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ADDitude's top ADD/ADHD experts answer readers' questions about parenting children with, and about adults living with, ADD/ADHD.

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Archives: September 2012

posted: Saturday September 22nd - 10:45am

Read This Before Your Next 504/IEP Meeting

Don't let your child be cheated out of services. A new, broader interpretation of 504 Plans puts the law on your side.

When it comes to helping our kids in school, knowledge and persistence are the currencies of success. The more we know about what our kids are entitled to in school, the more we can engineer their success. This point was driven home a couple of weeks ago by Chris Dendy, M.S., a former teacher, education specialist, frequent contributor to ADDitude, and author of Teaching Teenagers with ADD,...
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posted: Friday September 14th - 8:18am

Outing My Friend?

"I have a friend who, I think, has ADHD. He hasn't shared his diagnosis, if he's had one, with me. He is late to dinner or the movies all the time. He doesn't remember what we talked about last time we went out. How do I tell him to get some help?"

MelissaOrlov_120
According to Russell Barkley, Ph.D., 80 to 90 percent of adults with ADHD are undiagnosed, so it's possible that he has ADHD but doesn't know it. Some who are diagnosed are sensitive about the topic, fearing they might be stigmatized. If you approach him, I suggest starting with the behaviors that bother you. You may say, "I am upset when you are late for our dinners,...
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posted: Tuesday September 11th - 1:28pm

How Do I Explain All the Jobs I Had?

"I've had a lot of jobs -- 10 of them in five years. I am more focused these days and want to restart my career. How do I deal with my checkered job history in an interview?"

AriTuckman_120x168
Job-hopping is not uncommon for those with ADHD. Your goal is to explain why you had so many jobs without making a potential employer worry that history will repeat itself. Take ownership for what happened and explain that you see your career differently these days. For example, you could say that you didn't know which type of job played to your core strengths. If you can...
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posted: Tuesday September 11th - 9:08am

How Do I Tidy Up at Work?

"My messy desk has caused me to lose important papers and distracted me from the work in front of me. Help!"

Sandy Maynard
The first step is to get rid of what is not needed. That means returning reference materials to where they belong and tossing papers you don't need into the recycling bin. This may be a long process, so a "body double" or helper may keep you on track. The more you get rid of, the easier it will be to organize what is left. When filing,...
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posted: Monday September 10th - 9:14am

How Do I Co-Parent With an ADHD Partner?

"My husband has ADHD, and his impulsivity makes it hard for him to parent our small child. We agree on a plan, but he doesn't stick with it. He will dress our son when I'm trying to teach him to dress himself. How do I co-parent with an ADHD partner?"

MelissaOrlov_120
Your husband's impulsivity is sabotaging your plans, and it may be causing him trouble at work and with his friends. He should talk to his doctor or therapist to find a treatment solution. I suspect, though, that this may be a power struggle between you and him. Many non-ADD women over-emphasize getting things done "right" versus accepting another approach to solving a problem. While it is...
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posted: Monday September 10th - 8:11am

Why Is My Wife So Nasty?

"I was folding laundry, and before I could finish the pile, my wife dropped more clean clothes on top. When I told her that I like to finish one pile before starting another, she said I was crazy. How can we avoid this?"

MicheleNovotni120
It's important for those without ADHD to understand the differences of those with the disorder, and not to overreact to them. To be fair, some with ADHD also have challenges managing their anger. Unfiltered responses are harmful to relationships. Perhaps your wife was trying to help you by bringing you more clothes to fold. However, her response was out of line. Such harsh words are unacceptable in...
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posted: Friday September 7th - 9:43am

I Can’t Stay Focused During Sex

"When I am intimate with my husband, my mind wanders and I don't key into the feelings of pleasure. Is this normal for an ADHDer? If so, what can I do about staying in the moment?"

AriTuckman_120x168
Everybody -- ADDers and those without the disorder -- has these moments from time to time, even during highly stimulating activities like sex. I strongly encourage you to stay calm about it and not read anything into it about your husband or your relationship. Just as important, don't let your husband read anything into it about you. When you catch your mind wandering, bring it back...
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posted: Friday September 7th - 7:54am

Too Loud, Too Much at Parties

"After a few drinks, my fiancée, who was diagnosed with ADHD three months ago, gets too loud and too full of energy. She makes people laugh, but she annoys me. How do I tell her without hurting her feelings?"

MelissaOrlov_120
Just let her know your feelings, so she can respond constructively. Sit down with her, tell her how much you love her, and explain that her loud behavior bothers you. Then tell her why. You should know the answer before having the conversation. Are you bothered by the attention she is getting? Do you not like noisiness in general? Are you afraid that she has a...
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posted: Tuesday September 4th - 11:06am

How Do I Teach My Teen Life Skills Before He Leaves for College?

"My son makes good grades in high school, but he is messy and disorganized at home. How can I improve his life skills before he goes off to college?"

Quinn_120
Your son is not alone. Many teens go to college without acquiring life skills. Because they are bright, and have had structure and support in high school, many college-bound teens with ADHD have had a relatively smooth path. Few parents see how their efforts to manage, support, and fix problems for their teen can delay him from mastering skills he'll need in college. Strong daily living skills...
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