You lose your keys almost every other day.
You did the homework but forgot to hand it in – again.
You’re securing new clients, but you can’t get the invoices completed.
You’ve got 5 creative projects started, what's the priority?
Your closet is overstuffed but you can never find anything to wear.
You are busy all day, but feel you've accomplished nothing.
You don’t like big parties because you just can’t follow the small talk.
...Does this sound like you?
That’s the ADHD – it is not an excuse, it’s an explanation!
On Proudly ADHD at Work & Business podcast, Barbara Luther,
offers an explanation of living & working with Inattentive ADHD.
There are many ways to define ADHD. (scroll down for definitions from leading experts) It could be called a challenge of executive function since the brain is inefficient in planning, organizing, remembering and self-regulating. These executive functions, including impulse control and managing emotional reactions, are controlled by the prefrontal cortex which is weaker in ADHDers. So, the ADHD brain is more emotional, wired for interest, lives in the now. Approximately 11% of children are now diagnosed with ADHD, 3 – 5% of teens and 4.4% of adults, according to the CDC. The numbers for teens and adults will increase since many are diagnosed later.
The impact of ADHD...
It is important to know there is not “one” version of ADHD; it manifests in different ways for each person and changes over time. For many, because they process differently than the standard rules required in schools and workplaces, they see more failure than success. There is a shortage of attention because the brain can’t tolerate being bored and will do anything for stimulation. Impulsivity (action without foresight) is what gets them into trouble as well as always questioning authority, questioning the rules, and frequently changing jobs. For most, the working memory is weak which causes the forgetfulness.
People with ADHD require a lot of patience, forgiveness and love. Remember, just because they made a mistake doesn’t mean they aren’t trying. When your student or husband or daughter forgets or behaves impulsively (even after a promising to behave) don’t get mad, get curious. Don’t assume they are lazy – maybe their working memory wasn’t strong enough to take in all the information. Or maybe they lost focus at that critical moment when the instructions were being given.
It's all about Interest. The brain is constantly searching for something interesting because “boring” is kryptonite.
Is there a solution?
ADHD Coaching is an effective tool and collaborates well with therapy and/or medication. Coaching is about action and moving forward. A Coach will help you understand how your ADHD impacts your life and works with you to develop the skills or strategies on how to tackle the roadblocks. We creatively find new habits and build insightful plans that will work for you and empower you to experience a balanced and productive future.
A coach will be your partner to improve how you learn and to confidently manage attention, distractions and impulsivity.
3 Definitions Of ADHD from Leading Experts
1. ADD Coaching Academy:
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a unique brain wiring which requires engaged interest with a clear, purposeful intention in order to activate and access attention so an individual can manage the brain’s executive functioning.
2. Dr. Edward Hallowell:
ADHD is a neurological condition that is usually genetically transmitted. It is characterized by distractibility, impulsivity and restlessness or hyperactivity. These symptoms are present from childhood on, and with a much greater intensity than in the everyday person, so that they interfere with everyday functions. I like to describe having ADHD is like having a powerful race car for a brain but with bicycle brakes. Treating ADHD is like strengthening your brakes – so you start to win races in your life.
3. ADDitude Magazine
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurological disorder that impacts the parts of the brain that help us plan, focus on, and execute tasks. ADHD symptoms vary by sub-type — inattentive, hyperactive, or combined — and are often more difficult to diagnose in girls and adults.
It is a developmental impairment of the brain’s executive functions. People with ADHD have trouble with impulse-control, focusing, and organization.
Neuroscience, brain imaging, and clinical research tell us a few important things: ADHD is not a behavior disorder nor a mental illness or a specific learning disability. ADHD is, instead, a developmental impairment of the brain’s self-management system.
A brief explanation of Executive Function Skills:
Defined by Dr. Barkley: “Executive function skills are the skills that help us establish structures and strategies for managing projects and determine the actions required to move each project forward. Individuals with executive dysfunction often struggle to analyze, plan, organize, schedule, and complete tasks at all — or on deadline. They misplace materials, prioritize the wrong things, and get overwhelmed by big projects.”
In other words, our executive function skill is what allows us to get stuff done. Those with strong Executive Function skills can look at a To-Do list, determine which items are priority, judge the time needed and complete the list with efficiency. For those with weaker Executive Function skills, just writing a list can seem monumental. People with weak executive function skill has trouble controlling emotions or impulses, have trouble listening, have trouble organizing and planning, and may display socially inappropriate behavior.
Working Memory – the ability to hold information in your head while processing something else.
Organization – ability to use time and things efficiently
Time Management – estimating time to complete a task
Metacognition – self-awareness – knowing & owning strengths and weaknesses.
Planning/Prioritizing – process of creating a roadmap to complete a task or project
Emotional Control – managing emotions to fit the social situation
Response Inhibition – process to think before acting. Impulsivity
Sustained Attention – process to stay focused even when distracted, feeling fatigued or bored
Task Initiation – stay with the task, without procrastination, until it’s in a timely fashion.
Flexibility – able to go with the flow, changing behavior in response to unforeseen circumstances
Think about what’s happening when you forget things or don’t know how to figure out what is most important. What is going on and what can you do to catch yourself?
Think about when someone has to remind you, again and again. What is in your power to take control?
People with weak executive function skills have trouble controlling emotions or impulses, have trouble listening, have trouble organizing and planning, and may display socially inappropriate behavior.
Remember: These are SKILLS. It has nothing to do with intelligence! Work with me to build the skills.
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