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

posted: Thursday February 4th - 4:55pm

ADHD Psychotherapy: Talk It Out

I have lost several jobs and now have self-esteem challenges. Does psychotherapy fit into a natural treatment plan?

Some type of psychotherapy can certainly be part of a natural treatment plan, or a valuable addition to ADHD medication. A lot of research has been done on ADHD and cognitive behavioral therapy. CBT is a short-term type of psychotherapy that involves changing thinking patterns in order to change negative behavior. Research has indicated that CBT is an effective intervention for adults, and probably for adolescents,...
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posted: Thursday February 4th - 2:46pm

My Wife Is Too Attached To Her Stuff

My wife, who has ADHD, holds on to every object that has sentimental value to her. The stuff in our cabinets and closets makes me feel fenced in. Can you help her get perspective about things? I have a problem living in our house.

Some people are “past-oriented”; every possession is associated with a memory or a person. Others are “future-oriented” — items will “come in handy someday,” “go to the grandchildren,” or “look great in the next house.” Holding on to a bit of the past and planning a bit for the future are fine, as long as they don’t clutter the present. For keepsakes, I recommend a memorabilia...
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posted: Thursday February 4th - 2:23pm

Help! I Can’t Sleep In My Messy Bedroom

My bedroom is a disaster area. My closets are overflowing, as are my floor, bedroom chairs, and every place else. I start to attack one corner of the room, but even that seems overwhelming. Should I hire someone to work on the mess? Please help.

Hiring support — a landscaper, housekeeper, accountant, mechanic, or professional organizer — is a rational solution when you are overwhelmed by a particular task. An organizer will make sure you schedule enough time, help you process/strategize, and will lend focus to the tasks at hand. I schedule two six-hour days for bedrooms — the first day to weed, sort, and drop off donations; the second day...
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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?

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.

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?

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.

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?

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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