, to be responsible at work, to do "the family thing" and to meet all of the other demands that life puts on each of us, ADD or not. But they struggle with a restlessness and a drive for something……..more.
Most adults come up with some way of coping with the realities of life. They were able to learn when they were children, in the words of the Rolling Stones, that "you can't always get what you want." They learned how to either delay, defer or even to deny their own goals and aspirations for the greater goal of more immediate priorities, such as a family or a career. They can successfully "shift" their goals so that they don't feel like a failure for having not achieved a dream they once had but can instead find satisfaction in what they have accomplished. All people have the occasional bout of wanderlust, but most come through with little more than maybe a new car and a few ridiculously "youthful" new clothes. Most people come to terms with who they are and are able to be happy with those terms.
To an ADDer, hope deferred most probably IS hope denied. He never learned the lessons of delay of gratification as a youngster. If he somehow did pick up on that concept, in some sort of abstract, theoretical way, his basic nature still makes it hard for him to apply it. Undiagnosed and unmanaged ADDers are particularly prone in this conflict between responsibility and restlessness.
There is always a feeling that SOMETHING is being missed.
ADDers, being the diverse and imaginative group that they are, deal with these facts of life in imaginative and diverse ways. Some just give up. This is sad to watch as a gifted person becomes defeated and a part of them deep inside is put to death. How much longer can the dreamer live, once his dreams are fully dead?
Many ADDers are find themselves in a constant state of flux. Many change jobs constantly. I know of one ADD man who had 22 W-2 forms in one year. Others may get involved in "get rich quick" schemes, pyramid games, etc., which tie up their time and money. Or they begin to work on legitimate opportunities, only to get distracted before the income actually starts to materialize. They seem to have a difficult time in determining what is realistic and what is not. Often, when a "guaranteed" success does not live up to its billing, they will blame others for the failure.
This uncertainty can destroy marriages. The non-ADD spouse watches as family income dwindles on "investments" that never turn a profit, and the ADD spouse blames her (or him) for not supporting his dream.
This problem can be solved by management and compromise. Management will not take away all of these feelings of restlessness, but it will help the ADDer cope with them better. Those in the ADDers life need to learn to somehow balance the dreams of the ADDer with the realities of life in this century. (Besides, you never know when one of these crazy ideas might just catch on.) If family income allows, try to establish a "dream budget" of money that the ADDer can use towards these projects of his. This shows support for the ADDer and makes him feel as though he has some control over his life. It also protects the family budget from bankruptcy.
Other ADDers are able to be a bit more responsible. They hold down a steady job, are faithful to their marriage, and in general behave in a commendable way. However, these same feelings often haunt them. They want more out of life. They are also looking for that "one big break" that will change their life dramatically and justify all of their unsuccessful pursuits. It's almost as though they want to turn the tables on all those encouraging teachers and parents of their childhood. This ADDer has something to prove- he wants to someday say "See, I told you I could do it." (In fact, sometimes the fact that he has something to prove is what keeps him in a steady job, or a marriage, or the church even if its killing him inside.)
Hyperactivity in adults often translates to insomnia. I tell my friends that the Lord has blessed me with longer days than most men. Many other ADDers I know have this same blessing. We function on between 2 to 6 hours of sleep a night. With that much time on your hands you have to do something. We create our own "businesses". We rehearse and prepare for our big break. It's almost a Clark Kent/Superman dual identity. During the day, we are teachers, lawyers, accountants, whatever, but at night we are writers, musicians or entrepreneurs. Or what ever our current "dream" may be.
We love this "secret" world we create, a world which is sometimes more real to us than the treadmill of the day. It meets some very basic needs of the ADDer, such as a having a place where he is in control and does not have to fear being reprimanded or criticized. This "world" of the ADDer does not have the often harsh limitations that are found in everyday life. For a time, at least, anything is possible. The most basic need of all humanity is self expression. The ADDer, for whom self expression is often either repressed or rejected, finds it in this place.
All of this is very good for the ADDer and even healthy, provided it doesn't begin to interfere with the "real world". If he starts falling asleep at work, or is so obsessed that he can't (or won't) do his job, he needs to back off and reconfigure. However, I have found through both observation and experience, that most of the time quite the opposite is true. The ADDer who has a satisfying "other life" will become a more productive person.
Whew!! Another edition of ADDed Attractions is now complete and we Didn't even mention Clinton's woes :)
I want to thank all of my sponsors who make my website and this Newsletter possible.
ADDVANCE MAGAZINE: www.addvance.com/index.html
Copyright 1998 Brandi Valentine. All rights reserved. This Newsletter is copyrighted by the authors and/or publisher. ADDed Attractions may be used for non-commercial purposes only and may not be redistributed for commercial purposes without the express written consent of Brandi Valentine.
Appropriate credit should be given to this resource and it's authors if It is reproduced in any form. Brandi Valentine
ADHD Home - ADHD Resource Information - ADHD Message Boards - Articles on ADHD
About our Story - St. Johns Wort - Special Ed Rights - Depression - Problem Solving Worksheet - Search Mental Health Net's Database! - Learn more about ADDed Attractions Newsletter