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

posted: Monday November 23rd - 11:21am

Cleaning Up as an ADHD Couple

My wife and I both have ADHD. We don’t clean up the house if we don’t feel good about ourselves or we are overwhelmed by the job. Can you help?

SusanPinsky_headshot_120px
Those with ADHD are easily overwhelmed when a task is too big. The answer is to reduce the size of the task and to enlist support. Hiring a housekeeper to do toilets, floors, and, if possible, laundry twice a month is not a luxury, but a necessity in many ADHD homes. As for tidying, you and your wife could schedule six (maybe eight) weekends to go...
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posted: Monday November 23rd - 11:00am

Cleaning Out an Overloaded Purse

My purse is disorganized, and it weighs a ton. I want to be prepared for any emergency, so I carry lots of stuff. It gives me peace of mind, but a sore shoulder. Help.

SusanPinsky_headshot_120px
Ahh! Who among us doesn’t have the dream of the perfectly organized purse? Sadly, perfection is unachievable, but with a little ingenuity, a lighter purse is possible. A purse that hurts its wearer is too big, so instead of being prepared for anything be resourceful in case of emergency. Take every item out of your purse and ask, “Do I absolutely need this?” Remove items for...
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posted: Monday November 23rd - 10:33am

Daily Clean-Up Quickie for ADHD Executives

I am an executive with ADHD. When I get busy at work on a big project, I don’t bother cleaning up my desk every day. I share an office with a coworker whose desk is in order. Do you have a tip for a daily cleanup?

SusanPinsky_headshot_120px
The best times to clean your desk are between projects (putting one project away before starting another) and at day’s end. Stacking trays work well for this — scoop up all the papers for an active project and stash them temporarily in one of the trays. Arrange the trays in a vertical position, not horizontally, across your desk. At day’s end, take two minutes (no more!)...
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posted: Thursday November 12th - 9:30am

Coach Strategy: You Have to See Your Challenges Before You Can Meet Them

One ADHD coach uses simple diagrams to help a client stop procrastinating.

A favorite approach to helping my clients with ADHD gain clarity about their challenges is to present the challenge as a drawing or diagram. I often use visual diagrams to show clients the relationships between their thoughts or behaviors and the challenges they face. For many with ADHD, visualizing challenges works better than using words to describe the challenges. My client, Larry, is a good example...
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posted: Monday November 2nd - 9:30am

Happy Birthday, Americans with Disabilities Act

The ADA turned 25 years old recently, and here’s how it can help you at the workplace or your child at school.

SusanYellinHeadshot_120x131
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) turned a quarter century old recently, so it’s a good time to look at this important law to see how it has changed through the years and what it means now for individuals with ADD, ADHD, and related challenges. The ADA was signed into law in July 1990 and was intended as an “equal opportunity” law for people with disabilities,...
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posted: Wednesday October 28th - 5:31pm

Fish Oil Substitutes for Vegetarian ADHDers

I am a vegetarian who doesn’t eat fish. What can I take instead of fish oil to get beneficial levels of omega-3 fatty acids for my ADHD?

According to current research, EPA and DHA are the two most important omega-3 fatty acids that manage some symptoms of ADHD. For vegetarians, there are two choices for getting these important nutrients. First, you can use an algae-based omega-3 product. Most of them do not contain much EPA, which is at least as important as DHA for helping to control attention deficit symptoms. I recommend NordicNaturals...
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posted: Wednesday October 28th - 5:26pm

The High School IEP

My daughter had IEP accommodations in middle school, and I want to make sure she has the same accommodations in high school. How do I make sure she does?

SusanYellinHeadshot_120x131
Once a student has an IEP, she continues to receive the accommodations and services set forth in that IEP until a new one is created — generally, once each year. It doesn’t matter if a student moves to another school or district, or even from one district to another. The IEP continues unless and until it is changed at a meeting. The beginning of high school...
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posted: Wednesday October 28th - 5:19pm

Stay-Calm Strategies For Job Interviews

I was just diagnosed with ADHD and I am looking for a job. I fidget and my hands shake when I am at a job interview. What can I do to appear more composed?

Beth Main ADHD Coach Blog
Fidgeting is part of hyperactive-type ADHD. Hand-shaking seems more like nervousness, which is to be expected when you’re at a job interview. Either way, you want to appear poised and confident. Mindfulness can help with anxiety. Staying fully focused on what is happening in the here and now can help you calm down and stop your hands from shaking. Many people find that focusing on their...
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posted: Wednesday October 28th - 5:11pm

ADHD Medication Mistake At School

The school nurse gave my son the wrong dose of his medication on two different days. I called the principal and he said, “There isn’t anything I can do about it now.” How can I avoid this in the future?

SusanYellinHeadshot_120x131
If the nurse gave your child the wrong dose, the question is, how did that happen? Presumably, your child’s medication is in a prescription bottle with his name and the dosage amount on it. Did the nurse give him someone else’s medication? Did she fail to read the instructions on his medication bottle? Did she fail to keep track of whether she gave your child his...
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posted: Friday October 9th - 4:50pm

Mobile Minecraft Is a Constant Distraction

How can we effectively limit Minecraft when our son 15-year-old son plays it on his cell phone off and on all day. Minecraft interferes with his homework and other activities because it is always there. Any suggestions?

RandyKulman_120px
One of the major dilemmas faced by modern parents is how to manage their kids’ smartphone use so that gaming, texting, and social media don’t interfere with homework, learning, and other responsibilities. Not to mention the easily accessible inappropriate content. Many of our kids have devices in their pockets that out-perform the computers we were using when they were born. And many parents have legitimate concerns...
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