vrijdag 26 september 2008

Next Meeting ADHD Favourite Quotes and some interesting links

The next meeting will be on Wednesday October 22nd.

Topic is Favourite Quotes (ADHD relevent):

Here is mine:

Karma is the hand dealt, and dharma is what the player does with it”.

Mahatma Gandhi was fond of bridge .He used the game to explain the difference between karma (predetermined fate) and dharma (man’s action)

For me-he means don’t compare yourself with other people .Play what you have as well as you can .Strive to beat you own best performance. Comparisons are irrelevant -we are all playing different deals.

Think of a favourite quote with an adhd connection. What does it mean to you ? Send it to me if you can’t come!

Some other Quotes- are at the bottom of this email.

-22nd November . Maureen will talk about time management .

-I’ve attached a final version of my notes on ADHD and Failure at the point of perfomance

Some interesting links-

(Rather random)

1/-Here’s a link from John, to a story about an ADHD college student learning to cope with higher education



2/-Here’s a collection of documents from teachers / education authorities on childen with special needs. Both funny and horribly familiar. (Part of a labyrinthine site run by a Special needs attorney. On other pages you can find very good advice for parents - not all specific to US education law)

Here’s my favourite:

from an email written by a teacher to the school psychologist about a child with clearly diagnosed SEVERE ADHD by several qualified medical professionals:

“STUDENT (name changed to protect the innocent) is a strange case. We all feel that his biggest problem is that his mom and dad are looking for any excuse to explain STUDENT’S bad behavior. I do believe that he is somewhat ADHD; however, we have had much more severe cases – (name omitted), for example. STUDENT doesn’t get along with any other student – he picks and complains and antagonizes one and all. I can also say that no one likes him. Not because it is the popular thing to do, but they really don’t like him. His academic levels are low because he has had the crutch of “it’s his disability” used so often that he no longer really tries. He and his parents expect everyone else to do his work and not hold him accountable because it is “his disability”. He won’t start working in class on assignments unless he is specifically told to do so, and he wants to try the excuse “I’m thinking’ when the exercise clearly doesn’t even take any thinking. I don’t know how to counteract a life of parents telling him that there is something majorily (sic) wrong with him. They have tried every test, counseling, medicine that is out there. I can’t imagine how he is to deal with constantly being told that there is something terribly wrong. We have found that if we tell him “that’s it, you act like that or do that again, and you’re outta here,” then he can control his behavior. However, theline (sic) must be drawn in the sand for him to see that he has reached the limit of what we’ll tolerate. The parents and the behavioral plan said we were to do three warnings, but we found that one worked as well as three. We’ll all be interested to get the results of his testing.

Click for More Funnies

Sometimes I think the problem is that everybody knows how to raise an ADHD child until they have one.

More Quotes- to inspire you before next meeting

We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.- Albert Einstein

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.- Maya Angelou

Do not dwell in the past; do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment. – Buddha

The only people who don’t make mistakes are the ones who aren’t doing anything.—Anonymous

Perfectionism spells paralysis.- Churchill

A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.-

Mark twain

To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.
--Thomas Edison

Never wrestle with a pig; you both get dirty, and the pig likes it.”-- Anonymous

donderdag 18 september 2008

ADHD and Failure at the Point of Perfomance. Why Don't we just do it?

Russell Barkley said:

AD/HD does not interfere with knowledge. It is not a skill deficit. It is not a learning disability. AD/HD disrupts the performance of knowledge, not the knowledge itself.

Why is that important? It’s important for this reason: You do not do skill training to help people with AD/HD. Stop treating them as if they’re stupid. Stop treating them as if they don’t know anything. “Oh, you can’t sit still? I’ll teach you. Oh you can’t do time management? I’ll teach you. Oh, you don’t have any friends? We’ll do social skills training. Listen to how we approach this disorder. We view it as a deficit and I can correct it by teaching you the right things to do.”

I made great notes on ADHD and failure at the point of performance. But just didn’t have time to transfer them from my head to paper. This is a rush job before “Lost in Austen ‘starts at 10.

I had two months since the last meeting-Why didn’t I write good topic notes? Why can’t we get things done, even when we know exactly what we need to do?

The Usual Suspects - Distractibility, Temporal myopia (to pinch Russell Barkley’s phrase for time wasting), Inability to resist temptation to do something more fun instead, Overwhelmed by organizing my ideas,

What helps to get thing done?

Being Centered, Clarity about goals and ethics. (I’m an atheist, but group members with a strong religious belief seem to have an advantage in managing their adhd)

Perhaps, the more deeply we embed our principles and goals the easier it becomes to have them in mind in a crisis.

Focusing questions for clarity: Imagine your funeral: what are people saying? Who are your heroes?

See Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People for writing a personal mission statement.

Awareness of Performance. Lifetime Ongoing Evaluation of effectiveness of organisational techniques, medication etc. Is everything still working for you?

A change of work demands e.g. might need a different oganisational method

Persistence. Most people with ADHD are good at this. You get distracted but Refocus again and again .It’s our strength- hopefully one of many!

Beware of Self blame-‘I’ve done nothing all morning again, I’m waste of space’. It distracts from refocusing, it distracts from the task and makes it difficult to think clearly. Forget it; let other people with more attentional resources blame you, they are, after all, often willing to help in this instance :).

Beware of perfectionism. Organization needs to be good enough to get the job done- no more.

Use Visualization techniques (from sports science)

. Effective for a number of uses including refocusing- imagine yourself vividly, concentrated on- e.g. filling in your tax return return. The feel of the pen in your hand, see your accounts open on the table before you, the feel of the chair beneath you, the smell of ink, and you absorbed concentrating. Don’t think what a relief it will be when you’ve finished – you can get caught in a day dream of how good it will feel and what you'll do when it’s finished .Stay in the moment. Your reward is in the moment, the contentment of concentration. When you notice your attention has wandered refocus by refreshing the image of you happily concentrating and get back to work.

Visualiation can also be used to practice something difficult-e.g. staying calm in a difficult interview, or to set reminders to you when pencil and paper reminders are not enough

Habits. Thinking about doing the same thing every day of your life can make life seen pointless. Swallow your angst. Try and grow a habit even, just one to start, and another if you already have some... Read Henry James essay on habits. Habits help us get things done by taking some of the pressure of working memory and self control.

Finally, New Scientist in The Origins of Will Power gave some hints on developing will power based on research by scientists such as Baumeister and Gollwitzer who studied the effect of planning on Will Power.

Here’s a summary of their recommendations:

Choose your battles

Willpower is limited -making a big decision; resisting temptation or controlling emotions all deplete it.

Baumeister found that People persisted with an impossible task longer when asked to resist eating radishes (easy , ( Rapunzel’s mum had eaten them already?) ) then when asked to resist eating fresh baked cookies (hard))


Writing a clear plan: including details of how, when and where. Makes it much more likely you'll get the job done.

(I ‘d add that Adhders who daydream may be distracted by thinking about the future . Still need to plan but especial care and awareness needed. Good luck !)

Boost energy levels

Exercising willpower depletes blood glucose, just like physical exercise.

(People performed mentally draining problems persisted more when given a sugary soda, then those given a diet drink or water)


Willpower strengthens with use, like a muscle. Exercising self-control, e.g. keeping an exercise plan over time, can boost your resolve in other areas.


Set a trigger for new habits, for example going to the gym at 5pm every Tuesday (rather then I’m going to join the gym). Removing the conscious decision makes it easier to get started, and to form a habit.

I know I included habits 2X.Repetition is required for habit formation.

Be Specific

If your goal is specific, (rather than vague or general), you are more likely to succeed.

Positive Goals

Focusing on a positive goal can sometimes be more successful than avoiding a negative one. Aim to win, rather than fear losing.