Welcome to Coach ADD Life Skills LLC first newsletter! I hope you find the format provides substantive information, updates in the field, as well as an opportunity to gain some insight to the work achieved in the coaching sessions. Please feel free to email me and share your comments or suggestions-- I always look forward to hearing from you!
I signed up to attend CHADD's annual conference, mostly under my children's insistence. This year the conference was held at Disney World! It ended up being a family trip and while my family enjoyed the parks I was able to attend some sessions presented by expert scientists, highly recognized clinicians and fellow coaches. The two days at the conferences allowed me to re energize my practice and reiterated the fact that strength based coaching is one of the suggested multimodal approaches to managing ADHD across the lifespan.
This first newsletter is the best forum I could design to share the substantive information, thoughts and amusing facts I gained from attending the conference. I’ll share a new point in each issue over the next few months. It is devoted to sharing the learning and the hope!
CHADD Conference Highlights
1. ADHD Facts: The good, the bad and the amusing.
(Dr. Russell Barkley, Dr. Edward Hallowell)
- ADHD is one of the most heritable disorders. It arises from a neurological and a genetic basis.
- Untreated, ADHD can be a most impairing disorder.
- ADHD is found in the majority of US Presidents.
- Ukraine is the country with the highest rate of ADHD (9%).
- The hyperactivity component of ADHD may decline with age.
- Focusing and attention are the key symptoms that prevail into adulthood.
- The only consistent thing about ADHD is the lack of consistency-- expect varied achievements even when performing the same task on a repetitive basis.
- Medical/behavioral multi modal intervention takes a person who has ADHD out of the 'danger zone'.
- ADHD produces impairment but one can still attain a high level of achievement despite the disorder.
2. WHAT CAN PARENTS DO?
Parents sometimes ask: how can I support my son/daughter in this process? Dr. Jose Bauermeister gave a brilliant outlook that focuses on answering that question.
In a NUTSHELL:
- Be proactive, empower them, allow them to learn to manage their condition and promote their strengths and skills!
- React but don't over react to the difficulties faced or mistakes made,
- Adopt a helpful parenting style and not a punitive one.
Strengthen the relationship:
- Effective communication-- not a lot of interrogation, keep a positive balance not only criticism, advice or punishment. Recognize the effort.
- Empathy-- how would I feel if I had ADHD?
- Learn about ourselves-- do we have ADHD? are we super organized? rigid? look for help and take time for yourself.
- Strengthen self esteem: identify unique strengths and interests; it's ok to make mistakes, focus not only on the end result but also on the effort, recognize small achievements, discover/develop and enjoy strengths and skills.
3. Final Words of Wisdom by Dr. Ned Hallowell
"Only when you get the condition diagnosed and treated that's when one can start seeing the gifts. "
- " This is a condition that is rewarding to treat because one can make progress."
- In the "business of unwrapping the gifts-- hope is one of the most important aspects of treating."
- "Having a Ferrari brain with bike brakes-- is a dangerous condition."
- "What holds people back? shame, fear, ignorance."
- "Creativity is impulsivity gone right!"
- "See structure as a friend"
- "Believe in the power of connection! Get a coach!"
Tips & Resources
Updated information at the website: www.coachingaddlifeskills.com
During the summer when I leaped into the process of updating the website I envisioned a resource where parents, students or teachers could find out information about ADHD, Executive Functioning and Developing strengths and life skills. I invite you to visit and 'view' the calendar on the right side of my web site often and scroll around to find the latest information about upcoming conferences/talks/presentations/teleclasses in the DC area. Ginger is always updating it with up to the minute information!
Recommended Books Tab
Another section that gets frequently updated is the books tab! I am constantly on the lookout for different books that will offer information, grounding perspectives, new approaches and even fun concepts in the ADHD, Executive Differences field. We recently added "365 ways to succeed with ADHD: a full year of valuable tips and strategies from the world's best ADHD coaches and experts". The book offers bite size tips and strategies to help people impacted by ADHD succeed. The book is sold on Amazon.com and a portion of the proceeds will be used to support CHADD, ADDA and ACO- three leading international ADHD organizations. I'm honored to be one of the book's co-authors and invite you to 'read' this book following your 'reading style'-- one entry in order every day -- or looking around to what catches your eye! Enjoy!
I've often been asked by parents if they can get coaching too! This is my answer to the parent coaching-- a tele conference where once a month we will discuss a new topic.
- How to support my son/daughter's independence and coaching process without stepping in?
- The Keys to their Success: Self advocacy, resiliency and connections... say WHAT??
- A change in perspective... it’s all it takes!
Strength Training: Building muscle where it counts!: discover your son/daughter's strengths. Building a relationship from a place of strength!
- The Difficult Dance of Parenting
- Emphasize the positive
- Working with the schools
- Unconditional love
- teaching vs punishing
- reward and celebrate small steps
- Their style, not yours
Any ideas? Suggestions? I'm here ... contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
In My Own Words...
From a student who recently graduated:
"Over the last 3 years, I have learned that the most important thing - more important than making schedules, meeting deadlines, and filling my Adderall prescription - is to stay patient with myself. I think many of us with ADHD respond to setbacks by repeating to ourselves that we're stupid, disorganized, and generally not good enough. I have learned that this doesn't serve me at all. So whenever those negative thought patterns come up - and they still do - I try to focus on how far I've come and what I've accomplished overall, than whatever setback triggered those emotions. And you know what? Now I spend more time than ever getting things done and celebrating myself! You should try it. It's a good feeling."
It's the Season...
Halloween comes around and suddenly it feels like I am riding a rollercoaster until we hit the New Year. If you are feeling the same excitement, speed and overwhelm... you are not alone!
One of the constant coaching themes around this time of the year is "how can I tackle EVERYTHING I need to do?", "I will never make it!", "I have so many things to do and not enough time!"
The holiday season wraps many activities: family visits, parties, traveling, shopping or making gifts and the papers and finals due right before the holidays! Feel the excitement and the pressure? Now imagine adding the inconsistency of schedules, the extra "to do" items and not enough time to get everything done. Recipe for chaos? Not necessarily if we look at our tool box and pre plan some basic tasks. The key is to look at your day and your to do list and chunk things down into manageable bits. Yes, the 'chunking down approach' works wonders here too! Be honest and ask yourself: What can I realistically tackle today? In the same way students plan their week setting their goals and intentions-- this time of the year allows us the opportunity to practice setting daily goals and design the action steps we will take to reach our goal. Sounds easy? There are some general rules that apply during the Holidays.
1. Simplify, simplify, simplify... What will be 'good enough' look like?
2. Feel the true spirit of the Season! Smell the wood burning? See the lights? Marvel and take the time to 'take it all in!"
3. Find a time everyday to mindfully slow down (better yet-- find 3 or 4 times to incorporate mini breaks into your schedule! They could be as simple as looking away from the computer and breathing deeply 4 times)
4. Design some simple 'me times' throughout your day and schedule them! (take a walk, listen to music, drink a cup of tea -- my fave!)
5. Get a good night sleep. Keep a notebook next to your bed and write the things that are in your mind-- 'brain dumping' will allow you to empty your brain and get the zzzz.
6. Eat well. It's my daily intention to make the 'best choices I can at the moment' when it comes to food and the Holidays. Remember that protein will fill you up for a longer time-- so incorporate some high protein snacks into your day! Had a bad 'food choice' day? How can you rebound and make it a better one tomorrow?
7. Don't be afraid to say no. Too many things on your plate and a new one is waiting to be added? Self advocate and ask for what you need. Count to 10 or take time to think about how will you feel adding a new task to your list?
8. Allow yourself to do things in a different way. Tradition holds you hostage? Who says you can't change the 'rules'?
9. Connect! Make the time to connect with family and friends on a daily basis. Friends keep us grounded and we can 'vent' and recharge with them!
10. CELEBRATE! Celebrate the seasons, the values and beliefs! Celebrate family! and Celebrate yourself and all your accomplishments... great AND small.
Ana Isabel Sánchez
Coach ADD Life Skills, LLC
11140 Rockville Pike Suite 550-K
Rockville, MD 20852
office 301. 468.5950