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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: 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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posted: Wednesday May 18th - 10:17am

Oh, No, Did I Really Just Say That?!

When my lips fail to echo what my brain is thinking, I’ve learned how to undo the damage.

Joking My Way Out of an ADHD Blunder…Again
It was that time of the year last week, time for my youngest daughter’s IEP meeting. For those who don’t have children with learning disabilities, an IEP stands for Individualized Education Program. Kids with LD don’t fit into the mainstream education pathways very well. They learn at variable rates, usually much slower than their peers, and the IEP helps the school district, school administration, and the...
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posted: Tuesday April 26th - 9:30am

Mission Impossible: Tips for Getting Through the Most Torturous Project on Your To-Do List

My life-changing advice: work on one thing at a time.

How I Overcome ADHD Procrastination and Disorganization in Three Steps
Every adult with ADHD has his own personal torture project. These projects are so complicated and time consuming that your brain flees out of your ears to parts unknown every time you think about them. Oh, you think I’m exaggerating? My brain has been mailing me postcards from all over America because of the last project I tried to finish up. It’s been a crimp in...
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posted: Friday March 18th - 9:30am

The Day My Daughter Went “Missing,” Thanks to My ADHD

My damn hyperfocus got me all worked up, and screwed up, again.

Hyperfocus: How ADHD Made Me “Lose” My Daughter
I want to share a story with you about ADHD hyperfocus and its often sheepish, absent-minded splendor. I'm betting some of you poor souls out there can relate all too well. Most people get absentminded when they're sick, fatigued, or overworked. They can become so focused on a deadline or an important task that they don't notice the world around them. That's something that is a...
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posted: Wednesday February 24th - 3:25pm

When My Daughters Need Me, I Chuck My To-Do List to the Wind

Don’t let ADHD hyperfocus get in the way of the most important things in life—our daughters and sons.

Breaking Away from My To-Do List and ADHD Hyperfocus
A few months ago my third oldest girl called me out of the blue. She was having trouble with her homework, and she wondered if I could help her that moment. My list of things to do is a mile long, and there is no end to the items that are top priority, yet I didn’t even blink before I told her “Yes.” I tossed my to-do...
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posted: Monday February 1st - 9:30am

It’s a Landslide! How I Face All Those To-Do’s with a Smile and a Strategy

Stuff was falling through the cracks, including myself, when I figured out how to seal them all up.

Completing my To-Do List with Adult ADHD – Without Panicking
I have a confession to make. Sometimes I don’t manage being a dad with ADHD very well. Sometimes life piles up on me, and I have a hard time getting out from under it. This past half year has been particularly challenging because on top of my own disability (chronic motor tic disorder) and my youngest daughter going through volatile changes due to her learning disability,...
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posted: Monday December 7th - 9:30am

The Panic Button: Why ADHDers Should Never Hit It

Who could forget the day that I overreacted and sent my daughter to school with a painted cat face, the week before Halloween?

When in Doubt, Don’t Panic: Tips for Parents with ADHD
It is amazing to me how much damage a moment of panic does to my otherwise nicely organized morning. I have routines. I have to-do lists. What more could I need? My hyperactivity usually has a wonderful upside, where I can hit the ground running while juggling six balls, then catch another ball in stride. I can be a little intense to be around when I’m...
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posted: Tuesday October 20th - 1:47pm

How I Get My Foot Out of My ADHD Mouth

Sometimes I wish the cat got my tongue, and when he doesn’t, I apologize and hope my girls can forgive my impulsive gaffes.

Impulse Control for Adults with ADHD: Foot-in-Mouth Disorder
A reader recently wrote to me about her dad’s penchant for putting his foot in his mouth. She appreciated how knowing about his ADHD helped her understand his colorful moments. I wondered, “Do my children have the same level of understanding?” I give them plenty of opportunity to experience my own deft skill at stuffing my mouth with feet. I recalled a conversation I had a few...
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posted: Monday September 28th - 9:30am

New, Different, Shiny: A Sure-Fire Way to Break the Grip of Hyperfocus

Get through to your child with ADHD when she tunes you out.

Breaking Through My Child’s ADHD Hyperfocus
You know that moment where you call your child and quickly rifle through all your other children’s names before finally settling on the right one? For years I thought my name was “Matphildouglas!” (with an exclamation point). Maybe you have only one child and confuse her name with your pet or significant other a lot. It’s a common thing to do with or without ADHD...
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posted: Wednesday June 24th - 9:00am

My Saving Grace: People Who Get That I Have ADHD

When my daughters constantly remind me about keeping track of the car keys, I am thankful—not defensive.

ADHD Forgetfulness: Thank You for the Reminders
“Do you have your keys?” I swear, she asks me every time. Every. Single. Time. I shut off the car, get out, and my youngest asks me in panic, “Do you have your keys?” Hey, give a dad a break already! There was that one time that I locked the keys in the car. OK, maybe more than one time, but how many years ago was that? Yet she...
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