Douglas Cootey, a single father to four daughters, works hard to meet the challenges of managing depression, ADHD, and chronic motor tic disorders. He describes his frantic but fun-filled life surrounded by his loving daughters as a “living sitcom.”

posted: Tuesday February 21st - 2:27pm

Tick Tock: Teaching My Kids Time Management

Find the personal angle to get your child to do tasks. And throw in a treat or two to prime the pump.

It’s easy to read a list of diagnostic criteria for ADHD in adults and pick yourself out from the crowd. Got that one. Yep. That one, too. Man. Wow. Yep. Yep. Dang. ADHD, despite its variances from person to person, is pretty clear to diagnose for some of us. What is difficult is teaching kids time management and convincing them they need these coping strategies for...
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posted: Tuesday January 31st - 3:02pm

Helping My Daughter with ADHD Cross the Finish Line

Reading 37 books at once? Playing a dozen video games at one time? How I got my daughter to focus on a few things, not the many.

A girl surrounded by books learns how to finish projects with ADHD.
Thanks to ADHD-fueled boredom, one of the hallmarks of this charming little disorder is having a lot of projects going at once. If that was all there was to it, though, everybody would want to have ADHD! Who wouldn’t want to juggle six or more projects while balancing life, all at the same time? Think of how productive we would all be. Unfortunately, having ADHD the...
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posted: Monday December 19th - 12:59pm

Me and My ADHD Family—Happily Imperfect Together

The best thing we can do for our children when we blunder is to show them that we don’t hate ourselves.

Wondering what to do when you make a mistake? Start with this dfeinition of how to forgive.
I had just finished writing my latest article. The month wasn’t even over yet and it was done. I was on fire! The article was funny, cleverly written, and illuminated a humorous anecdote from my life as a dad with ADHD. It was perfect, really. I couldn’t be prouder. As I fired up my e-mail program to send the new article to my editor at ADDitude magazine,...
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posted: Tuesday December 13th - 2:46pm

“I Got a Lot Done Today. So Why Do I Feel Like a Loser!”

I lift my daughters’ spirits when they’re down with inspirational advice. Now it’s time for me to follow it.

Not everyone gets a trophy - Overcoming a fear of failure
One of the many criteria for adult ADHD is a personal sense of underachievement, regardless of how much you have accomplished. This goes beyond the normal parental insecurity we often feel because our kids aren’t simultaneously trilingual sports stars and Nobel prize winners running their own multi-billion dollar software company by the time they are eight. This criterion has more to do with an abject sense...
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posted: Thursday October 27th - 10:00am

Falling into Depression, and Climbing Out Again

My hundred-foot journey away from the blues started with getting out of bed.

Recognizing Depression — For Myself and My Daughters
Sometimes days don't go as planned. With my tic disorder and a sudden bout of depression, Sunday started off poorly. I tweeted: Having a very difficult time with #depression today. Worst I’ve had in a while. So, sunshine & a mountain hike is my prescription. That tweet was the turn-around moment for me. Before that, I missed church because I was ticking, but I was also too depressed...
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posted: Wednesday October 26th - 10:00am

My ADHD-Inspired Expletives Weren’t Always Deleted, But Now They Are

I cleaned up my act—and my ADHD mouth.

Low Frustration Tolerance: How I Learned Not to Blow Up
Kids are watching us all the time. They learn from us by our example. This isn't likely news to you, but seeing it play out, day by day, is sometimes jarring, even if we expect it. The little darlings seem to pick up our bad behavior with relish and ignore all the good examples we set. I've noticed lately that my youngest daughter has been mimicking my...
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posted: Wednesday October 5th - 3:16pm

Stop Beating Yourself Up! I Did!

I was very late, but it wasn’t my fault, so I forgave myself and blamed it on the craziest day I had ever lived through.

Always Late? Cut Yourself a Little Slack
Adults with ADHD are prone to making mistakes and blunders. Who hasn't melted a pan in the oven because he got distracted? What? Is that only me? Well, I won't mention how many pans have been returned to their basic elements under my care. The point is that there is some disaster hiding in every ADHD adult's past. Consequently, many adults with ADHD have very poor...
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posted: Monday August 29th - 9:30am

Did You Diagnose Yourself with ADHD? Don’t Stop There!

The epiphany of realizing you have attention deficit is useless if it doesn’t result in an action plan to treat it.

Self Diagnose ADHD, But Don't Stop There!
In all years that I've been blogging about ADHD, I have been surprised by how many readers are self-diagnosed. They read an article, maybe written by me, and see the same symptoms in themselves. "Aha!" they think, "I must have ADHD." They could very well be right. Maybe they do have ADHD, but perhaps they have pseudo-ADHD, as Dr. Ed Hallowell describes the ADHD-like behaviors caused by...
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posted: Wednesday August 17th - 9:30am

The Heat Is On, and My ADHD Brain Is Melting

I locked my daughter and I out of the car, it was still running, and it was 100°F.

Locked Keys in the Car (Again!) and How to Stop It
Do you find that your ADHD worsens during the summer? The kids are home from school. There’s more commotion. Even if there isn’t a summer trip to take up your time and money, there are plenty of summer activities to drive the family to. I feel more like Mr. Bus during summer than the school year and I have less time to myself. On less busy days, though,...
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posted: Thursday June 2nd - 9:30am

How to Settle Your ADHD Brain When You Have to Call 911

These days I can prevent ADHD overwhelm when I have to deal with my daughter’s seizures.

The Key to ADHD Stress Management – Don’t Panic
“911. What’s your emergency?” I don’t usually panic when I hear that. I’ve called 911 far too often for far too many years because of my daughter’s epilepsy. Sometimes my ADHD becomes an obstacle, however. It’s a good thing that I’ve developed a system for dealing with emergency medical service (EMS) operators and the emergency personnel who arrive within minutes during those emergencies. I suppose I’m no different...
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