Are You Ready For College?

ready-for-college

ADHD 
and
 college: a
 challenge
 you
 can
 handle

Do 
you
 get
 an
 anxious 
feeling
 when
 you
 think
 about 
school? Going
 to
 college is
 an
adjustment
 for 
anyone,
 but
 when
 you
 have 
ADHD,
 the
 challenges 
are
 that
 much
 greater.
However, 
college
 is
 a
 challenge
 you
 can 
handle
 if
 you
 go
 armed 
with
 the
 knowledge 
of 
a 
few 
extra 
things you 
can
 do to 
make 
sure
 your
 college
 experience 
is
 everything
 you
 hope
 it
will
 be.

Do
 you
 have
 the
 4
 student
 qualities
 for
 success?

Successful
 students
 usually
 have
 four
 qualities
 that 
help
 them
 achieve
 their
 goals:

1. Sticking 
with
 things even
 when
 the
 going 
gets
 tough
 ( a.k.a.
 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.

Are
 you
 feeling
 discouraged
 already? No
 surprise. These
 particular skills
 don’t
 come
 easily
to
 students with 
ADHD. Organizational
 problems, 
impulsivity
 and
 time
 management
 issues 
are
 actually
 the
 hallmarks 
of 
living 
with 
ADHD. You
 think,
 “If 
I 
just
 get
 this
 special
 planner,
 I’ll 
never 
forget 
anything
 again.” Or 
you 
promise
 yourself,
 “Next 
time
 I’m
 going
to
 start 
working
 on
 my
 class
 reading
 at
 the
 beginning
 of
 the 
term
 instead
 of 
cramming
right
 before
 finals.” It’s
so
 easy
 to
 think,
“If
 I 
just 
make
 myself
 do
 this…
it’ll
 be
 fine.” 
But
what 
if
  we 
told
 you
 that 
making
 yourself 
do
 it 
is 
the 
totally  wrong 
approach?

Read more at: Your guide for college success

Scholarships for college students with ADHD

iStock_45005750_XXXLARGE v3Financial scholarships for college students are wonderful, but they don’t ensure successful completion and graduation. That’s why we provide Edge Coaches to support scholarship recipients as a form of scholarship insurance.

The Shire Scholarship Program

Since 2011, the Edge Foundation has partnered with Shire PLC who provides scholarships for college students with ADHD. Shire U.S., Inc. funds the Michael Yasick ADHD Scholarship program, which is for residents of the United States who are under the care of a licensed health care professional for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and have been accepted to or enrolled in undergraduate programs at accredited colleges, universities, trade schools, technical schools, or vocational schools located in the US.

The Michael Yasick ADHD Scholarship awards recipients in the U.S. $2,000 in tuition assistance and one year of ADHD coaching services provided by the Edge Foundation to assist in meeting the challenges of higher education. A similar program, operated by Shire Canada offers Canadian students $1,500 in tuition assistance and one year of ADHD coaching services provided by the Edge Foundation. In May 2016, fifty-five scholarships were awarded in the U.S. and six scholarships were awarded in Canada..

The scholarship application process for 2017 opens in December, 2016, and the application process closes in March, 2017. To learn more about the Shire Scholarship program or for help with the application process, contact:

Denise von Pressentin
888.718.8886
206.632.9497
dvonpressentin@edgefoundation.org

 

Sign Up for Scholarship Support

If you are an organization, institution or individual who provides financial  scholarships to college students, and are interested in providing funds for Edge Coaches to support those students, please contact:

Neil Peterson
Founder, Chairman, and CEO
206.910.7515
npeterson@edgefoundation.org

What If? – I have ADHD but I don’t let it stand in my way

adobestock_97094319-v3life-skills-2-edge

1

That phrase, spoken more than fifteen years ago by my then-ten-year-old son, still brings tears to my eyes. He wrote this to his teacher on the first day of fifth grade. She had given him a “get to know you questionnaire.” This was his answer to her final question, which asked the students if there was anything else she should know about them.

If only we could freeze those moments. I would love to say that he continues to feel that way all the time but that is not our reality. Having children with ADHD and other executive function-challenges can be compared to life on a roller coaster. As a retired teacher, guidance counselor, and now an ADHD/EF coach, I feel that my experiences have prepared me for the next stage of parenting. But it is not easy. I have come to realize that it’s a marathon not a sprint.

Most parents, after their child is diagnosed, feel that they need to solve the problem. They want to help their children overcome their disability and protect them from the world.   Frequently, we feel that we did something wrong, that we must fix the situation or find a magical answer. I was no exception. After researching this topic for many years and filling several rooms with books on ADHD, EF and positive psychology, I have come to the realization that the best gift we can give is to accept them for who they are.

We do not need to give up future plans for our children but we do need to accept them as they exist. We can be aware of their weaknesses and help them develop their strengths. As parents, we need to help them recognize that as they approach life differently, they can achieve their goals.

Those diagnosed with ADHD and EF challenges must learn to adapt to our competitive society and to appreciate themselves. We also must help professionals, family members and others to refrain from squeezing our square pegs into round holes. What if, instead, we delighted in their differences? As their parents and coaches, we have the power to concentrate on their strengths, provide support when needed, and most importantly, not allow them to use their diagnosis as a crutch.

If these children are brought up to recognize their gifts, just imagine what they could accomplish. If we help them recognize their situation as an opportunity to develop strategies that will allow them succeed, they will become stronger and more adaptable.

I can only imagine the number of negative verbal and non-verbal messages that these individuals receive on a daily basis. What if they could depend on their families to be supportive and their homes to be an oasis of positive reinforcement? What if they could trust our verbal and non-verbal communication would instill a sense of well being, rather than a source of shame and inadequacy?

What if we were able to accept the fact that we, as parents, do not have the power to fix our children or find a magic answer?

What if we concentrated on what we can control, and helped our children realize that they are creative, resourceful and whole? What if we helped them recognize that life is not black or white? What if we helped our children realize that because of their differences, not in spite of them, they have much to offer?

What if every individual diagnosed with ADHD and executive-functioning challenges could say: “I have ADHD but I don’t let it stand in my way.”

Written by: Cheryl Breining, LMSW, M.Ed, MS, ACC, CPCC, Edge Coach, Certified Life and Parenting Coach, The Life Coaching Corner Inc., Contact her at www.thelifecoachingcorner.com.

 

Figuring Out How We Learn Best: Don’t Change the Peg, Change the Hole!

Figuring Out How We Learn Best: Don’t Change the Peg, Change the Hole!

There is an old saying that “a square peg won’t fit in a round hole.” Yet much of education, especially for those of us with learning disabilities, seems to consist of trying to force this square peg into the proverbial round hole. But, can we change the hole?

It’s an established fact, people learn differently from one another. Not only do some people learn best by listening, some by reading, some by doing and so on. Some students learn best in large gatherings and others in small groups. There are people who learn best with lots of noise in the background. And conversely, some people learn best in quiet surroundings.

There are people who like to move while learning while there are others who prefer stillness. In lectures, there are people who learn best taking lots of notes and students who learn best with almost no notes at all.

A traditional school can’t possibly accommodate all these learning styles. The accommodation that helps the person who likes noise hurts the one who likes quiet. Moreover, allowing Bill to move around the room may distract John who prefers stillness. A lecture with 400 people is not a seminar with 10.

Although I would say that special-education schools and programs are better equipped to deal with this glorious variety, even the best can’t do it all. Outside of school, though, we can try to accommodate both our children and ourselves. And, importantly, we need to recognize that our own optimum learning styles may not be those of our children.

Simply finding out how you or your child learns best won’t magically make you learn everything easily. But it will help. Because, the hole may be closer to the right shape than you thought.

Written by Peter Flom PhD. He is a learning-disabled adult, a husband, a father a professional statistician and author of “Screwed Up Somehow, but Not Stupid.” Peter can be reached at: peterflomconsulting@mindspring.com.

From frustration to focus

frustration-logo

Do you worry about your child’s grades?  You aren’t alone.  Every week we are contacted by parents desperate to find help for their child. He’s flunking in school.  She’s so disorganized she can never get a paper in on time so her grades don’t reflect her ability.  He’s unmotivated by rewards – even paying him for A’s doesn’t seem to help.

A common focus of concern for parents is grades.  And no doubt your child carries a lot of internal stress about his or her performance in school – whether she admits to it or not.  But we’d like to suggest that this focus on grades is a distraction from helping your child see what she needs to do to take charge of her life.

We believe an ADHD coach can help make the difference in your child’s life and we have the research to prove it.  We encourage you to put yourself in your child’s shoes and think about what does motivate him or her.  School performance is a means to an ends, it is important, but not the only thing that measures success.  After all, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates both dropped out of college to passionately focus on their dreams.

We’re not suggesting dropping out is the solution, but we are encouraging you to shift your focus to what inspires your child, what are his or her dreams and what is holding them back from success.   Overcoming these obstacles is the focus of coaching.

Motivating your child

  • It’s not your job to get your child a coach.
  • You can’t force him to call.
  • You can’t tell him what to work on in coaching session.
  • You can’t sign him up.

What you can do is help your child envision the possibilities that coaching will open up for her.

Coaching isn’t about fixing her.  It isn’t a tutor, therapist or mentor.  It’s unlike anything she’s ever tried before. A coach is your child’s partner in helping him accomplish his goals (not yours).

Coaches help the students they work with decide what they want to achieve, develop a plan to accomplish those goals and take the steps needed to reach their dreams.

An ADHD coach should not be a punishment

Instead of saying “Your grades better come up next term or you’ll have to get a coach,” we suggest focusing on your child’s point of view.  Think about opening up the channel for conversation with your child and trying some conversation starters like:

  • What is most challenging for you right now?
  • What frustrates you most about your life?
  • What are you struggling with?
  • What do you envision for yourself after you graduate?
  • What are your worries?

Your child may not want to talk to you about these issues.  And that’s okay.  It’s an important part of their development to want to tackle these issues on their own.  But you can still counsel and guide them towards a coach.  After all, a coach isn’t a punishment, a coach is a resource to help you set goals, learn new skills and hone the edge you need to make your dreams come true.

ADHD Depression Busting Tool Kit

ADHD and Depression is Serious Business

It’s important to start this post by saying that depression can be a serious, life-threatening condition. If you are feeling hopeless, worthless, irritated, chronically exhausted or have lost interest in things you once loved, you shouldstart by talking to your physician or a therapist. Look for someone who has experience in diagnosing ADHD and working with the co-occurring conditions that can come along with ADHD. (The last thing you need to do is see someone who doesn’t understand or even believe in ADHD!)

A professional can help you determine what the appropriate course of action  to help you break free of your depression. You don’t have to suffer depression alone. Get some help for yourself, right away.  Talk to your parents, friends or even a crisis hotline.  Don’t suffer alone!

What to Do About ADHD and Depression Starting NOW!

Sure calling a doctor or therapist is a great idea, but you may be wondering what you can do for depression right now. After all, depression is something that can be hard to overcome.   (And it doesn’t take holidays!)   You can use all the help you can get to breaking through to the other side of depression! Why not try what Gayle Wilson, ADHD coach, shares with her clients. She calls it her “Depression Busting Toolkit” or “12 Mental Lifesavers.”

ADHD Depression Busting Toolkit: 12 Mental Lifesavers

  1. Talk about it.  Pour out your soul to a sympathetic ear.
  2. Go to the dogs (play with your pets).
  3. Run away (literally). Do something physical. (Yes, we keep saying this over and over. Exercise is critical to healthy living with ADHD!)
  4. Laugh your head off. Watch a funny TV show, ask someone to tickle you, Google “funny” or “hilarious,” check out the comedy channel on hulu.com, or watch an old Road Runner cartoon, etc.
  5. Get to work. Lose yourself in work.
  6. Compartmentalize. Focus on what you can do right now. The old adage, one day at a time, has stood the test of time because it works! Sometimes getting off the couch and doing something, anything, can make a big difference to feeling better.
  7. Write. Right now. Paying attention to what you are thinking. Write it down. Be sure to turn off the critical inner voice and just let your thoughts go.
  8. Identify something you care about more than yourself.  Is that a friend? A charity? Your grandparents?  Now do something, anything about it.
  9. Bring beauty into your life. Buy some flowers, take some pictures, make a painting, clean your room.
  10. Learn the lesson. Explore what there is to learn in what you are experiencing.
  11. Be well read. Let fiction carry you away.
  12. Have faith. Turn to your spiritual practice
  13. Curb self-defeating and negative thoughts with an ANT.

Daniel G. Amen, M.D., author of Healing ADD and Change Your Brain, Change Your life, coined the acronym A.N.T.’s — or automatic negative thoughts. Turns out there is a connection between what we say to ourselves and how we feel. If we control what we think, we can control how we feel.

Gayle Wilson gives each of her clients a little plastic ant and a poem. Print out the poem and put it on your desk. Read it when you need to turn your thoughts away from the dark side. Sure it’s a little dorky, and Gayle’s no poet, but these simple words have helped many other people. So there’s no harm in trying it, huh? You can control what you think and change how you feel about yourself.

11-26-2009-11-41-35-amA.N.T.s: AUTOMATIC NEGATIVE THOUGHTS

Gayla Wilson 12/07

Place this little Ant on your desk, in your pocket or your purse.
Let it remind you, your thoughts can be adverse.
Listen to what your brain tells you
The next time you get into a jam
and you hear “I’m stupid”; “I always mess up”
“Why can’t I ever just push through?”
Write it down, tell it to scram.

Is this thought a fact?
Or, is it the same old you?
If it’s true…change it.
If it’s a lie, answer back.

These are your thoughts
You write the script
Be they pleasant and pleasing
Or harmful…
They’re your thoughts,
You can answer back

The damage CAN be reversed.
It is up to you
Their weight and importance
Are set by you. You take control.
Kill the ANT!

Do you have tricks that help you beat the blues? Please share them!

Mastering your self control!

Mastering your self control

Note:   Kelsey Peterson was the student that inspired the creation of the Edge Foundation.  You can find other tips and ideas about how to be successful in college with ADHD with our Free Guide: College Success and ADHD.

What is self-control? I have been struggling with self-control lately. I feel like I always know what’s best but there is an inner child in me telling me to do what feels good in the moment! I went to Starbucks last week because I was running late and missed breakfast. I knew that I should order the oatmeal because it was healthy and it would keep me full longer – but the lemon bread looked so good. I caved (to myself) and got the lemon bread, but regretted it an hour later when I was starving. That inner voice that was so strong it “made” me order the lemon bread when I knew the oatmeal was a better choice.

We all have a voice inside us, some people call it our “inner child.” This voice tells us what we want to hear.  It can be hard to resist, and easy to give in. Everyone has a different inner child who throws inner tantrums for different reasons. For example, I also struggle with being late in part because my inner child tells me “I can stay in bed for five more minutes.” Self-control comes from you knowing what is best for yourself and doing it.   I just wish it wasn’t so hard!

When I was a kid, home with my parents, I was allowed to be a child inside and out because I knew my parents were there and helped make decisions for me. My parents always had my best interest at heart when making decisions for me and I trusted them to make the right ones.

When I went to college and I was away from home I had to learn how to be my own parent. Now it’s my time as an adult to start being my own inner parent and take care of myself. It’s often not fun making the right choice in the moment of temptation,  but I am always happier afterwards if I do. Here are some simple hints that helped me master my self control.

I start by identifying what I’m struggle with. For example, I am struggling with working out. I want to work out five days a week but I keep messing up.

I figure out why this important to me in the long term. I want to work out every morning because I want to be healthy and look good.

I think about how this fits with my long-term goals. I find it helps to think about my long-term goals because as a kind of reality check for myself. When I find my inner child telling me, “you could go to the gym or you could sleep one more hour”, my inner parent will tell me “I am going to the gym right now because I know I will if I do I will be prepared for the half marathon next summer”. My long-term goal reminds me why I care about something and how it’s really the best choice.

I use my coach to help stay on track. Tell your coach about your long-term goals and what you need from him/her to help you achieve it. For me just telling my coach helps because then I feel accountable. Also my coach helps me with short term check points to help me reach my long-term goal. My coach checks in with me weekly to see if I have met my weekly goal of working out five times a week. If I have met my goal then I get a “prize”. I get to treat myself by sleeping in on Sunday and going to brunch with my friends and having a mimosa, If I missed a day during the week then I have to get out of bed early, go to the gym and skip brunch. This is motivation during the week because I hate working out on Sunday and I love brunch!

I challenge you!

Pick something that you struggle with, maybe it’s getting your homework done early instead of waiting till the last minute, or not spending hours on Facebook. Whatever it is that you find your inner child pulling you towards when you know its not what’s best for you that is where you need to master your self-control.

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