When Kristen Caven’s son was diagnosed with attention deficit, inattentive type, she had no doubt about where he'd gotten the gene. She writes about her creative and comedic ADHD family, being a patient mother with a brain built for speed, and her sudden enrollment in what she calls “ADD School.”

posted: Thursday November 17th - 10:31am

Impulsive? Instinctive? Intuitive? Or Inspired?

Learning to trust the voices in your head.

Because of the way our brains are wired, people with ADHD have the potential to access creativity in more powerful ways than most people realize. Long before it was defined as a disorder, many great artists, thinkers, explorers, and leaders through the ages struggled with ADHD symptoms. Yet they were all driven by something inside that looked, on the outside, like madness. What is that thing inside...
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posted: Friday November 4th - 1:37pm

Third Time’s the Charm

There’s an art to getting out the door and staying married—and I discovered it. Or, I should say, my husband did.

I was so proud of myself, in my late 20s, that I had finally gotten my leaving-the-house foibles figured out. When my boyfriend (and-future-father-of-Enzo) moved in with me, I remember crowing about how awesome it was that I could now get out the door with only three trips back inside. His reaction surprised me. It was critical, not supportive. “That’s unacceptable,” he said, glowering at me from...
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posted: Friday October 21st - 11:21am

Ablution Performance 101

Simple hygiene is sometimes beyond the ADHDer.

A bathroom sink representing ADHD hygiene
I have this amazing girlfriend, whom I shall call Gladiolus. We met in kindergarten and became close friends in high school when we agreed that one shouldn’t wear plastic in one’s hair. (It was the ’80s.) She has a delightful sense of humor and a fully engaged mind. Over the years, we have assembled a group of delightful, engaged human beings around us, and we have,...
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posted: Wednesday July 20th - 9:30am

End of the Mother Road

With Enzo off to college, my ADHD struggles for structure.

When I became a mom, I loved being the one who would make the world come alive with my morning routines. Opening windows, making food, and getting the kid where he needed to go were powerful actions. But, on the other hand, I struggled with the routines. The early years were the hardest and the sweetest; the hours sucked, but I was well paid, with baby...
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posted: Monday July 11th - 2:35pm

The Three R’s for Ruling Your ADHD

ADHDers need rituals, routines, and rewards (like watching Sex and the City while folding laundry) to keep us in a good place.

A person with ADHD may have a highly organized mind, an incredible ability to focus, and a clarity of vision beyond the normal scope, but anyone with executive function problems still has problems following steps, noticing time, and keeping to a program. Three powerful R’s for managing ADHD recognize this dichotomy. Understanding routines, rewards, and rituals energizes our minds and focuses our attention. Routines are patterns of action...
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posted: Tuesday May 31st - 10:57am

Muddling Through the Action Shots

You never know when to push and when to let them take the lead.

As a parent, there is a transition one begins to make when your child hits middle school, no matter what kind of child you have. At one point we manage our kids; in adulthood, they manage themselves. In that in-between time of the ’tween and teen years, there is an awkward dance in which one does not know the rhythm. The best parents make the effort at...
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posted: Monday May 2nd - 9:30am

Compared to What?

Diagnostic questions can be confusing when ADHD is “normal.”

In my family, I’m the together one. I’m the one who shows up, completes a task, and makes the necessary connections to make things happen. I pay my bills (automatically, of course). I reframe negativity and keep people positive. I make amazing things happen in my life, when I put my mind to it. So when I was screened for ADHD, time after time, I had...
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posted: Friday February 12th - 11:57am

The Secret ADHD Test for Your Friends

Are your friends blessed with the Awesomeness Development & Happiness Directive? How do you tell? How do you tell them? And how can you help?

OK, parents, raise your hand if you have a friend who’s got a kid who is, you know, all those special things ADHD kids are, and of course so is your friend (which is probably why she is your friend, because you like the interesting ones), and you don’t exactly feel like you can say to her, “I bet you have ADHD,” because she is just...
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posted: Friday January 29th - 10:50am

Go Ahead and Treat Yo’self

A TV show meme teaches that ADHD hacking can be fun.

On the popular TV show Parks and Recreation, two characters make an annual holiday out of splurging on ridiculous luxury items. In my house, we started using their battle cry in the context of managing ADHD symptoms! I say, “Treat Yo'self” when I’m making a protein shake in the morning or taking my herbs and vitamins. I say it when my husband goes out for a run...
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posted: Thursday January 7th - 2:36pm

All in the Family

Ever wonder where your child got his ADHD from? You know where.

How many parents don’t figure out their disorder until they are parents? “Insanity is hereditary,” the bumper sticker says, “you get it from your kids.” Snarky, hilarious, but wait: Maybe it’s true. How come so many of us don’t accept the ADHD label for ourselves until after our kids get diagnosed? It’s because we think our kids are normal, just like us. For example: • When Enzo...
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