Parenting Children with ADHD: 10 Lessons That Medicine Cannot Teach

Over the past 30 years, Dr. Monastra has treated more than 15,000 clients who have ADHD. In this important book he shares the knowledge he has gained. Engaging and straightforward, the book is directed at parents of children who have, or might have, ADHD. In a conversational style, Monastra offers a series of sequential lessons, beginning with the causes of ADHD and the most common medical treatments. He discusses all the relevant issues for parents, including psychological treatment, diet, educational laws, and practical coping strategies for both parents and children.

Dr. Monastra’s research examining the neurophysiological characteristics of children and teens with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), as well as his treatment studies investigating the role of parenting style, school intervention, nutrition, and electroencephalographic (EEG) biofeedback in the overall care of patients with ADHD, is internationally recognized and has led to several scientific awards, including the President’s Award..

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Is your Student Lacking Emotional Intelligence?

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Is your Student Lacking Emotional Intelligence?

You’ve witnessed the scenario, the semester starts off smoothly and the student is doing pretty well. The assignments are not too difficult and the academic year is flowing with relative ease. As the semester continues, usually shortly before mid-terms, turbulence takes over. The student suddenly becomes overwhelmed and overloaded, assignment due dates are rapidly approaching and time is running out. The student is not properly prepared and encounters difficulty finding the help needed to succeed. This may describe your ADHD student, but it can also define someone low in emotional intelligence. Those with ADHD may likely be low in emotional intelligence skills as well.

 

ADHD AND EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE?
When dealing with ADHD, we tend to focus on proficiencies related to time management, procrastination, organization, and memory. These skills are important, but we do not spend as much time discussing critical areas that relate to persistence, self-advocacy, flexibility, emotional control and stress management. These areas of personal development, called emotional intelligence, can be learned to help avoid academic disruption. Self-advocacy can help a student to politely and confidently say no to excessive campus activities; emotional control can help one properly confront a problem roommate; persistence can help a student to bounce back from a bad grade on a test to try again with new determination.

 

WHAT IS EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE?
Daniel Goldman, the father of emotional intelligence, states that life success involves only 20% intellect and 80% the ability to connect and build strong relationships with others. Those that are skilled at building strong relationships possess emotional control, self-advocacy, stress management, persistence and other such skills.  Emotional intelligence is defined as using emotions well to guide thinking and behavior. Studies show students with high emotional intelligence do better academically. High emotional intelligence also improves a person’s social interactions and helps one develop friendships and lasting relationships.

Low emotional intelligence stifles healthy social interactions. Low self-awareness and low self-confidence disrupts positive relationship building. The student may lack a healthy network of friendships and relationships with others, which can be crucial in social problem solving and motivation while in college. A student with low emotional intelligence is not comfortable approaching a teacher for clarity on an assignment or feel weird going to the disabilities office and asking for the necessary accommodations needed for academic success. This is because they have not built the relationships and comfort with those persons that would make interacting with them relatively easy. In some instances, the student is not even aware that an intervention is needed. Too often, instructors assume that the student is unwilling to try or not interested in learning.

 

DEVELOPING EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE
Believe it or not, for some people, emotional intelligence comes naturally. This means that it is easier for them to create the bonds and obtain the information they need to achieve their goals. These are the people that can connect with everyone in the room. They may have been the class clown or the teacher’s pet in school. They were probably a part of the popular crowd. The good news is, emotional intelligence is a skill that can be practiced and developed.  Research suggests that by making a person aware of the skills that they are lacking and practicing the proper responses, one can develop the skills needed to improve their emotional intelligence. For a student, this can mean better friendships, better relationships with professors or improved interactions. For students with ADHD, developing emotional intelligence can ese the mid-semester rush and equip students with the tools needed to finish the semester as smoothly as they began.

 

Steven McDaniels is an Edge Foundation coach. He serves as the Director of Fitness and Athletics at Beacon College, where he previously served as the Director of Life Coaching.

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Overcome your ADHD inertia

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Overcoming ADHD inertia

Inertia: A tendency to do nothing or to remain unchanged.

Ever feel you are having trouble getting motivated. Inertia is a common human condition. Overcoming it takes practice.

Most people with ADHD have a million ideas going on in their heads, but often when it comes down to doing them, they get stuck. Last week we talked about how to move past boredom when you have a despised, but necessary, task that there is just no getting around doing.

But what about those times you have something you want to do, and you’ve even started to work on it, but you get stuck and overwhelmed?  Then you are dealing with inertia, not boredom.

Inertia can sneak up on you when you are overwhelmed by the task at hand or you aren’t sure where to start. Instead of fighting it why not try using inertia in your favor?

First, find somewhere really comfortable to sit where no one will distract you.  A hammock is a great idea, the couch in front of the Xbox not so good. Be sure you put on a relaxing playlist, but no so relaxing you fall asleep! Bring a notepad and paper.  Some people like to use post its for this part.

Now relax. Seriously. Stop stressing about what you haven’t done. Instead let your mind float into the brainstorming mode. While you are brainstorming think about all of the things you could do to get the task done and write them all down. Write down every little detail. And don’t stop writing until you get everything down you can think of you need to do.

Now figure out what are the easiest things to do and DO them! Got a pack of post-it’s?  Check. Lying in the hammock? Check. If you find there are things that are too hard to do, try to break them into smaller tasks. Set deadlines for yourself. Celebrate when you meet them.

Pausing to reflect isn’t being lazy, it’s thinking things through and planning how to get them accomplished. The key to success is to keep taking small steps every day.

This example is just one plan of attack that people use to get motivated. If it doesn’t work for you, don’t get discouraged. As they say, there are lots of other ways up the hill.  If you are having trouble meeting your own deadlines, setting unrealistic goals or feel like you haven’t figured out a way to motivate yourself despite your best efforts, you may want to work with a coach for awhile. An ADHD coach can help you figure out strategies that work with your strengths and minimize your weaknesses. A coach can hold you accountable. A coach can kick you in the rear when you are feeling lazy.

To find out more about how an ADHD coach can help you overcome inertia call 1-888-718-8886.

 

Don’t wait until the last minute, start preparing now for finals! Coaching tips

Are you gearing up for finals?  Can’t wait for it all to be over?  Does this sound like you?  “I know I shouldn’t wait until the last minute and pull an all-nighter.  My work isn’t the best it could be, but it’s the only way I can get motivated.”

Getting back on track:

You can still get yourself back on track, even with a few days left.  And here’s how. Assess your time:

  • Make a calendar.  Get some paper, open up a spread sheet, or set up a Google calendar.
  • Sketch out a calendar for the upcoming days remaining in the school year. Block out both the days and leave space for the hours of the day.  Here’s a weekly planner to give you an idea of what it might look like. (You can also download and print it.)
  • Block out on your calendar plan all your classes and other critical time commitments (ex. job, sports — things you MUST do).
  • Block out when you’ll be sleeping and eating.
  • On the second page, list all the other things you have to get done.

Prioritize:

  • Circle the items that have big consequences for not getting them done.
  • Everything else is lower priority right now. You can even let them fall off the list for now.

Break your project into smaller bits:

  • Identify all the steps you need to do to get a big project done.  For a paper, for instance, you need time to do research, brainstorm and/or write a draft, write the final draft, and hand it in.
  • Block of time on your calendar for each of those steps.
  • If it looks like you have extra hours left on your calendar plan, look to the next higher priority tasks and start scheduling them until you run out of hours in the day.
  • Don’t forget to schedule some short breaks along the way.

Stick to your plan!

  • Keep the plan with you 24/7. Put it in your agenda, or your phone.
  • Keep checking your plan.  Stick to it to the best of your ability. If it’s 1:00 pm and your plan says you should be done with lunch and working on the draft, go work on the draft.
  • Remember, it is an emergency plan to get you through a tough spot. One way or another, it will be over soon.

How an ADHD Coach can help

  • If you find yourself in a last minute study crunch so much of the time it feels like a habit, and ADHD coach can help you avoid emergency situations in the first place.
  • One of the characteristics of ADHD is a tendency to shoot from the hip, or the “ready, fire, aim” syndrome. A coach works with you over time to develop better planning and self-management skills; skills that will help you manage your time and your things so you’re on top of your work and the rest of your life and not overwhelmed and behind all the time.
  • Once you’ve met your deadline, get yourself a coach. By working with a coach, you can stay on top of your work and have fun too!

ADHD Success: It’s not all about grades

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ADHD Success: It’s not all about grades

Many high school and college students have a lot of worry, anxiety and even depression because they aren’t sure what they want to do with their lives, and it’s no wonder.  Finding your place in the world is an important part of been a teen and young adult. Add ADHD into the mix and you’ve probably experienced feeling like something’s wrong with you at least at one time or another (frequently even). After all, having a disability like ADHD can make you feel like you don’t fit in.

Do you ever look around you and feel jealous of other students who seem to be more successful than you? You know the ones: they have better grades, they have more friends, they always know the answer when called on in class, or they have an amazing body. It’s easy to feel low when you compare yourself to others. If you don’t believe us, check out the findings of this study on self esteem and college freshmen from University of Michigan’s Jennifer Crocker:

College students who base their self worth on external sources – including parental approval, academic performance, and personal appearance — reported more problems such as stress, relationship problems, drug and alcohol abuse and even eating disorders.

Yet most students (65% or higher) based their self worth on academic competence, their family’s support and approval, or doing “better” than others.

College students who focused on academic performance for their self worth did not receive higher grades even though they reported being motivated and studying more than other students. However, students who based their self-esteem on internal sources – for example personal goals and moral standards – received higher grades and were less likely to have other problems such as drug and alcohol abuse.

My research shows that when you make your self-esteem contingent on something other than your basic value as a human being, it’s not a good thing, even if the source of your self-esteem is something as praise-worthy as getting good grades,” Crockett advises.

We suggest shifting your focus away from yourself and what others think, and instead pointing your intention to making your values part of your daily activities.  Ask yourself: what are my goals for my life? What do I want to contribute to the world? What can I create today that will give me joy?

Not sure what the answers are to these questions? Your Edge Coach can help figure it out and help keep on track to accomplishing your goals.

What keeps you going each day? What do you value in yourself?

13 skills every ADHD students needs to learn before leaving home

“To ensure success, students need to make sure that they have achieved independence in daily living, study and self-advocacy skills,”  Dr Patricia Quinn.

  1. Awaken himself each day.
  2. Be responsible for his own laundry.
  3. Keep his room and possessions organized.
  4. Take any medication needed with few or no reminders.
  5. Eat healthy meals and exercise regularly.
  6. Manage money.
  7. Make good decisions about how to manage stress and to balance time between fun, chores and schoolwork.
  8. Set up a study schedule and stay on top of schoolwork without reminders.
  9. Organize ideas, write and edit his own papers.
  10. Motivate himself to face assignments and tasks that he doesn’t really enjoy.
  11. Clearly explain strengths and weaknesses to teachers and other people.
  12. Comfortably ask for help or admit when he doesn’t understand something.
  13. Find resources or support when he can’t figure something out on his own.

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Free Resources for ADHD

ADHD Friendly Colleges

Sink or Swim?

Congratulations on being  ready for college! You are one of the lucky few – only 22% of high school students with ADHD go on to attend college. For most students with ADHD it’s been a long journey getting here and you are probably a little worried about cutting it in college.

  • Are you looking for a college environment that’s supportive of students with ADHD?
  • Are you worried what will happen when you leave the structure and accountability of high school and home?
  • Perhaps you’ve been swept up by the freewheeling life of college – and you know that having access to a tutoring center isn’t what you need to get back on track.

Read on!  You aren’t alone.

College is an exciting time, there are so many new opportunities and responsibilities. But when you have ADHD, and are totally in charge of making all of your own decisions for the first time – it can be a recipe for disaster.

In fact, research has shown that as few as 5% of ADHD students who enter college end up graduating. The Edge Foundation knows how to help ADHD students be successful and we have facilitated a two-year scientific study to prove* that our model works.

Find out today how Edge Foundation can help you succeed in college.

ADHD Students are “At Risk” Students

Students with ADHD are vulnerable because ADHD impacts the higher portion of the brain that regulates Executive Functioning. ADHD students usually have Executive Function deficits in attention, planning and organization, prioritization, impulse control, memory, time management, and higher-order conceptual thinking.

Executive Functioning levels are well known by researchers to be a an important part of academic success. Experts agree that successful students usually have four qualities that help them achieve their goals:

  1. Sticking with things even when the going gets tough (perseverance),
  2. Ability to delay gratification and focus on the big picture,
  3. Time management and organizational skills, and
  4. Striking the right balance between fun and work.

If you have weaknesses in at least one of these areas, you may be at risk to struggling with ADHD in college.

ADHD students don’t have to be “at risk” students.  An Edge Coach can you learn the very skills you need to be successful in school.

Broaden Your Options

When you work with an Edge Coach, the options of where to go to school broaden. You no longer have to find a school that caters to ADHD because you can bring your support system with you!

An Edge Coach can help you:

  • Get better organized,
  • Achieve personal goals,
  • Effectively manage your time and,
  • Stick with things when the going gets rough.

Call us (1-888-718-8886) or sign up today to learn more about how Edge Foundation’s proven model can help you succeed in school.

Get Started Early

Students with ADHD shouldn’t have to fail before they get support.  Students and their families should think about getting started with a coach even before college begins. Many students find they have a rough first term. But for students with ADHD, it is surprisingly easy to fall behind, and poor, or even failing, first-term grades can be a devastating blow to self-esteem and confidence.

Or perhaps you’ve already experienced these challenges. It’s not too late to have an Edge coach help you get back on track. 

Our recently completed research* shows students who receive coaching have substantial gains in their overall approach to learning — in other words, they become more effective students!

Would you like to learn more about the techniques that research proves helps students succeed? There’s no obligation if you call us (1-888-718-8886) or sign up today to find out more about how ADHD coaching can make the difference between success and failure in school.

Choose Your School Carefully

If you still feel like you want to look into schools that are focused towards learning disabilities and ADHD, here are two references that can help you choose a school that will fit your needs. But remember, very few colleges and universities will offer personal coaching. The skills you need won’t be taught in the tutoring center or improved by using extended time when taking tests.

Coaching Helps Students Succeed

Edge Foundation’s research study offers hope for students with ADHD because it definitively links coaching to improved Executive Functioning. And improved Executive Functioning means more success in school.

ADHD students who participated in Edge coaching sessions demonstrated statistically significant, higher Executive Functioning than ADHD students who did not receive coaching. *

Coaching has long been used by the corporate world to improve performance of CEOs and executives, but little study had been done until now on the impact this particular kind of intervention has on those living with ADHD.

While medication can improve academic productivity (better note-taking, scores on quizzes and worksheets, and homework completion), medication alone is not associated with skills like being organized, time management, or the ability to apply knowledge, all of which are critical in a successful post secondary education.  Coaching will!

If you’re still on the fence about whether or not you need an Edge coach, today is the day to take the first step.  If you need a little more convincing before you sign up, why not download our free guide to college success?

FREE ADHD and College Success Guide

Yes! Please send me the…

Included in the guide are 60 practical solutions for typical ADHD challengesincluding:

  • Using creative ways, like music, to keep yourself on schedule,
  • Working with your urge to procrastinate, not against it,
  • How to study smarter, not harder,
  • How to use fidgeting to stay focused, and
  • 4 student qualities for success.

Sign up today to receive your copy. It’s free, jam-packed with tips and ideas you can start using today, and you are under no obligation to buy anything . What have you got to lose?

*The Edge Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to helping students reach their academic, professional, and social potential through the support of personal coaching.  For more on our research study visit https://edgefoundation.org/information/research/.