Author: David Boswell Page 2 of 5

Employment

Career changes and employment issues happen.

Employment can be challenging.  Many ADHDers change jobs every 9 to 18 months.  This can be because the novelty and challenge has worn off.

Employment

Turning towards challenge can provide the necessary engagement for an ADHD brain.  Every job change I made was a promotion or a raise but it did take it’s toll on having to learn a new job every time.

One thing that may help you regardless of your diagnosis is this career book
What Color is Your Parachute?.  I have found it useful in figuring out my careers.  It will probably be in your local library.  Do the exercises and it will help you decide what career path you take.

David

Funniest ADHD Test

The unofficial and funniest ADHD test.

Rick Green, of Totally ADD, has posted the funniest ADHD test I’ve ever seen.

The Funniest ADHD Test

The Unofficial Test for ADHD Adults

I think this video is genius because it includes questions that test for other conditions like depression, hyperthyroidism, anxiety, OCD and bipolar disorder.

Rick was recently awarded the Order of Ontario medal.  He’s another person using their ADHD Superpower.

 

Our ‘Unofficial’ ADHD Test from TotallyADD.com on Vimeo.

External scaffolding

External scaffolding to stay on track

Sticky post

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.

External Scaffolding

External 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:

addcrusher.com

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.

Distraction

Procrastination or distraction?

Everyone procrastinates…ADHD’ers procrastinate in the same way as everyone else but there is also something else going on.  Procrastination from getting off-task by a distraction or avoidance of tedious tasks are traits of ADHD and normal people.

Distraction

Jumping to one-thing-after-another shows a dis-regulation of attention in ADHDers.  For example, to tighten a cabinet screw, I go into my garage to get a screwdriver.  I see that I haven’t assembled the shelves I bought last week so I try to finish that.  I remember I needed that screwdriver for fixing the cabinet hinge in the kitchen so I leave the unassembled shelves on the floor and go the kitchen.  When I get to the kitchen I take out the burnt french fries I put in the oven just before I tried to get a glass of water in the cabinet which I saw has a screw loose on the hinge.

Many people take for granted that they can remember to turn on the timer so the french fries don’t get burned but ADHDers have a difficulty with little things.  These little things that we forget or distract us can add up to disasters.

I still haven’t finished those shelves in the garage.

Higher level

Can ADHD students do better in higher level courses?

Sticky post

Probably…maybe.  As an adult with ADHD, I usually found the challenge and amount of information very engaging in higher level and graduate courses.  Doing well was easier but I didn’t always do better.

Higher Level Courses

In general, regardless of level, I would say people with ADD/ADHD do better in courses in which they have interest in and are engaged.  The higher-level ones may provide more challenge to engage the ADHDer but could also frustrate and confuse.  The research-based aspect would allow more in-depth study of outside reasearch providing novelty which could prevent boredom or distract the ADHDer from getting any work completed.

I feel ADHD should not be the deciding factor in whether a person should pursue their academic goals.

Brain Fog

Is brain fog a symptom of ADHD?

“Brain fog” is a symptom, an outward sign of something going on. The source might be ADHD.  When ADHDers are taking the right meds sometimes they report the “brain fog” or “cobwebs” are cleared.

Brain Fog

Brain fog is not necessarily correlated with ADHD.  Brain fog feelings can be caused by different conditions and these need to be ruled out before an ADHD diagnosis can be made.

deny ADHD

Why deny ADHD as a valid condition?

Some doctors don’t think the diagnosis of ADHD is valid. Why? There can be many reasons:  Maybe they want to sell lots of books?  Everyone can appear distracted or hyperactive at times so there is misunderstanding of what is really going on.  The symptoms of ADHD change through life but most continue to have hyperactivity of the mind.

Deny ADHD as Valid

It was first believed that children outgrew the disorder because it didn’t “appear” they had any impairment later in life.  As time goes on we understand the disorder better and know that you don’t have to be physically hyperactive to have ADHD.

There is no single test for the disorder.  The affects of the disorder are evaluated by testing symptoms and brain functioning.  If this disorder isn’t fully understood a doctor will tend to diagnose a more superficial symptom or condition.

Some cautiously avoid discussion because they don’t know or understand enough to confidently diagnose.  Mis-diagnosis and prescribing a stimulant with addiction potential and street value is something they may not be comfortable doing.

A concern you may have is getting an ACCURATE diagnosis of what is going on. ADHD is not easy to diagnose, there is no one test or scan that is reliable on its own. There are also a lot of other things that cause similar symptoms and need to be ruled out as the cause. Here is an article that may provide some information on how you will proceed.

Getting an ADHD Diagnosis: 3 Common Mistakes

If you are looking for an evaluation for a diagnosis see a specialist.

Gene

Is there an ADHD gene?

The alleles of the genes behind the genetic component of ADHD are unknown.

The Gene

It is an interesting question but even associating a gene or allele mutation with development of ADHD symptoms or intelligence is an ill-posed question.  There are too many variations and outside influences to even predict.  It’s like the “butterfly effect” where everything is an influence but how much and what the role is on the outcome is highly variable.

know-it-all

Are all people with ADHD know-it-all “walking encyclopedias”?

Have you wondered about those folks that give off the aura of being a know-it-all walking encyclopedia? Do I mean the eletro-magnetic radiation around the sun seen during eclipses known as the “corona” or more of a “halo” around an object caused by light diffusion of particles in the atmosphere type “aura”?

Know-It-All

No. I don’t think people with ADD/ADHD are commonly known for being encyclopedias…Walking Wiki’s on the other hand…

Seriously, I think many walking encyclopedias have ADHD and may not be diagnosed.  I believe this is because we hyperfocus on what we are interested and passionate about.  Then a part of the disorder is that we can miss social queues that we are being a “know-it-all”.   We become so immersed in the topic and knowledge that our passion and enthusiasm spills, or more likely explodes, everywhere all the time.  If all this leads to success in life then we don’t consider it a disorder and don’t get diagnosed.

ADHD affects people differently, some are very inattentive and quiet.  Regardless, there is a high probability of walking encyclopedias having ADHD but not that probable a person with ADHD is a walking encyclopedia or knows it all.

trouble starting

Having trouble starting things.

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

Trouble Starting

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.

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