Month: February 2016 Page 3 of 4

Activation: How to start.

There are a couple of things that may be contributing to the lack of “self-activation”. Problems “Executive Functioning” or being able to think of what to do or how to approach a task. Problems with “Working Memory” are another cognitive area that may be causing the difficulty.

Then again the task just be boring and tedious which cause ADHDers a great deal of pain from the strain of trying to subdue their attention and concentration to get that boring chore done. Yes, my desk is a mess, cleaning it up is boring and answering this question is a lot more fun!

In reality ADHDers have the same problems as neurotypicals but the disorder makes it very difficult and very energy consuming to “just do it”. So, to actually get going ADHDers have to use techniques above and beyond what normal people do. This can include breaking the task into smaller pieces, setting up rewards for completion, identifying personal pay value of the task and other goal setting methods. It may seem more involved and unnecessary but to an ADHDer this becomes vital.

I’m only going to answer two more questions on Quora and then I will clean my desk. But I might have that left-over tempura for lunch first…

ADHD Hacks #2: Scaffolding Ideas

I was diagnosed as an adult fifteen years ago. For me scaffolding for my traits, medication, exercise and education has worked. Not too trendy but I do what works for me. Tried the trendy stuff but that has faded.

Scaffolding is a kind of technique that helps to minimize the negative effects of ADHD:

post-it notes so I can spatially order things
electronic calendar with alerts to give me time awareness
landing zones for my keys when I get home so I don’t put them in a random spot
checklists like keys, phone wallet before I close my car door
Visually arranging things so I can prioritize and structure like setting my laptop bag on the kitchen chair the night before I go to a meeting where I need it
Mindfulness techniques to keep my impulsiveness in check. This has kept my mind from “spinning out” and also diffused many angry outbursts
I like the ADD Crusher scaffolding techniques ADD Crusher – Alternative ADD Treatments Natural ADD Remedies

Medication that works for me, I have tried different kinds. I currently use stimulant medication. There are examples of good and bad uses. It ends up being a lot cheaper than medicating with Starbucks’s.

Exercise especially aerobic and exciting. I ski, mountain bike and skateboard. I also practice martial arts.

Education on current understanding of the disorder and what is and is not valid. Not everything on the internet is correct and knowing how ADHD works helps filter out the disproved or just plain wrong. There are some very popular beliefs and models out there that overlook the true disorder.

Those studies get caught up on the manifestations of symptoms or statistics of a study group that are biased towards certain behaviors. It is probably a part of why you posted this question. An example of these studies or methods over emphasize learning difficulties or addiction in ADHD overlooking day-to-day strategies.

ADHD Hacks #1

I was off medication and after a slow decline and now I’m back on it. I heardfrom Dr. Harry Svec (The ADHD Fix) say on a podcast that the ADHDer starts to do well on meds and around 18 months later believes they can hold it together. The inconsistency and other traits end up eroding the gains but the person realizes only when it gets bad.

I do something like the structured procrastination and I like the way it is presented in the link you provided. I call them “binary tasks” which are mindless tasks where I can just shut my brain off and go into auto mode. Washing dishes, vacuuming, walking dog etc.

I call my notebook my “pensive” which Dumbledor uses in Harry Potter. I “brain dump” into it regularly. Once I get a thought, concern or worry on paper my mind is unburdened.

I found the structure of ADD Crusher – Alternative ADD Treatments Natural ADD Remedies very helpful. It’s not a “fluffy” and feel good like many techniques.

I use clear storage containers so I can see things. Labels are too fiddly.

I just had an organization breakthrough with Marie Konda’s method. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing: Marie Kondo: 9781607747307: Books

I hope you also find these helpful.

ADHD and Math Class

You say “focus in math” so I think you are talking about in class.

It’s hard to corral the attention to “low novelty” things.

So, one way is to find novelty. It can be as simple as a web search. My first suggestion is HyperPhysics Concepts

Second, try to find out what the math is used for or who invented it.

To actually learn math I suggest looking at the patterns and where a particular method fits in the big picture. This may mean you have to learn more detail but that is actually the fun part.

Since ADDers also think laterally our problem approaches may not be the most efficient. Get a “solutions manual” if possible and see the steps to reach the correct answer. You can also find YouTube videos for most proofs and problems.

I truly hated math in grade school. I ended up with a Master’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering. It was my interest in aerodynamics that made math interesting and exciting.

Tutoring an ADHD Student.

I believe you’ll be able to tap into his ADHD superpowers. Look for the energy and enthusiasm.

Have him be aware of how he organizes information in his brain. Does he think of the situation where it occurs visualizing a “scene”, does he picture the list in his head or any other personally customized way? Ask these kinds of questions then tell him to apply these in other areas.

A couple of suggestions:

Pomodoro method. The ADHD brain is a thoroughbred that needs rest between races.

Note Taking: Mind Mapping – this provides a visual

Timer – for computer Free Countdown Timer
for smartphone

Scanner pen – IRISPen 7 Express Portable and USB-powered Digital Pen Scanner: Electronics

Post-it notes – different sizes and in different colors
Colored pens – one with four different colors in the same pen works well for me.

Fidgets: Fidgets, Therapy Fidget Toys

Natural Remedies for ADHD management.

Yes, there are “natural” tools to manage ADHD. Medication is very effective in managing ADHD and should be used with other management methods. Dr. Ned Hallowell’s great quote is “Pills don’t teach skills”.

Are you asking this questions because you don’t want to use meds? Are you having side effects? Talk to your doctor about these things.

There are good lists on natural tools on this website. Natural Remedies for ADHD, Readers’ Picks

Be careful in going off medication. You might not be aware of how ADHD is eroding improvements while on meds. Dr. Henry Svec ADD & ADHD Services has stated that he has seen patients want to stop after around 18 months because they believe then can cope without meds. Unfortunately that had happened with me and I’ve had to put in a lot of work to get back to where I was.

Procrastination! Ways to be more productive.

ADHDers procrastinate just like everyone else.

ADHD can make it harder to stop procrastination.

I find this helpful for my ADHD enhanced procrastination. ADD Crusher – Alternative ADD Treatments Natural ADD Remedies

For ADHDers there can be strong avoidance because of past failures and inconsistency of performance. Resolving the past failures and developing approaches to reduce inconsistency go a long way.
Top Procrastination Causes and Help to Stop Procrastinating!

When something is boring, tedious or just unappealing ADHDers find it hard to stay on task. This is not procrastination it is the inability to stay with the task. Starting a hundred times and not being able to make any progress saps motivation. There are also techniques to overcome the pain of tedium.
Stop Procrastinating! 5 Ways to Improve Productivity With Adult ADD

How to control Hyperfocus

I have found that I can get into a mode of hyper-focus by gently “corralling” my brain. I consider it is a passive form of control but it takes work and preparation. For me it is about creating the situation and motivation where the hyper-focus superpower is evoked.

1. Identify the goal and map out a plan and the tasks required to get there.
2. Make sure the activity is connected to my goals, interests, passions and legacy. Jeff Spencer is a great reference for this The Champions Blueprint with Dr. Jeff Spencer
3. Vividly visualize until I can feel what it is going to be like to succeed in reaching the goal. Directive affirmation gives my visualization structure.Favorite texts: Lanny basham
4. Commit to the goal. Giving my self permission to proceed. David Giwerc’s method is what I use Permission to Proceed

Once I have a clear picture in my head of what I want to achieve, I am passionate about it and I am engaged in the activity the hyper focus often shows up.

This may sound like a way to get motivated and get things done that works for anyone but I find it extra ADHD friendly.

David Boswell
ADHD Coach
ADHD affects individuals differently. Each answer so far is really good.

I’d like to add:

Identify what evokes your hyperfocus. This is really important. Your ADHD traits have to be invited to the party you just can’t drag them wherever you want.

Cultivate Interests. Everyone has desires and interests. By learning more about something specific, doing activities or work in desired areas will strengthen interest.

When you want that hyperfocus recall what brought it out before and to remain in hyperfocus recall your deep interests connected with that activity.

Here’s a related answer that I outline my process for getting hyperfocused that I teach others. David Boswell’s answer to I am an adult with adhd, how can I learn to stick to things?
I’d like to add something:

Fidget with something while you’re paying attention or focusing on a task.

Some people who have to deal with ADHD kids use this method.
Fidgets in the Classroom for ADHD Kids

I personally use a hand exerciser called Gripmaster : Gripmaster Hand Exerciser Black, Heavy Tension (9-Pounds per Finger) : Hand Strengtheners : Sports & Outdoors

Why are ADHDers great one moment and stumble the next?

One of the biggest things ADHDers are known for is being “on” or “off” with no in between.

Just like any true superpower the ADHD Superpower has a weakness and that is inconsistency. We can be kicking butt one moment and a little while later it’s like we’ve lost all ability and power. Pick any Superhero or Greek God and you’ll find this is also true.

When we are on we are unstoppable and we can find it just as hard to stop as it is to sometimes get ourselves going.

It is important to have the people we have around us recognize the good is outstandingly good and also help us make the bad not a big deal. I try to do this with myself. I’ve found a heck of a lot of awesome things…except for my keys…squirrel.
They are inherited potentials which are actualized when they enter consciousness as images or manifest in behavior on interaction with the outside world.
I use the concept of superpower as a theme for helping people get the most out of ADHD. As I work with clients I peel back the layers and find people’s superpower. I have yet to find any ADHDer that didn’t have amazing potential and energy.

Can ADHDer’s be High Level Thinkers?

I like to think about the stars and classical music. I’m pretty good at it having a Masters in Aerospace Engineering and having played oboe at the state and regional level. I also like monster trucks and surf youtube fail videos.

How’s that for low-level and high-level thinking?

Seriously, what I know about ADHD is that there is no impairment of the level of thinking. It’s the executive functioning and working memory where we have difficulty. Here’s a link to the executive functioning piece of the ADHD brain. Executive Functions Impaired in ADD/ADHD

Dr. Brown’s model lists that we have trouble with activation, focus, effort, emotion, memory and action. In an academic environment this may appear as difficulty thinking or learning but it is difficulty not disability.

Hope this helps adds to your understanding of ADHD.


Page 3 of 4

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén