September 14, 2023
Webinar: Adulting with ADHD: Tips, Tricks and Tools
Written by Rachel Eddins
Do you or someone you love struggle with ADHD? If so, you are not alone!
Living with ADHD (or someone who has ADHD) can often prove to be a challenge. This webinar will take a look at:
- What is ADHD
- Why it’s often misdiagnosed
- ADHD myth-busting
- Different ways ADHD symptoms present in adults
- Tips and tricks on how to manage ADHD
This webinar is presented by Brittnie Grono, Graduate Intern.
Watch a replay of the presentation here.
Download an ADHD Workbook to accompany the presentation.
Adulting with ADHD: Tips, Tricks and Tools:
My name is Brittany Grono. I am a graduate student currently doing my internship at Eddins Counseling Group in the Sugar Land & Heights location. I am supervised by Holly Lark, a licensed clinical social worker. I’m a graduate student at the University of Houston Clear Lake, currently working towards my licensed professional counselor licensure.
In counseling, I take a client-centered approach, focusing on meeting the client and each individual where they are so we can start with the most pressing goals. The interventions that I use are primarily DBT and CBT. I work with children, teens, and adults who are struggling with depression, anxiety, and ADHD.
What Is It Like To Have ADHD and Why Does It Make Adulting So Hard?
If you are someone who’s living with ADHD, then you may know some of those struggles. It can be:
- forgetting to pay something on time,
- running late to work,
- feeling like you’re surrounded by clutter,
- being overwhelmed easily, or
- finding simple tasks really challenging
If ADHD is something that you struggle with, then I really hope that you’ll be able to leave this presentation with either a little bit more knowledge or a new skill that you would like to try.
What is ADHD?
There’s a lot of information out there and all these different definitions, but I really loved the way Kristen Baird-Goldman defined ADHD in CBT Workbook for Adults with ADHD. She defines ADHD as:
“Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a neurobiological condition causing developmental differences in the brain’s wiring. This difference affects the system in the brain that controls self-management or executive functioning.”
Executive functioning is the brain’s ability to manage time, prioritize tasks, organize, plan, control or maintain attention, control or maintain impulses, and self-regulation, as well as the ability to maintain and manage our emotions.
Common Stigmas and Myths About ADHD
Before we dive in any further, I do want to talk a little bit about some of the myths and stigmas about ADHD. There’s a lot of information floating around out there, and some of it can be harmful, some of it can be confusing, and some of it can be helpful.
Notice ff any of these sound familiar from your own life, or if something is new and you didn’t know about adult ADHD.
“ADHD is a childhood disorder that’ll go away in adulthood.”
It was believed, for a long time, that ADHD only affects children, and this is just not true. The reality is brain imaging confirms that ADHD brains are developed and wired differently, and they look different. Because of that, this is something that someone manages for the rest of their life.
Now, the reason people tend to believe that it’s something people grow out of is that adults have learned how to manage, cope, and adapt to ADHD. Living with ADHD can be something that can be manageable and can even be used to work to your advantage.
“People with ADHD can’t pay attention to anything.”
ADHD is difficult. The name is a little bit misleading, attention deficit disorder. When really, ADHD is difficulty in controlling attention.
For instance, if you live with ADHD, you may know that if you’re doing something that you absolutely love, you can completely lose track of time. It’s what we call time blindness, where maybe you spend hours focusing on something and it feels like five minutes and you completely forget to eat, lose track of time, and your whole day goes away and it just flew by.
ADHD is the ability to hyper-focus, the ability to get large amounts of work done in a short amount of time.
“ADHD is caused by sugar and social media.”
This is not true. So many people think it is. However, ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder. There is a 75% hereditary factor to it.
Only in rare cases can ADHD develop later on in life, and it’s usually caused by some brain injury or trauma.
ADHD is not caused by sugar, TV, or social media. Now, can sugar exasperate symptoms? Perhaps, for some individuals. Social media can increase distraction, but it does not cause ADHD, and neither do they necessarily increase ADHD symptoms.
“People with ADHD have a lower IQ.”
This one is a really harmful stigma, and it’s simply not true. Research has shown that there is absolutely no correlation between IQ and ADHD. Now, there is evidence to suggest that with ADHD can come a higher risk of developing other learning disabilities, but it doesn’t affect IQ. Even with learning disabilities, you can still have a higher IQ. It just means you learn a little differently or you have different strategies for learning.
What Are The Symptoms of ADHD?
Common ADHD Symptoms:
- Time Blindness
- Memory Difficulties
- Poor Task Management
- Difficulty Processing
- Emotional Dysregulation
- Poor Interpersonal Effectiveness
- Difficulty Controlling Attention
Let’s talk about some of the symptoms of ADHD. Some people see ADHD as a disorder, a disease, a learning disability, a condition, or just a difference in brainwiring. What I like to do is pull in a little bit of both of each of those models.
There are symptoms that can cause significant challenges in someone who has ADHD, but there are also a lot of strengths that have developed or are a part of someone who has ADHD. I want to break those down and go over them with you.
Just for fun, if any of these strengths resonate with you and you feel like this is your ADHD superpower, I would love to hear about what you feel your superpower is, so go ahead and add it to the chat box. Let’s dive into some of those symptoms.
How To Improve Executive Function in ADHD Adults?
As before, we talked about executive functioning. When it comes to ADHD, people who are with ADHD tend to struggle with executive dysfunction.
This can look like time blindness. Maybe it’s running late to work or showing up really early. That difficulty of gauging how much time something’s going to take.
It can look like memory difficulties, often forgetting something or always misplacing something. If you feel like you often lose things and can’t find things, that can be part of some of those memory difficulties.
It can be poor task management. For people with ADHD, everything feels urgent. It’s really hard to prioritize tasks when everything feels important and everything feels urgent. We’ll take some time and we’ll break down how to help filter out that sense of urgency a little later on in the presentation.
It can also look like emotional dysregulation, so difficulty managing emotions. There’s a lot of hypersensitivity with ADHD because ADHD, although it’s considered a processing disorder, it is the brain’s inability to filter out information.
The reason there’s a lot of hypersensitivity in adults or children with ADHD is because the brain is getting so much information at once that it’s having a hard time filtering things out.
Recent research has also begun to explore rejection sensitivity, which is possibly linked to the ADHD brain structure. Rejection sensitivity is the experience of severe emotional pain due to failure or rejection.
What Are The Strengths of ADHD?
- Out-of-the-Box Thinking
- Good in a Crisis
- Highly Sensitive/Empathetic
- High Energy
As far as strengths go, people with ADHD tend to be really creative, out-of-the-box thinkers, and really good on their feet.
They tend to be really good in a crisis. Due to that impulsivity or that spontaneously, they have no problem jumping in and problem-solving. A lot of people with ADHD tend to feel like they thrive in chaos more so than in the calm.
High energy and charisma are also strengths. Oftentimes when I work with clients with ADHD, they tell me that a lot of people see them as funny, witty, or fun-loving.
Another fun ADHD superpower is hyper-focus, which we had talked about a little earlier.
The Launch Pad – “Houston, we have liftoff!”
Now we’re diving into some of those tips, tricks, and tools. I wanted to start off with the Launch Pad. This is a tactic that really stands out to me and is in the book, The Queen of Distraction by Terry Matlen. This book goes on to really describe how this process works.
The Launch Pad is designed to help ease some of that morning stress.
If you’re someone with ADHD, maybe this is you.
Setting Up Your Launch Pad
- A designated area near the front door
- Hall tree, cubby, counter, end table
- Items for your launch pad
- Bins, calendar, whiteboard, hooks, outlets, checklists
- Plan the launch night before
Have you ever felt like you have run late to work because you’re scrambling around the house? Maybe you woke up late and then you couldn’t find your keys and then you misplaced your phone and then you forgot to grab breakfast and then you ran out the door and realized you forgot something that you needed for work.
Sometimes the morning can feel very overwhelming. The launchpad is a way to decrease that stress and overwhelm.
How the Launch Pad works is it’s a designated area near the front door. This can be like a hall tree, a cubby, a counter, end table.
When you’re thinking of your Launch Pad, you want to think of different items that you can use. This can be a whiteboard or clear bins. I do recommend clear bins over any cloth or covered bins. It just makes it easier for you to see what’s inside.
Think of chargers and hooks for carrying purses, and backpacks, as well as any calendars or anything to write checklists on. I do like the whiteboard over any paper items because that’s one less clutter or thing that you have to keep track of that takes up space.
The Survival Kit: Your Basic Needs for the Day
- Includes all basic needs
- Cell phone, wallet, purse/bag, glasses, accessories (umbrella), charging station
When it comes to planning all that out, you want to think of your survival kit. What are your basic needs for the day? This is your cell phone, your wallet, your keys, and making sure that all of those important items are on your launch pad, ready to go in the morning.
In the midst of the chaos, you know that they’re not going to be forgotten. It’s also great to plan the launch ahead of time.
Get all this ready the night before. If you’re a morning person, you can get it all ready in the morning. But I think there’s a little extra security getting it done at night, making sure everything is in place for the morning.
If you have any additional stuff like any work documents, homework, gifts, or anything like that that you want to add to your launch for the next day, that would be a great opportunity to do that planning the night before.
Tips for Remembering Things
- The more senses involved the better!
- Activating multiple senses can help with learning and remembering things.
- Keep it easy, simple, and minimal
Some tips to make it just a little bit easier is the more senses you can activate sight, touch, and sound, the easier it is for you to remember and learn things and build a routine. The more senses you can pull in, the more interactive you can make it, the easier it will be for you to engage with it.
Then my big tip (which will be a theme throughout this presentation) is you want to keep it easy, keep it simple, and keep it minimal.
If you’re a mom who’s struggling with ADHD, then the launch pad is really great to help organize the kids and get them ready for school as well.
Decluttering the Clutter
Organizational Tips & Tricks
If you are someone living with ADHD, you may have felt that your space is overwhelming: piles of mail or documents lining up, maybe sifting through piles of things, trying to find something.
It could be clothes strung across the closets on the floor. As long as you see it, it’s functional – this is a common perspective for adults with ADHD.
Living with ADHD can be a bit messy, and maybe being messy is one of those things that you’ve often heard about yourself. That can be really frustrating and stressful. Here are some ways to help ease some of that clutter and reduce some of that stress around clutter.
Everything needs a home
- Create a home for each item in your home
- Place items where they are most used or convenient
- Keep it clear – use clear bins and labels for items you need to store
- Only 5 things Clean: trash, dishes, laundry, things that do have a place, and things that don’t have a place
Start off with everything that needs a home. A lot of times when there’s clutter, it’s because it doesn’t have a home. When it comes to finding things home, you want to pick up an item. Let’s take a laundry basket, for example. You want to think of the most convenient or most functional spot for that item.
So where do you use the item the most?
Maybe for the laundry basket, the best place isn’t for it to be on the top shelf in the closet. Maybe it’s more functional for you to have it on top of the dryer or to have it in your bathroom or in a location where you can grab it.
This can also be, for example, if you go shopping and buy a lot of soap. Instead of putting them in a utility closet, put them under the sink, and have them ready and available.
When it comes to your kitchen, is it going to be more functional for you to have your coffee mugs near your coffee maker or in your pots and pans by your oven? You want to really think of where is the best space for this item. Where am I going to use this the most?
When you find it a home, think: Does this make your life easier? You can always make things look pretty later on.
The goal is functionality first.
ADHD Cleaning Tips
When it comes to cleaning, it can feel so overwhelming. “Where do I even begin? Where do I start? This is too much.” Often when it comes to that sense of cleaning, it can feel so overwhelming that you just want to shut down and crawl into bed and put it off for another time or go do something a little bit more exciting and fun.
But breaking down cleaning, I really like how Casey Davis describes:
“Cleaning is only breaking into five categories: trash, dishes, laundry, things that have a home, and things that don’t have a home”.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the mess, start with something simple.
Start with the trash: ”I’m going to take 10 minutes. I’m just going to pick up the trash.” If the trash is what you get through that day, then that’s awesome. That’s one less thing off your to-do list.
Break it down into bite-size tasks. You don’t have to take everything all at once.
Remember, keep it simple, keep it easy, and keep it minimal.
Mail Organizing Tips
Another big challenge for adults with ADHD is the mail.
- Create an easy to use file system in a visible location
- Urgent – affects survival or comfort
- Important – affects quality of life
- Extra – informational
- OHIO – only handle it once (KC Davis, LPC)
Now, this one can be really challenging. If you really struggle with getting to your mail, you may have experienced forgetting to pay a bill, having lights shut off, or misplacing an important invitation.
How can we handle the mail? Because tackling the mail can feel pretty daunting and pretty big. An easy way, again, another Casey Davis suggestion is this acronym, O-H-I-O (Only handle it once). When you bring in your mail, some people take it straight to the trash can and sort it out there. For some people, it may be breaking it down into other categories.
As we talked about before, we’re going to break down how we can take that urgency or overwhelm and break it down into smaller pieces.
When you’re dividing up your mail, you want to divide it into urgent, important, and extra. When it comes to urgent, that’s going to be anything that affects survival or comfort. That’s going to be your bills, really anything financial or medical.
Next is going to be important. This is anything that’s going to affect the quality of life or relationships. This is something that maybe isn’t urgent, but it does have a deadline and it does need to be responded to within a certain time period.
Then extra is anything informational.
Now You See Me, Now You Don’t
Working with Working Memory
Object Permanence in Adults
Let’s talk about working memory. Visual aids can be your best friend. When you think about people with ADHD, there’s a word that often floats around social media called object permanence. But really what people with ADHD struggle with is object consistency, essentially out of sight, out of mind. If you don’t see it, you really generally have a hard time remembering it.
Keep items used often front and center
Keep items that are important or that you use frequently in a place that’s visual.
A lot of people with ADHD tend to take medicine. If you really struggle with taking your medicine on time, or if you struggle with forgetting, and you often forget to take your medicine and skip a few days, this can really help.
Instead of placing your medicine in the medicine cabinet, place it in a clear bin by your nightstand.
Now, a lot of people who take medicine need protein or something to eat. You can throw in a few protein bars. It’s right there. You start your day, you eat your protein bar, and you take your medicine. Or if you’re a breakfast person, go ahead and put it right where you would make your breakfast. That way it’s within your line of sight.
Another trick that I find helpful is that you can actually get a little canister and add your keys. On those really extra hard days when you’re running out of the house, you always have it with you in a location that you can easily access.
ADHD Fridge Organization
Organize by expiration date – keep produce on the door, dairy on the self, and condiments in the drawer.
Another thing is grocery shopping. Has anybody ever gone to the grocery store, and spent all this money on groceries, only to find that a few weeks later, half of it was expired or went bad? So how can we prevent our food from going bad? Well, a lot of the reasons our food goes bad is we forget about it. This is the tip to help with organizing your fridge: organized by expiration date.
Put the produce and the vegetables on the door of your fridge. Have your dairy items in front and center, and then anything like any drinks, water bottles, snacks, and condiments in the drawer. Those are going to be items that if you really want it, you’re going to go for it.
But vegetables or ingredients are going to be a little harder to work with simply because you need them to add to other foods. So maybe you look and you’re like: “Oh, I have some spinach. I can make a salad or something.” But if you don’t see the spinach, you’re not going to think about utilizing your spinach in your meal.
The New Executive Assistant
- Utilize your phone, Alexa, Apple watch
- Parked car – take pictures of surrounding areas or pin your location on maps
- Take pictures of important documents or files – create a file on your computer or phone
- Make memory external – visual clocks, apple watch/phone set to vibration
Also, use the tools for your behavior. Use your phone, use your Apple Watch, use your Alexa, or whatever smart device that you have, use it to your advantage.
For instance, if you’ve ever lost your car in a parking lot (I feel like most people probably have), and then you play the car tag game with your clicker and the alarm to see if you can try and find it. A great way to tackle this is to take pictures of your surroundings.
Or if you didn’t know, there’s actually a function in your Google Maps where you can tap on your location and it’ll pin it for you. Then you can always know exactly where your car is.
Another great tip is making memory external.
Use clocks and anything that you can see to really help you manage that time.
I also want to point out that I did get some tips from a professional organizer here in Houston called Ellen Dellap. She helps people with ADHD organize their homes.
I contacted her and got a little extra information to help you guys out with some tips from a professional organizer as we go through this presentation.
How To Do the ToDo List
Tackling Task Prioritization
How do you do the to-do list? If anybody’s created a to-do list, you probably know how extremely overwhelming it can feel once it’s all written out.
You may even have experienced something called ADHD paralysis, where it feels so overwhelming and daunting, that you shut down and sit in the stress, which then can create that cycle of guilt: “I should be doing this. Why can’t I do this? I just need to get up and do it.” It just cycles on.
- Create a list then cover the list so only the top 3-5 items are showing
- Keep it minimal and simple – don’t add routine tasks or steps
How can we break down lists? How can we make it easier?
A really great tip is when you create that to-do list, what you can do is you can use a sheet of paper, or sticky note, to cover the list so only 2-3 items are showing at a time. This will use that object permanence or that object consistency to your advantage. This helps your brain break down that list into small bite sizes.
Another thing you can do is there’s an app that can be really helpful. It’s the Microsoft to-do list.
When you put in all your to-do list items and organize them by the due date when you go in for each day, it only shows you what’s due that day, so you’re not feeling overwhelmed by all the things on your weekly or monthly to-do list.
The Warm-Up to Starting Tasks
- Ramp up – start with small, easy steps/tasks first
- Set timers – 30 min on, 5 min off – for sustained attention
- Use music to get you motivated
Another great way to handle your to-do list is to warm up.
Sometimes it can feel really hard to even start a task. Where do I even begin? It’s so big, you want to do all of it at once. How do you even start? Well, a great way is to warm up and ramp up to it.
Keep it simple, keep it easy. Keep it minimal. Start with something small.
If it’s a big project, take five minutes, take 10 minutes, then check in with yourself. “Hey, do you think you could do another five minutes?” If so, great. Try another five minutes. You can set timers, 30 minutes on, and then a break timer, which could be 5-10 minutes off.
You can also listen to your favorite music.
Chores can be really hard to get motivated into, and sometimes the right playlist can really get you in the mood to tackle all those things and drive you into that hyper-focus mode.
Finding ways that can make tasks engaging, less scary, and a little more fun can really help get you to initiate some of those tasks.
Body Double System to Increase Productivity for People with ADHD
- Use the buddy system – just having someone present can increase productivity for ADHD
Body doubling works a little bit like magic.
Here’s an example: If you’ve ever been in school and really struggled with a homework assignment and went to a teacher, a friend, or a parent and asked: “Can you help me with this assignment?” You sit down and you get it all done. You hadn’t even asked the person a question.
That’s the magic of body doubling. Just having someone there increases that productivity and can help motivate you to get things done.
This is also really great for cleaning. If cleaning feels very overwhelming, have someone sit with you. It doesn’t mean that they have to clean with you. They can sit and read a book or just hang out. But sometimes just having someone in the space can really help motivate you to get a task started and get it going.
Now, I do want to preface that if this is someone who’s going to anchor you, you want to try and buddy up with someone who’s going to be a minimal distraction. So maybe not the chatty friend or someone that you love to catch up with.
This might be someone that you can just share the space with. They can read a book while you’re getting some work done.
Make it a game
- Time yourself – try and beat your score
My favorite strategy for getting things done is to make it a game. Try and make boring, uninteresting tasks fun.
So when it comes to the dishes, if you do not like doing the dishes, try and time yourself. Give yourself two minutes. If you can do it in two minutes, try and do it in a minute and 30 seconds without breaking any dishes, of course. But what you want to do is try and make it fun, try and make it engaging. That’s going to take a lot of that stress and overwhelming, daunting feeling out of some of those chores.
Create reward systems
Another thing that you can do is create a reward system.
What makes ADHD different developmentally than neurotypical brains is that there are hormonal differences in dopamine and norepinephrine.
Now, dopamine is our reward system, which means when it comes to boring tasks, we generally aren’t getting anything from it. If you can create a system that can give you that little dopamine rush, that little “woo-hoo, I did it” reward system, can go a long way.
Making things into a game, and making things fun can be a really great way to help manage your ADHD.
There is absolutely no rule that says you cannot make adulting with ADHD fun. The more fun you can make adulting, the easier it’ll be to manage ADHD.
Recap & Review
Now to recap what we talked about, because I know that was a lot of information all at once.
Tackling Tasks for People with ADHD Executive Functioning Challenges
- Task prioritization: keep it simple, keep it easy, and keep it minimal. Really try and break things down.
Don’t add unnecessary or extra steps if they’re not needed. Sometimes with ADHD, we get so excited, or individuals get so excited about big projects that they tend to focus on all the big stuff instead of breaking it down into smaller bite sizes.
2. Use the buddy system: body doubling. Find someone who can anchor you, help you get started, and get tasks done.
3. Make it fun. Try and make it engaging. Make it something that you look forward to doing to the best of your ability.
- Organizing your space: use clear bins and labels to make sure that you’re going to be able to see what’s in the box and it’s easily accessible.
2. Only five things to clean. Try and break cleaning down into categories so it makes it a little bit easier to take it all in. Again, breaking it down into those bite sizes.
3. Ohio: only handle it once.
With working memory, you want to remember to organize fridges and pantries by expiration date. The sooner it spoils, the closer you want it to the door, and the later it expires, the further back you can have it.
Organize based on things that you’re going to use a little bit more frequently towards the front, and ingredients toward the front, whereas snacks and goodies or things that you know you’ll go and grab for, like condiments, can be more towards the back.
Use your devices to your advantage. You can utilize a lot of different apps, or you can use different systems in your phone to help such as your camera, your calendar, and your timer. Engaging your senses. How can you pull in sight, sound, and touch to help engage that memory process?
And then the Launch Pad, a designated area that gets you to start your day, what’s in your survival kit. And then remembering to plan the launch the night before.
Resources for ADHD Adults
Here are some resources to help you learn more tips for managing ADHD:
- The Queen of Distraction generally leans more towards women with ADHD and how to work on managing home and work. So it really has a lot of great tips. Although it does lean more towards women, I do find a lot of the resources and tips in there to be applicable to anybody with ADHD.
- The CBT Workbook for Adult ADHD. This uses CBT interventions to help with managing ADHD. It’s a workbook, so you can work through it and reflect and engage with it. It also does a really great job of explaining ADHD and breaking it down into less clinical terms in a way that a lot of people can understand.
- The next two: ADHD 2-0 and Taking Charge of Adult ADHD are books written by two of the most prominent ADHD specialists in the field, and they have very different viewpoints on ADHD. Edward Hallowell tends to be more strength-based focused, whereas Russell Barkley tends to take more of the medical model. But both have done phenomenal research in the field, and so those are definitely books to look into.
Managing ADHD in a relationship:
- This book, Dirty Laundry is written by a couple, someone with ADHD and someone without ADHD. It talks about how they navigated some of those relationship dynamics. Although this book is not written by a clinician like the other ones, it provides a personal perspective on how to manage ADHD from a relationship standpoint.
ADHD Specific Organizations & Online Resources
- ADDA and CHAAD. They have a variety of resources, free resources for a lot of people. It can be resources on, for instance, how to file for a 504 for your kid, or different tips for adults with ADHD, and kids with ADHD.
- Attitude Magazine. Online magazine with articles written by clinicians or people who are experts in the ADHD field or specialize in ADHD. It’s a lot of really great information, especially if you have recently gotten diagnosed with ADHD and want to learn a little bit more about what that’s like.
ADHD Workbook to Accompany this Webinar
In the ADHD Workbook, I added some Instagram accounts, which are great for the sense of community and validating the experience of living with ADHD.
What people go through living with ADHD is very real, and it’s often very misunderstood.
Here are references for this presentation:
- Baird Goldman, K. (2022). The CBT Workbook for Adult ADHD. Rockridge Press.
- Malten, T. (2014). The Queen of Distraction. New Harbinger Publications.
- Ellen Delap, Certified Professional Organizer, ADHD specialized.
- KC Davis, Licensed Professional Counselor.
- ADDtitude Magazine (2023).
- Cornwell, S. and Mendel, C. (2023). Common ADHD myths. Child-mind Institute.
- Myths and Understandings, (2023). CHADD.
- Pictures: https://www.freepik.com/author/wayhomestudio
Therapy & Support for ADHD
I just want to say thank you to everybody for participating in our webinar. I love seeing all of your superpowers listed in the chat. We have, “good in crisis, empathetic, creative, charismatic, and out-of-the-box thinking,” which is amazing. We have some artists in the group. I love it.
We are going to take a few moments for questions. But, hopefully, everybody took away a little something from this presentation.
If you need support in managing ADHD, or if you know someone who may want to seek professional services, you can schedule an appointment here, or schedule a consultation with our team to learn more about counseling, coaching, and testing services available.
Questions & Answers
ADHD Pantry Organization
You can also organize your pantry, just like we talked about organizing your fridge. Go ahead and you want to organize more by expiration date and then more ingredients in the front. For instance, anything in the pantry that’s going to go bad fast and is something that you use to add to food, try and bring that up to the front so that you see it a little bit more clearly.
How Do I Organize My Bathroom With ADHD?
To organize your bathroom, focus on functionality, and accessibility.
How Can Caffeine Interact With Medications?
This is a really good tip. Someone did put in there that caffeine can prevent medication from working well. That can be true. Again, medicine, that’s going to be something that you want to talk to a psychiatrist about, or your PA, or any medical professional. Medicine affects everybody differently, especially when it comes to ADHD and medicine.
Is ADHD a Learning Disability?
When it comes to ADHD and being a learning disability, where the learning disability part comes in is ADHD can be a processing disorder or is seen as a processing disorder.
One way to think about it is in one ear, out the other, which is also that narrative where people think that individuals are lazy, not paying attention, or ignorant.
What happens is the brain has difficulty processing information, and therefore, sometimes information just doesn’t stick. This can be an example, you are reading a book and you read five pages, and then think, I have no idea what I just read.
Then you have to go back and reread it. Sometimes you have to reread it maybe 2-3 more times before it even sticks, which can make reading really difficult and frustrating, especially for a child, which is where that learning disability can come in.
Can Therapists Diagnose ADHD?
Yes, your therapist can diagnose ADHD and related conditions, such as anxiety. However, to diagnose another learning disability such as dyslexia, that is typically assessed through psychological testing.
Some organizations may also want to see psychological testing results for an ADHD diagnosis, for example, if accommodations are being considered in a college or university setting.
What Is The Relation Between Red Dye and ADHD?
When it comes to red dye being linked to ADHD and foods for children, research indicates that the petroleum in red dye is generally not likely to increase symptoms of hyperactivity in children. What is more common is that children with ADHD may be more sensitive to the ingredients in these products, whether or not it triggers specific ADHD symptoms.
ADHD in kids can look different than ADHD symptoms in adults.
One of the reasons kids are often misdiagnosed or diagnosed later in life is ADHD can present as either hyperactive, inattentive, or both. When kids present with just the inattentive symptoms, they can get mistaken for having lower intelligence or simply misbehaving.
I do want to say if you’re living with someone with ADHD, one of the best ways to approach things is approaching conflict with curiosity over judgment.
If you have a child with ADHD for example, when they forget to do something, forget to turn something in, or are really struggling with doing their homework, meeting them with curiosity, asking them what’s going on, what are they struggling with, and meeting them where they’re at can actually go a long way.
How To Create a Routine?
Routines are going to be more individualized, and I wish I had the perfect formula for it, but for each person, it is going to be a bit of a trial and error. What I can say is when it comes to creating those routines, start with one thing at a time.
Oftentimes when it comes to ADHD, you create this whole routine, this whole planner. You’re going to wake up at 5:00 AM, exercise, and then you’re going to meditate, and then you’re going to go to work, and you create this full schedule.
Then when you mess up on that full schedule, it can feel like a complete failure, and so you shut it down and don’t do it again. When it comes to routine, start with one thing.
If your goal is to create a better sleep routine, start with that. Just start with three to four weeks of just trying to focus on that sleep routine. If that’s going to bed at 10:00, then that’s all you focus on, and you add that to your routine.
Instead of creating a whole routine and trying to tackle it all at once, you want to think about adding one thing at a time.
It takes time to build a habit.
When it comes to doing a routine, you want to create a habit. Building the routine is going to take time. You want to create a habit on top of habit, on top of habit. That’s going to be a really great way that you can start building those routines. But again, that’s going to be more individualized for what works for you. When it comes to ADHD, it is unique for each person.
Although some of the struggles, symptoms, and strengths surrounding ADHD are common, the experiences are still unique, which means although these were a lot of tips, they may work for some people in this presentation, and they may not work for others. It really is about trying different things and adjusting them as you need to make them work for you.
How To Encourage Teens With ADHD To Be Successful In Life?
Understand that a lot of people who have ADHD have faced a lot of stigmas, especially in school environments.
This can look like: “Oh, you’re just being lazy. You’re not paying attention. Do you even care? Unmotivated?” A lot of that stigma and shame can create a sense of hopelessness. “What’s the point? Why would I try? Everybody has these assumptions about me anyway.”
If you have a teen who’s really struggling with ADHD and getting motivated, meeting them where they are, providing support, providing validation, and validating their experience can go such a long way.
But if your teen is really struggling, I would suggest reaching out to a professional counselor who can work with you and your teen to help them utilize their strengths and really find the motivation that works for them.
How To Overcome Self Doubt?
Self-doubt can come in when there’s a lot of that sense of rejection sensitivity that people often feel with ADHD. Again, that’s different for each person. I know some people who put on their favorite songs, so they have this get-pumped playlist or feel-good vibes.
When they’re really struggling with self-doubt, maybe imposter syndrome, they put on their playlist. For others, it could be going to a validating person and saying: “Hey, I need to be pumped up right now.”, and getting that support from your community around you.
But it can be really hard. And so grounding techniques and there’s a lot of different strategies that can be used to boost that morale.
What Is The Connection Between ADHD and Traumatic Brain Injury?
There’s a whole medical journal about it, and I don’t quite have the knowledge, but it would just affect the part of the brain, which I believe is the limbic system, which is the system that often controls a lot of that executive functioning. That’s how it can bring about ADHD for whatever reason, it causes some decrease in dopamine and norepinephrine being transmitted throughout the brain.
Adult ADHD and Childhood Trauma: Is There a Link?
There’s a really great book. It’s called Scattered Minds, by Gabor Maté. It talks about the relationship between trauma and ADHD. It’s on my reading list. I have yet to read it, but I’ve heard a lot of really great recommendations about it, and so that may be able to help with your question there.
Someone shared an example of a friend who keeps a journal of all her completed tasks and pays herself for each job done. I think that’s wonderful. An app that I found that really helps, it’s called Finch. It’s really cute. You get this little cute little bird, and every time you complete a task, you get to buy cute little things for your bird’s outfit or home. If you tend to lean on the hyperactive side of ADHD and maybe struggle with some of that impulse spending and love to purchase stuff. This can be a really great way that you can use your tasks to buy cute things for a bird. It’s not a real bird, obviously, but it’s a cute game.
There are also some activities in the take-home packet to help you utilize some of these skills that we went over here. I hope that for each person, maybe you took a little something home, or at least this was some validation for you. Again, I want to thank, everybody who came on today.
Grounding & Self Soothing
Get instant access to your free ebook.