ADDed Attractions May 15, 1999, Volume 3, Issue 4
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With the end of the school year right around the corner many of us are still facing end of the year IEP's and many of us are just beginning the IEP process.
Whatever your experience with IEP's, You'll be sure to benefit from the expertise and knowledge of Reed Martin. Reed Martin is a Reed Martin is an attorney with 27 years experience in special education law. Reed has litigated under Section 504 and the ADA as well as the IDEA. He has also successfully pursued Section 504 complaints through the Office for Civil Rights in several regions. In addition, Reed now is a part of our family and will be contributing to ADDed Attractions each month with valuable information that will benefit those of us who are involved with IEP'S and Section 504 services.
What Do We Get Now That ADD / ADHD Is Clearly In The IDEA?
Reed Martin, J.D. www.reedmartin.com
The long battle to establish that our students with ADD / ADHD are covered under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act has now been won. Because of the 1997 IDEA Amendments and the 1999 IDEA Regulations schools will have to reverse many of their policies and practices. The new battle will be to get appropriate services under the IDEA. In the legislative history of the IDEA 1997 statutory amendments it seemed clear, thanks to very hard work by CHADD and other groups, that ADD was now covered but the 1999 regulations that were recently released have made it absolutely clear.
The 1999 Regulations, at 34 C.F.R. 300.7(c)(9), include "attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder" under Other Health Impaired. The OHI category has always referred to "limited strength, vitality or alertness" which were not terms that one often associated with our students with ADD. However, the regulations spell out the logic that ADD causes "a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment." Parents and teachers have always said "I can't get them to pay attention to what they are supposed to pay attention to" and now we have an official recognition that is the problem.
So what do we get under the IDEA? Some schools still insist we get "nothing" because the child's needs are not related to academics. They are wrong. In the recent case of W.B. v. Matula, 67 F.3d 484 (3rd. Cir. 1995) the federal Circuit Court of Appeals decided a case in which the school district had insisted that the child, known to have ADD/ADHD was not IDEA eligible because "disruptive behaviors, including not paying attention in class, fighting with other students, failing to remain seated, making continuous noises and repeatedly touching other children... difficulty beginning tasks, difficulty finishing those that he did start and coloring within the lines" were not related to academics. The Circuit Court did not agree with the school district.
There is obviously a direct relation to academics in the above example because, although the school might have been viewing it as a "discipline" problem, the disciplinary sanctions which include grading off on work, removals from class, short term suspensions, and so forth, will most likely cause the student to fail a class, be retained in a grade, and work far below his academic potential.
And now, with the 1997 Amendments and the 1999 Regulations, the definition of education and the school's responsibility is greatly broadened. In the Legislative History of the IDEA in 1990, the Congress recognized that ADD "is characterized by a developmentally inappropriate degree of inattention, and often, but not always, is associated with a developmentally inappropriate degree of impulsivity and/or overactivity. The disorder may result in pervasive manifestations of difficulties in attention, persistence in task performance, impulse control, control of activity level, organization, underperformance of academic tasks relative to ability, or social skills." [House Rept. 101-544, 5 U.S. Code Cong. & Admin. News 1990 at pp. 1728-29].
That was in 1990 and the good news is that now, in 1999, the law recognizes all of those as being under the general title of educational problems that have to be considered on an IEP. The scope of the IEP now covers anything, arising from the disability, that affects performance relating to school: academics, non-academics and extracurricular activities. So getting to school on time, waiting appropriately for the bell to ring, getting to the right class on time, turning in homework on time, getting to the next class with the right materials for that class, turning in that homework on time, following what is going on in class sufficiently to participate appropriately, getting the homework assignments for tonight accurately, taking home the materials needed to do the homework, not interfering with other students, and so forth are all "educational" issues. If a student engages in behaviors that impede his or her learning or that of others around them then they are to be addressed at the IEP. There must be sufficient evaluation to determine whether these are behaviors that arise from the disability or whether they are "willful" misbehaviors. The latter might be subject to traditional disciplinary sanctions but if the problem behaviors arise from the disability then a positive behavior intervention must be considered.
This is going to require a change in school policies and practices. It will also require in-service training. The 1990 legislative history quoted above continues: "Teachers will have to be educated to recognize the characteristics of ADD and will need training in the educational management of children with this disorder as well as familiarity with standard medical and psychological treatments. Such educational interventions may include, but are not limited to: curriculum modifications to adjust for the child's attention deficits, programs designed to reduce off-task and impulsive behavior, cognitive training programs to teach problem-solving skills to enhance self-control, social skills training programs, organizational skills training programs, or counseling programs."
So where do you get the training for the teachers and administrators in your building or school district? First, ask to see their written plan of in-service training. Your school district has promised, as a condition of receiving federal dollars under the IDEA, that they maintain a comprehensive system of personnel development by which they assure an adequate supply of appropriately trained regular education, special education and related services personnel. Ask in writing whether the regular education teacher has received training, as specified above, "in the educational management of children with this disorder....."
Also ask in writing whether the regular education teacher coming to your IEP meeting has received training in their new duties under the IDEA Amendments and Regulations? There must be a regular education teacher at your IEP, according to the statute and the regulations (see especially Appendix A, Question 1). That regular education teacher at the IEP, according to 20 U.S.C. 1414(d)(1)(A)(iii), must help develop the "statement of the special education and related services and supplementary aids and services to be provided to the child, or on behalf of the child, and a statement of the program modifications or supports for school personnel that will be provided for the child."
That regular education teacher has to be someone who has actually worked with your child and the IEP that is developed must direct the other personnel who will carry out the IEP "of his or her specific responsibilities related to implementing the child's IEP and the specific accommodations, modifications and supports that must be provided for the child." [34 C.F.R. 300.342(b)(3)]. Ask in writing whether the regular education teacher coming to your IEP has been trained in this, and ask in writing how each of the other regular education teachers who will interact with your child will be in-serviced in carrying out the IEP. The positive behavior intervention plan that is now required by the new Amendments and Regulations is not related to "misbehaviors" that lead to disciplinary sanctions. It includes all behaviors, or lack of behaviors, that impede that individual's learning or interfere with others around them. Ask in writing how your school is going to train personnel to implement such a plan? And how is your school going to train the building "disciplinarian," usually the assistant principal, that only the positive behavior approach may be used -- the traditional negative disciplinary sanctions are suspended for now? We are seeing students with positive plans, and written at the bottom by the assistant principal is "but he must follow all school rules." That child is then constantly in the assistant principal's office or suspended and their right to a positive behavior intervention plan has been violated.
So we have a great opportunity for our children to be treated fairly and to be treated with educational, rather than punitive, interventions. As with anything new, the teachers and other building level personnel will be slow to learn about these new responsibilities and what they are taught may not quite be what the law actually requires.
Write and find out what training is going to be done and see if you can attend training or get a copy of training material. As the courts have often noted, "civil rights statutes are not self-enforcing." It will be up to us to lead our school systems into compliance with this important new development for our children.
This information is educational and not intended to be legal advice. Reed Martin is an attorney who has concentrated on special education rights for over 28 years. Reed can be reached through email at firstname.lastname@example.org or http://www.reedmartin.com
Reed Martin Conferences And Publications http://www.reedmartin.com P. O. Box 487 Morgantown, WV 26507 (304) 598-3406 (Ph) (304) 598-3512 (Fax) email@example.com
Institute of Human Development
Miss Patty Sayih, President and founder of the Institute of Human Development, is a researcher and consultant on childhood brain disorder. She is the mother of a cerebral palsy child, who at birth was given a "no hope" diagnosis. Her perseverance and investigation and implementation of different therapies resulted in Michael now being in a mainstream public school, with dramatic improvement in all his disabilities.
Ms. Sayih became aware that many of the therapies that were effective with her son also had applicability to other childhood disorders, particularly ADD/ADHD. She was receiving countless questions from parents as to what their options were in treating their challenged children. Patty realized, from her own experience, how time consuming and expensive it was to gather information from so many sources. She decided to produce an educational video for parents that would present an unbiased summary of information on many of the traditional and alternative treatments that have had success in treating add/adhd children.
Ms. Sayih gathered 8 professional experts, who donated their time in order to bring this video to parents at the lowest possible cost. The result was: "YOUR CHILD AND ADD/ADHD- A PARENTS GUIDE." This video is available for the special introductory price of $29.95 plus $4.95 S/H, with a money back guarantee of satisfaction. The video can be ordered by calling toll free 1-888-324-1066. For more information, please call 1-877-ADDHOPE or visit our new web site: www.addhope.com.
** Dr. Dave's ADDvice **
Here is a question I received recently from a subscriber to ADHD RESEARCH UPDATE, the newsletter I publish to keep parents and professionals informed about new research on ADD/ADHD <http://www.helpforadd.com/nresearch.htm>. It is an important question, and one I wanted to include for my column this month.
"My child is in the third grade and was diagnosed with ADHD earlier this year. He has been taking Ritalin and his behavior has been much better. His school work, though, continues to be a real problem. Reading and writing in particular are incredibly difficult for him and have hardly improved at all. What should we do?" This describes a scenario that occurs fairly often: a child with ADHD is started on medication and the child's behavior improves but their school work continues to be problematic. How should this type of situation be handled? First, it is important to recognize that research has documented that behavioral improvements in response to medication often do not translate into academic gains. There are several different reasons why this might occur. These reasons include the following:
* The child's academic performance is not being used as the outcome to which medication response is being targeted. As has been discussed in prior issues of ADHD RESEARCH UPDATE, medication often has different impacts on different domains of a child's functioning. In some cases, the medication and/or dose that is effective in producing behavioral improvements will not necessarily be what is required to generate academic improvements. Thus, if the primary concern is improving a child's academic performance, one has to carefully evaluate medication response in relation to that outcome. It is possible that a more positive impact on academic performance would be obtained with a different medication and/or dose. So, this is one option that could be considered. In these situations - where a medication adjustment can make an important difference - we are generally talking about a child where their academic struggles really are secondary to their ADHD symptoms rather than reflecting a more primary learning difficulty.
* No behavioral intervention is being used to improve academic productivity and accuracy. In many instances, even the most carefully prescribed medication will not be adequate to address a child's academic struggles. (Note: Again, I am talking here about a child with ADHD where the ADHD symptoms are the primary cause of the academic problems rather than another issue like a learning disability). Thus, it will often be necessary to incorporate a behavioral plan target to improving work completion and the quality of work the child is doing. I can't get in to the details of such interventions here, but basically, they involve making access to desired privileges contingent on the amount and quality of the work being completed by the child. The idea is to provide an additional source of motivation to encourage better academic performance. Such programs can be quite helpful, and can produce benefits above and beyond the benefits a child may already be deriving from medication.
There are also other reasons a child with ADHD may struggle academically, not all of which have anything to do necessary with ADHD itself. These include the following:
* The child may have a specific learning disability Children can have specific learning disabilities in reading, written language, math, etc. that will make it extremely difficult for them to succeed academically regardless of how well their ADHD symptoms are being managed. One needs to be especially careful about this in children with ADHD because learning disabilities do seem to be more common in such children.
How can you tell if your child has a learning disability? The best way is with a thorough psychoeducational evaluation, that involves a combination of individually administered IQ testing and achievement testing. Such testing can be performed by the child's school, although it often takes very long to have done. It can also be done privately by a child psychologist but is expensive and often not covered by health insurance. In many instances, however, it is absolutely essential to help develop the best educational plan for a child.
In terms of things a parent can look for, the academic problems for a child with ADHD alone will generally look quite different from the problems of a child who has both ADHD and a learning disability. A child with ADHD alone can generally understand the concepts being taught - at least if he or she can be made to pay attention to what is going on. Work may be very inconsistent - some days pretty good and other days horrible - but at least you have the sense that the child can grasp the basic concepts.
In a child who also has a learning disability (i.e. LD), the situation is quite different. This child will often not be able to understand things no matter how well he or she is able to pay attention. Thus, even if medication has brought the child's primary ADHD symptoms under control, they are still unable to get down basic concepts. A classic example is with children who are LD in reading, who just can't seem to learn to sound out words and sometimes appear as if they are just guessing randomly at letter-sound combinations.
So, if your child's ADHD symptoms are being managed well, and academic struggles are still quite prominent, it is possible that one or more learning disabilities is an important part of the problem. A thorough professional evaluation would be definitely recommended.
*Child may not have LD but may have missed out on basic skills and concepts.
This is a bit different from the scenario just described. Imagine a child with ADHD who is now in 5th grade. Suppose this child had the inattentive symptoms only, and was not identified as having ADHD until the end of grade 4. At that point the child was given appropriate treatment, and his ability to attend and focus in the classroom improved considerably. His academics, however, continue to be a real problem.
Even though this child may not have a specific LD, it is quite likely that going through most of elementary school with untreated ADHD meant that there was just lots of important material that he was never able to master. Problems with attention would have interfered with mastering basic skills in reading, math, and written language. Thus, there would be important gaps in this child's knowledge base - leaving him quite unprepared to do 5th grade work. In this case, the child would need lots of remedial help to acquire the important building blocks that he missed out on in earlier grades. A good place to start would also be with a thorough psychoeducational evaluation to see what the child's current achievement level is in different areas, and to help in developing a plan that is specifically target to meet his needs.
* The child may be struggling because of intellectual factors Finally, a child with ADHD whose symptoms are being well- controlled may still struggle academically because of intellectual factors alone. Just like children without ADHD, many children with ADHD are quite intellectually gifted. However, just as non-ADHD children can have intellectual limitations that make school work hard for them - no matter what they or anybody else does - the same can be true for children with ADHD.
For example, if a child has a low-average IQ, than school work is just going to be difficult no matter how well his or her ADHD symptoms are being managed. This will be especially true as the child moves into the higher grades where the work becomes more challenging. Several years ago a parent approached me because her child was doing terribly in school and she was certain that it was because the child had ADHD. As part of the evaluation, IQ and achievement testing were completed and it turned out this child had an IQ that was in the bottom 2% of the population. This meant that there was just no way that this child was going to be able to be successful in a regular academic high school program. It was very difficult for the child's mother to accept this, but she eventually did, and was able to help her daughter get into a program that was more appropriate for her and where she had a chance to succeed.
Again, I want to emphasize that having ADHD in no way means that a child has basic intellectual limitations. This can be a factor in some situations, however, and thus may need to be considered and explored as a possible explanation when other possibilities have been ruled out.
* Emotional and/or behavioral problems can be interfering with academic performance.
Other emotional and/or behavioral problems can also effect a child's schoolwork. For example, if a child is depressed his or her schoolwork is likely to suffer. This would be true regardless of whether the child also had ADHD. Alternatively, poor school work and lack of effort could be part of a more pervasive problem with oppositional behavior. Again, this could be the case regardless of whether the child also had ADHD. The main point here is that these could be reasons why a child with ADHD still was doing poorly academically even if there ADHD symptoms were being managed well.
In any event, the above is a discussion of some of the issues to consider as far as academic performance goes. I hope that the above discussion gives you an understanding of the different factors that can be involved. Sorting these different factors out is a challenging task, however, and is one where working with an experienced child mental health professional can be absolutely essential. That's all for this month - I hope your doing well.
David Rabiner, PhD
**Mailing list and Support Group Info**
Mailing list for SPOUSES of ADD/ADHDers: ADD-Mate. To subscribe send a message with info to: ADD-Matefirstname.lastname@example.org Listowners are Sandra Vacho, June Fazia and Sheryl Adler.
I am starting an ADHD support group in East Hartford, Connecticut. The support group will be held the 2nd Wednesday of every month. The time is 6 - 7pm. Free childcare and refreshments at every meeting. The initial meeting will be April 14th. It is going to be held at Hockanum Elementary School, in the Media Center. For more information, please contact Erin at (860)282-3378 or e-mail at email@example.com
**Adolescent Impulsivity: ** Coaching The Rules Of The Road, Part IV
By Dr. Steven Richfield
In my final article on impulsivity, I turn my attention to adolescents. It is especially daunting to coach social and emotional skills to this age group, in part due to the developmental push to resist adult authority and conform to peer cultures. But other factors must be also considered. Adolescents regularly experience strong currents of emotion that fuel their desires, propel their curiosities, and intensify their reactions to whatever they find unpleasant. Their living environment tends to be littered with temptations, distractions, frustrations, and other "triggers to trouble." We all know that such triggers can have devastating consequences during this fragile period. It is especially for this reason that adolescents must not be overlooked in the need for effective coaching of self-control skills. One of the biggest challenges to coaching social and emotional skills to adolescents is the need to control one's own reactions. Objectionable behavior sounds off an alarm in most adults, particularly parents and teachers, often triggering condemnation on our parts. Unfortunately, this immediately sets an adversarial relationship in place. Obviously, we can not successfully supply coaching to a teenager who regards us as the enemy. Another trap that many parents of adolescents fall into is the "back when I was your age" lecture, or some similar treatise that ultimately falls upon deaf ears. Effective coaching with teenagers requires us to be low-key, focused on the present, and above all, respectful of their sensitivities and sensibilities. To put it more plainly, to get respect we need to give it. In keeping with the subject of impulsivity, and the format employed in prior articles, I will illustrate a coaching approach by using composites of one of my own teenage patients. Bryan, a 16 year old boy with a history of fighting and "close calls" with serious trouble, understood that impulsivity was causing many of his problems but didn't know what to do about it. Parents and teachers had been telling him to "think first" or "walk away" but this just wasn't sinking in. As I questioned him about the details of some of the breakthroughs of his violent impulsivity a number of points became clear. I strived to communicate these points to him without sounding adversarial or pedantic: "I notice something that maybe you don't notice about these fights. Each time you lose control it follows a typical pattern: a kid says or does something that you see as a challenge or insult, you tell them to stop it or else, they take that as an invitation to get you more wound up, and you lose control of your reactions. When it's an adult, the story is a little different. In that case, you feel put down by something they said, and then you react with a put down that is much more offensive, and inappropriate, than what they said. Therefore, your impulse pathway usually begins with a wound to your pride. " This opening appeal places the problem in simple, straight forward terms: teenagers have little patience for long and involved explanations about themselves. Coaches must strive to make sense out of their impulsive behavior without sounding like a know-it-all. As I see it, no matter how ill-advised or irrational the behavior, there is some rational thread embedded in the story. The coach's job is to listen carefully, find the thread, and make the adolescent aware of it in a highly practical, yet non-threatening, manner. It can also be helpful to describe the typical pattern as the "personal impulse pathway" since the more the teenager can designate the steps that lead to acting out, the more able they will be to see it coming, and take preventive action before the point of no return. In the next section, I tease out the subtle emotional dynamics of Bryan's impulse pathway, highlighting the self-defeating nature, and hopefully, cultivating a hospitable environment for coaching: "The question that remains is what do you do about it? How do you prevent yourself from losing control without letting your pride take too much of a beating? I guess that if we could figure that one out you might be able to avoid a lot of these unpleasant consequences. It looks to me like once your pride feels under attack you quickly react, either by giving the person an ultimatum or targeting them with a hostile comment. When you give an ultimatum to a kid, you've handed over your self-control to them ; it's kind of like saying, 'here's the button that will make me explode so you better not push it.' Of course, then they push it in order to defend their pride. You set yourself up for that one. With a teacher, the impulsivity pops out in the way you provoke them after you feel exposed by one of their comments. For instance, they ask you about a missing assignment, triggering your 'defend my pride at all costs' emotional programming, and you're liable to say anything to make them feel just as attacked as you do. Too bad for you that they were just doing their job but you've now given them reason to play policeman." As a teenager is led through such a pointed and pragmatic description of their behavior from a compassionate coach, they tend to realize many answers on their own. Bryan recognized how he had "walked right into" many of the wrong situations and could have avoided them if he had appreciated how much his injured pride gets him into trouble. He reflected upon the decision points that ultimately led him to come face-to-face with the antagonist in certain scenarios and how much he places control into the hands of others or the random circumstances of his life. These self-realizations are also a positive sign that concrete suggestions might be discussed: "You know this part much better than I do, but what if you were a little more careful about what you said when your pride was under attack? What would that be? There's got to be something that would protect your integrity or pride but wouldn't hand over the Bryan blast off button to someone else. Think about it. I have some ideas but I think you could come up with even better ones." This final phase of the problem-solving is the trickiest with teenagers because whatever an adult may offer can sound totally ridiculous to adolescent ears. Therefore, my recommendation is not to offer any quick fixes since the ideal goal is for them to find the solution that makes the most sense in their minds. And you, the coach, may never find out what that happens to be. This is where we need to "know when to back off," to respect their need for autonomy, and realize that what's most important is not that they tell us what they will do but that they keep their mind open to our coaching.
Dr. Steven Richfield www.parentcoachcards.com May, 1999
A new book out entitled "Biological Unhappiness" by Dr. Leland M. Heller. Diagnosis and treatment of biological "disorders" that cause unhappiness, ADD/ADHD being one chapter. A book review can be found at http://www.biologicalunhappiness.com
Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos
Finalist for the 1998 National Book Award Young People"s Literature Prize A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year An American Library Association Notable Book of the Year oThe most absorbing novel I've read in a long time . . . The book draws the reader inside its world like nothing I've seen since the first-person narrative of The Catcher in the Rye. -Liz Rosenberg, The Boston Globe oThis powerful book has a lot to say: Parents aren't perfect. Medication alone will not help children with ADHD. Adults care and can help . . . Despite the grittiness of Joey's situation, that's an upbeat message-and one children who suffer from ADHD need to hear. -The Miami Herald oJoey's good intentions, off-the-wall antics, and their disastrous consequences will ring true to everyone who has had contact with a child suffering from a similar disorder . . . Joey's hard-won triumph will reassure children fighting his same battle and offer insight to their peers. -Starred review, Publishers Weekly o[Offers adult readers] an understanding that despite the discussions and debating and headlines and studies, there is, after all, a single child at the center of this controversial issue. And he's not deaf. -USA Today oGreat insight into an ADHD child's thoughts and feelings! I think this is a much needed resource for parents and teachers who deal with ADD and ADHD children. This book allows us a view from the child's perspective. I have read many books on the topic from the perspective of how to teach the ADHD child, but this is the first one I have read that describes so vividly how these children think and feel. -Reader review, Amazon.com
Jack Gantos is the author of the popular Rotten Ralph picture books, which are currently being developed into a children's animated television series, and of the middle-grade story collections Heads or Tails, Jack's New Power, and Jack's Black Book about his alter-ego, Jack Henry. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico with his wife and daughter.
Ages 10 up ISBN 0-374-33664-4 154 Pages ¨ $16.00 Contact: Janine O"Malley / Farrar, Straus and Giroux 19 Union Square West / New York 10003 / 212-741-6900 E-Mail: JOmalley@fsgee.com
**There's More to Success than Academic Smarts, a Blazing SAT score and a high IQ!**
By Dr. Alice D'Antoni-Phillips
I've met quite a few bellmen and porters in my life as I have traveled to most of the seven continents. One stands out in my mind distinctively. Gavin worked at the Ritz Carlton in Laguna Nigel, California. As I was waiting for my taxi to the airport, I observed Gavin for than an hour. People shuttled in and out of the hotel lobby; many were tired, grumpy and persnickety. Some looked as if they had been weaned on a pickle or had sucked on a lemon prior to walking through the revolving doors. Gavin enthusiastically greeted each person with a huge smile and a perk in his gait. "Hey, how are you doing?" he'd say. "Where are you arriving from? Here, let me help you with your load." Some would acknowledge Gavin; others acted as if he were invisible. As they walked (either with a quick clip or slow saunter) toward the guest registration desk Gavin would assure them that he would take care of their luggage and ready their room with a filled ice bucket and any other special needs. His parting comments were something like, "I'm so pleased you have chosen the Ritz Carlton for your visit to the Laguna Nigel area. My name is Gavin, and if I can help, just let me know.
Now, you may be thinking, "Well, no wonder, that's the Ritz Carlton; he's getting paid to do that, or he's trained to do that, or everyone at those posh hotels have to do that." Well, yes, there is some validity to that thinking; however, after observing many, many bellmen and porters in many fine, five-star hotels worldwide, I can assure you that only one-Gavin-has etched a memory in my mind.
What did Gavin have that made him so unique? Why was he distinctive? No doubt, Gavin was truly successful at what he was doing. Granted Gavin was motivated and so bright (we talked and he was also attending college), but more important than Gavin's IQ and motivation were other features in his personality. Gavin had a high EQ level! According to research into success, IQ really accounts for only about 20% of success. The remaining 80% are other factors, one of which is "Emotional Quotient" or EQ. Now, if you don't know what EQ is or how to develop it, then continue reading.
Emotional Quotient is comprised of some clear-cut traits.
In order to better develop your EQ, your first step is to learn more about yourself. This is called "self-awareness." Self-awareness puts you in the driver's seat in life; you are less likely to be manipulated; you are aware of your "hot buttons," and you know more about your emotions. People who have high levels of self-awareness are keenly tuned into what makes them tick. Because of this sensitivity, they are able to better control their lives and not allow external factors to put them in a crummy mood.
Emotional Quotient also means being able to regulate your moods. True, we all have up and down periods, days, and experiences; but the person who will not let someone else "jerk his chain" is the one with a high EQ. For instance, on a hot and humid day you're driving in backed up traffic on the way to an appointment. Suddenly, someone cuts in front of you; you have to slam on your brakes, your engine stalls, and the person behind you starts laying on his horn. Your instinct might be to become outraged, yell at them, shake your fist, maybe even tailgate them just to be aggravating. You might angrily shout, "What a jerk! That creep could have caused me to have a wreck!" Continuing to gripe and grumble will only worsen the situation. Those individuals with well developed EQ's have learned how to talk to themselves and calm themselves down. They may say in their minds, "hey, no big deal. Maybe this dude has to be somewhere fast." Another thing high EQ people use to control their moods is physical activity. Exercise helps them to relax; it clears out the cobwebs of the mind and is a great way to help them "not sweat the small stuff' in life.
"Self-motivation" is part EQ. Gavin was hired to do a job, but no one could instill in him the gregarious attitude and all of the self-initiated activities (those little extras) that he displayed. He was optimistic and certainly saw the positive side of almost everything. When he did not get responses from people (not even a nod, smile or thank you) or received "funky," ineffectual looks from them, this did not dampen his self-motivation to remain bright, cheerful and perky. Self-motivation was also characteristic in Gavin's commitment to a full-time college education and a demanding, grueling, full-time works schedule on top of that. As Gavin and I chatted, he admitted that he did spend time reading self-improvement books and had even attended several personal improvement seminars-definitely examples of self-motivation. So if you don't have an ability to turn bad things into good things, or turn lemons into lemonade, then don't complain. You CAN learn a new way of thinking if you're self-motivated!
What happens when you go through the drive-through fast food joint and you're told that your order will be a few more minutes (They have to fry those chicken tenders or your order to hold the mayo on the burger will throw the assembly line into a tailspin). You may not want to wait. Learning to wait and control impulsive actions is important to EQ. People who can set long-term goals where the payoff is not immediate are more successful in life. Distractions and temptations swirl around you everywhere. You have to train yourself to stay focused and wait. With practice of impulse control you'll learn to handle frustrations and disappointments better. In our pop culture we're accustomed to everything being quick and fast; we want it and we want it NOW. Good things come to those who wait-patience and persistence are important virtues. There's no such thing as shedding 20 pounds overnight, pumping up for body-building competition in three days, or the quick-fix medical degree. You must stay on track and not let other people or things side track you.
If you're going to make it in this world, then you have to have good people skills. This is more than just getting along with people, being courteous, or answering the phone with a pleasant voice. People skills go deeper than the obvious. You need to be able to empathize which means trying to feel what another person may be feeling. For instance, if you get tied up with something and can't be home at the time you indicated to your parents, then a call would be in order to let them know you're delayed, but O.K. Otherwise your parents will be really worried; by calling them, you are showing that you have some understanding of their feelings. You also need to learn how to read people beyond just their words. You've probably heard that actions speak louder than words. Well, good people skill means you can pick up signals from people (that may not come across in their direct words). You've probably experienced situation with friends when you know something is wrong but they say nothing's wrong' however, you just KNOW something is going on and they're not doing a real good job of hiding it. This is your sensitivity working, your sixth sense, your good people skills. If you can pick up on signals like this, then you're in a better position to handle the signals you send.
Emotional Quotient is something you can start working on now. In your travels, start looking for those "Gavins." Better yet, start being a Gavin. Another place you can learn about EQ is in the PowerOrganizer Success System. You'll find out the 10 PowerPrinciples of Success and the 9 PowerSkills of Success; you can begin practicing these principles and skills that will sharpen your EQ if you use the tool daily in your life. Regardless of your IQ, GPA, and SATs, it's the EQ that makes stars in life-just ask Gavin!
Steps Toward Success
Each person's body has different needs and it takes time to nourish what is deficient. Jon and I would like to share with you what has worked for us with examples and reasons. We hope you will be able to apply the method we use with the rest of the vitamins, minerals, trace elements, and cell salts. The process of making a list, buying the right food groups, and researching will bring about awareness and better health conditions. Remember it is advisable to consult a knowledgeable physician.
Jon and I both take Vitamin C, Stress B complex, Vitamin E, Calcium/Magnesium, and a multiple vitamin with minerals. We make a list of symptoms and then go through each of the above to find where each is listed. A list of the foods is then made to see where we may better our diet. I believe in the mega therapy by increasing "certain" vitamins, etc. to feed the deficiency. For example, we each take 3 (1,000 mg) Vitamin C and we may increase temporarily to enable the immune system to fight off infection. The Vitamin C decreases hyperactivity over a period of time and boosts allergens for allergies.
You will see that the B vitamins deal largely with mood swings, irritability, noise sensitivity, memory, and depression. The difference in my son and myself after adding the B stress complex to our daily regimen has made an incredible difference in each of our lives. Vitamin E allows Vitamin A to work with allergies, memory, growth, and protects our cell membranes from becoming damaged. Calcium regulates our sleep patterns, aids growth, relieves irritability, and more. Melatonin taken with calcium has been known to reestablish regular sleep patterns.
Magnesium deals largely with confusion, anger, irritability, disorientation, nervousness, growth, and many other behaviors. The multiple vitamin is used to increase dosages and maintain a right level of nourishment to the body.
Vitamins are to be taken before bedtime after a meal to give the body time to absorb into the blood stream and be distributed to the areas that need the nourishment. Adjust this procedure to when your bedtime is whether daytime or at night.
The second book that I have written will take you step by step towards the success of lessening symptoms you or your family are exhibiting. "Correcting Behavioral Disorders Naturally" is a self help book for those who need to be shown how.
To order write to Michelle Davis P.O. Box 10757 Prescott, AZ 86304. The price is 24.65 for one book or for both books is a special price of 40.00 which covers shipping and taxes.
Please take the time to visit my sponsors. It is because of their generosity that this newsletter and website are possible:
NACE National Association For Continuing Education www.naceonline.com
ADD HOTLINE: COACH HARVEY 1-888-761-9541
GRANDMA'S PET WILDEBEAST ATE MY HOMEWORK: A practical guide for teaching and parenting adhd kids: www.adhdcounselorguy.com
DR. DAVE RABINER: Home of ADHD Research Update
DR. STEVEN RICHFIELD: www.parentcoachcards.com
POWER ORGANIZER SUCCESS SYSTEM: www.powerorganize.com/
REED MARTIN J.D. www.reedmartin.com
Copyright 1999 Brandi Valentine. All rights reserved. This Newsletter is copyrighted by the authors and/or publisher.
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